The final season of GIRLS premieres next Sunday, and to commemorate this momentous occasion The Hollywood Reporter has gifted us with an oral history of the show. It's just as much of a doozy as it sounds, but perhaps the most GIRLS-esque moment is when creator Lena Dunham describes how she pitched the show—with no plot, but like, "a tone poem about millennial life."
The oral history features Dunham, executive producer Judd Apatow, showrunner Jenni Konner, and castmembers Jemima Kirke and Allison Williams, among others, all lending their perspective on how "sexually provocative," and " universally great" GIRLS was. While that might have been true of the first season—and during glimpses of more recent ones—in my opinion the show started going downhill once Dunham became a Real Celebrity. Initially, the world GIRLS inhabited was at least recognizable to a certain subsection of the population—young white millennial women who grew up in comfortable upper middle class homes and suddenly found themselves spending 90 percent of their incomes on rent, I think—but somewhere along the way GIRLS took a turn. The characters felt more like caricatures, the friendships made less sense, and how has Hannah still not grasped how money works?
Anyway, the best/worst nugget in this piece is Dunham's original pitch to HBO, which she made after her indie film Tiny Furniture became an unexpected hit. The pitch didn't describe much plot or character development, but boy was there tone!
They are the Facebook generation, and ironically enough the are isolated by all the connectivity available to them (and prone to Facebook stalking and drunk-IMing and booty calls via twitter and deciphering text messages like they're ancient hieroglyphs and blogging pictures of all the food they eat).
They are navigating the transition out of college-level codependence on their girlfriends, but will still call to announce that they got their period or saw a man masturbating on the subway or saw a man who looks sort of like a kid they went to camp with (could it be him? And if so, is he on Facebook?)
They're beautiful and maddening. They're self-aware and self-obsessed. They're your girlfriends and daugters (sic) and sisters and employees. They're my friends and I've never seen them on TV.
But to return to the days in which a GIRLS-esque plot was novel!
And yes, Dunham has realized her pitch was a little much. "I mean, it's the worst pitch you've ever read — pretentious and horrifying — but I remember writing it, sitting on the floor listening to Tegan and Sara in my underwear, being like, 'I'm a genius,'" she said.
The final season of GIRLS premieres on Sunday, February 12th—we'll be recapping all season long.