Does Lena Dunham Care About Girls' Haters?

The Season 2 premiere of the HBO series addresses some of its Season 1 criticisms while ignoring others.

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It doesn't appear our ladies have found any knights-in-flannel-armor just yet.

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Sex. The easiest—and perhaps most misleading—characterization of Girls is that it is "Sex and the City for the Millennial generation," which the show preemptively winked at with the Sex and the City poster in Shoshanna's apartment. Say what you want about the comparison, but the sex in Girls' city (Brooklyn, I guess?) certainly isn't as glamorous as Carrie & Co. In Season 1, Marnie compared her longtime boyfriend's touch to a weird uncle, Hannah's sexual encounters ranged from awkward to agonizing (and STD-inducing), and Shoshanna deplored her virginity. Slate's Katie Roiphe asked, "Is this 'realism' or an old-fashioned moralism very sleekly packaged for a new age?", joining The New Yorker and New York Times in its criticism. Season 2's Hannah is now having fun, healthy sex with Sandy—empowering, really, considering the needy turn her previous relationship took. But she refuses to emotionally commit to him ("Don't even say a joke love to me. I don't want to hear any love"). Shoshanna meanwhile feels rejected by her virginity-taker (Ray-fans will be please with how his character develops this season); and Marnie muses, "I actually realized the other day that I that I could go like eight months with no sex and i would be absolutely fine."

While the girls on Girls clearly have a lot to learn, the show itself, early in its second season, is already showing interesting development. But don't expect Dunham to stray too far from the series' original magic. As she told the Today show, "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're going to hate it even more."