The Lena Dunham-created and -starring HBO series "Girls" is pretty divisive as sitcoms go -- people either love it or loathe it. Focusing on the adventures of four young women in New York City, it's tonally very different from the show it's most likely to be compared to -- "Sex and the City" -- and has come under fire for its content and even casting choices.
But that's not something that worries the 26-year-old Dunham.
"I haven't heard about anyone who doesn't like it," chuckled the writer/actress, who appeared on TODAY Tuesday with co-stars Allison Williams, Jemima Kirk and Zosia Mamet. (Trivia alert: Most of the ladies have famous parents: Allison's dad is "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams; Kirk's dad drummed for Bad Company and Free; Mamet's dad is playwright/director David Mamet).
Noted Savannah Guthrie, critics say it's about entitled twentysomethings, who are self-absorbed. But Dunham says her characters are written in shades of gray. "I sort of object to the notion that the characters have to be likable. ... I don't like most of my friends -- I love them, and that's the same way that I feel about characters I write."
"Part of (the appeal) is holding up a very harsh, funhouse-y mirror to people," added Williams. "I don't think people are used to looking at themselves that closely."
So what should fans look for in the second season? "We're continuing to push the envelope," said Dunham. "I hope. I think that if you loved what we were doing last season we're going to push it further, and if you hated what we were doing last season you will hate it even more."
But are the actors actually brave in portraying their complex, occasionally naked, characters? Williams said she thought Dunham was "the bravest person I know," but Dunham objected.
"It's brave to step into the mouth of a lion," she said, "but it's not that brave to get naked if you're not stressed about getting naked."
"Girls" returns on Jan. 13.
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