You’re Not Allowed To Question Lena Dunham’s Nudity (Please Make a Note Of It)

FILED TO: Media and Entertainment

HBO’s Girls returns tonight, which means that it’s once again time to be inundated with lengthy, pseudo-intellectual discussions among the digital media about a show very few people are actually watching. Even if you’re someone who can’t wait to ignore the new season of Lena Dunham’s mumblecore monstrosity, you won’t be able to avoid Lena Dunham’s naked body because it’s going to again be a topic of heated debate between people who think she’s single-handedly planting a flag for neo-feminist empowerment in the new millennium and people who can’t figure out what the hell it is that she’s doing. It’s rare that I agree with the women of Jezebel when they get on their soapboxes about one thing or another that’s pissing them off, but I agree that it’s tiresome that three years into this show — this insipid, unfunny, meandering piece of privileged white-girl provocation — we’re still talking about how confused we all are by Dunham’s incessant nudity.

Last Thursday, TV critic Tim Molloy of The Wrap attended a Television Critics Association panel featuring the cast and crew of Girls including Lena Dunham, executive producer Judd Apatow, and showrunner Jenni Konner, and aimed a question at Dunham during a Q&A session that was guaranteed to bring the wrath of the progressive and feminist media down on his head.

He said:

“I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.”

Admittedly a pretty blunt statement.

The immediate reaction was exactly what you would’ve expected; actually it was probably even more hostile than you would’ve expected. The backlash against Molloy’s comment began instantly, with Dunham responding, “Yeah. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem.” Anyone familiar with Dunham’s depthless and titanium-plated self-love will get that it’s the last part of this response that’s the giveaway. It’s a tip-of-the-cards revealing the real reason Dunham insists on being naked in her own show whenever possible, while also setting up the real trap for anyone who questions her doing so. Dunham thinks she’s the bee’s knees; she’s openly stated as much. And if you don’t agree then that’s obviously something for you to work out. It’s not her, it’s you. What’s more, you’re not allowed to offer criticism, only plaudits. That’s the implied deal: she should be afforded all manner of praise for her daring, but she should also be immune to any sort of judgment or questioning of the rationale behind why she chooses to bare all over and over again in a show where very few others are asked to do the same.

And that’s the point Molloy made after the panel was over, when Judd Apatow confronted him to tell him, as he did during the initial discussion itself, that the question he asked was “sexist and offensive” and “misogynist.” Molloy’s very reasonable response: “I’m not saying it’s bad that she’s nude… Everyone I know has wondered the same thing. I don’t understand as a writer, what the reason for it is… I’m trying to understand it as a TV critic. That’s my job.” He went on to say that Dunham’s gender has nothing to do with it, that if Louis C.K. chose to be naked in his own show in almost every episode there would be questions about that decision as well. Again, the response by Apatow is telling and inherently unfair: you’re not allowed to ask why Dunham does what she does because, well, she’s a woman and you just don’t do that. If you do, you’re a misogynist.

Bullshit. No matter how much of a “rage spiral about that guy” the executives behind Girls may have been going down in the face of Molloy’s question, Dunham chooses to draw attention to herself in that way, particularly when you take into consideration her own personality and the fact that her entire show is one giant self-obsessed navel-gaze, then there isn’t a thing wrong with asking her to explain why. And it’s mildly hypocritical for Dunham to be as blunt as she is in the context of her show — which she conveniently labeled a “feminist action” when offended by a porn parody’s depiction of the sex and nudity in Girls — and not expect to be asked in equally blunt terms to explain herself.

There are so many more questions and arguments you could throw into this discussion: The ways in which the feminist media who defend Dunham would very likely be losing their minds and hurling non-stop cries of narcissism if she were a conventionally beautiful woman; the fact that Dunham, despite claiming that her show is a “realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive,” leaves out plenty of unattractive functions her character would normally go through during the course of a real day; that, yes, none of the other characters are expected to be naked in the way Dunham’s is; the fact that whether Dunham chooses to acknowledge it or not, the nudity is an obviously forced distraction and one that most viewers recognize. (The fact that it’s what the show is most known for proves this.) But really what it most comes back to is the double-standard: being raked over the coals for asking a pointed question about a very pointed creative statement by a television writer, a statement which most viewers likely have the same question about.

