Are you very excited for HBO’s April premiere of Girls, written and directed by New York indie film darling Lena Dunham and produced by Judd Apatow? Because it has a trailer now!
Hard to believe, but a lot of people outside of New York and Los Angeles still don’t know who the 25-year-old is, or why she will be appearing on their television sets. If they have heard of her, it’s because of her SXSW hit, Tiny Furniture, or the multiple profile pieces it spawned. (Not to mention the news that Mr. Apatow had taken Ms. Dunham under her wing, not just for Girls but as a leading lady in his Knocked Up spin-off, This is 40.)
But there’s so much more to Ms. Dunham’s video oeuvre than just her recent hits. She’s been a master of funny web series for half a decade, and you need to watch her shows now, before The New Yorker starts calling Girls this season’s Whitney or some other godawful comparison. (We’d rather compare it to Enlightened, HBO’s other dramedy about self-absorption and self-actualization, albeit on the opposite coast.)
Gabe Delahaye from Videogum noted that Girls looks like a polished version of Tiny Furniture, which was essentially about the same subjects (and starred Ms. Dunham’s real-life mother, artist Laurie Simmons). So here’s that trailer as well:
But before Ms. Dunham started peeling back layers of her identity, she was putting a more satirical spin on it with the 2009 web series, Delusional Downtown Divas. The series also starred Joana Avillez and Isabel Halley (whose parents are the artists Gwenn Thomas and Peter Halley, respectively) as wannabe art scenesters. Back in real life, the trio enlisted a bevy of actually famous gallery owners, artists, and critics to be in their production, which landed them as hosts of the First Annual Art Awards at the Guggenheim.
While DDD gained Ms. Dunham and her friends accolades in the art world, her real masterpiece (in our humble opinion) was her earliest semi-improvised webisodes on Nerve.com, a 2007 series called Tight Shots. In it, Ms. Dunham leads a cast and crew (which includes Scott Stringer‘s press secretary/Terry Richardson girlfriend Audrey Gelman and Catfish/Paranormal Activity 3 director Ariel Schulman) with a tyrannical, if somewhat confused fist. Also, they all live together and hook up a lot.
Virginia Heffernan for The New York Times said of it:
Everyone in “Tight Shots” is annoying, hilarious, familiar and also totally touching, if you’ve ever had a soft spot for Oberlin/Bennington/Vassar/Brown people.
Unfortunately, Nerve seems to have taken down the video for Tight Shots, so you’ll just have to trust us when we said it was hilarious.