Y’know how sometimes you’ll see a movie poster proudly proclaiming that a new release is “from the producer of…” something else, and you’ll shrug and chuckle to yourself, because, seriously, what does that actually tell you about the movie itself? I mean, if you read that there was a new HBO comedy series “from the producer of Bridesmaids” starting this week, centred around a group of twenty-something women living in New York, what would you expect? Probably something a little more raucous and racy than Girls, I bet, because the show clearly owes more to the aesthetic and comedic sensibility of its writer/director/star, Lena Dunham, than the ubiquitous, all-powerful Judd Apatow.
In all honesty, I checked out of this pilot sometime around the fifteen minute mark. I love the look of the show… all the Autumnal colours, and “shabby chic” apartments… and if I knew Dunham in real life, I would be crushing on her wicked hard, because she’s obviously a very talented auteur/actress, with some cool tattoos… but comedy-wise, this show just isn’t my cup of tea. It’s getting rave reviews from the real critics, and I don’t doubt that it’s well-crafted and worthy of all the praise… but for all my bitching about how 30 Rock was getting too “cartoon-y” the other day, I still prefer that show’s bizarre, quicksilver banter to this show’s more grounded, slice-of-life style. Not that brewing up a pot of opium pods during an informal dinner party is an everyday occurrence for most of us, of course… clearly comedic licence has been employed here… it just seems as if everything has been downplayed to the point that the jokes don’t really register with my desensitised brain. It’s like the anti-Spaced… and that’s not really what I was after, I’m afraid. Ack! Now I feel dumb for not appreciating it… and guilty somehow, as if I’m betraying my own feminist beliefs… but we can’t all like everything, right?
Oh, and in case anyone’s curious, there’s an interview with Apatow and Dunham on the Collider site, explaining how the show came about.