HBO just ordered another season of Girls before even seeing the numbers for this one. Maybe that more than anything else proves how much the network banks on Lena Dunham’s continued knack for casual hipster provocation. And maybe that’s the very reason for that provocation in the first place. Because if we weren’t talking about Dunham’s nudity on the show, what the hell else about it would be getting our attention?


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  • Audrey Elmaleh

    I’m so sick of people calling this slob “brave” for getting naked. She’s vile. She needs to keep her clothes on. She grosses me out. Fucking cow.

  • Alias Darker

    not watching

  • Janet Flanigan

    I actually don’t think Lena Dunham really loves herself that much. A case of reverse “thou protesteth too much”. While she constantly flaunts her nudity (as Hannah), she seems to purposefully look as horri ble as possible. Terrible haircuts, ill-fitting and inappropriate clothes, tattoos that are so large as to almost be “disfiguring”- these do not seem to me the actions of a someone who loves herself. They seem to be someone who is just defiant about her self-loathing.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I had heard of this show but had avoided it up until now so i decided to downloaded it through Sky Catch Up TV.
    Frankly, I wish i had not bothered in all honesty because this show stinks to the high heaven !

    Ever since the inception of “American Pie” this seems to be the hallmark and benchmark of modern comedy where bodily functions and fluids form the essence and core of the thing.
    Lena Dunham has not hit upon something original here but is bandwagon jumping on shows and films that have done it all before.
    Basically the show is an intermixed hybrid of “Sex In The City”, “Bridget Jones Diary”, “Shameless UK & U.S.A” where the comedy is played for it’s gross out potential over any other substance.

    Her character seems to be a one of low self esteem but paradoxically narcissistic at the same time.
    She is a middle class woman with a sense of entitlement which is shown in her incredulity at her professor parents not to support her sordid and slobby lifestyle.
    She seems to go cap in hand to another equally unpleasant individual for sexual gratification.
    The man in question seems to just be interested in her for sex and views her more as a friend you have sex with rather than a partner.
    He does seem to be disinterested in her after the sordid deed is done, And it is sordid to say the least.
    I felt like i was watching some home made porn movie by some consenting couple than a Drama/Comedy show.
    I’m not easily shocked but it felt voyeuristic and left me violated at the same time, And to be honest it is gut wrenching stuff !
    Some will say it is real life but do we really need to see all this and would it not be better if some of the content was left to the imagination ?

    The English girl character in the show who is late in her cycle and thinks she is pregnant picks up a random stranger in the bar where they kiss and fondle each other in a stairwell with more gross out and bodily fluid comedy on display.

    I find Lena Dunham’s character hard to like ultimately sleazy and downright gut wrenching to watch.
    No more was this highlighted in the first few episodes when she thinks she has caught an S.T.D and is examined with legs akimbo by a female doctor wearing gloves and seems to derive pleasure from the normally traumatic episode as the screen fades to black.

    I have unfortunately downloaded the first three seasons of this bilge so i will stick with it but the sick bag will be on hand as this is cringe worthy stuff !

  • luke piestalker

    i’ve never sat thru one episode of girls. i’ve seen parts of a few episodes… and that’s really coz the show is not gripping at all. it might have been if allison williams were running around nude and getting bent over every episode… i suppose this naked gollum is their desperate attempt to make a statement, and that statement is somehow supposed to enlighten me.

    so i wont be tuning in… coz i don’t want this garbage on television anymore.

  • J. Audobon Woodlore

    LD is talentless and fugly. The SNL Girls spoof was spot on: whiners and losers whining about their lives. Naturally, fugly whiners adore the show.

  • Josh

    Not only is dunham ugly and fat but her voice is nails on a chalkboard and shes outright obnoxious; theres nothing “empowering” about her showing off her godawful “figure”, its tasteless and disrespectful to anyone with good vision. Shes the worst character on her own show, just sickening.

  • karen

    I have to say the parody of girls on SNL with Tina Fey was spot on.

  • fredo

    This generations woe is me narcissism. This girl is disgusting, and not just on a physical level. I watched this show one time and didn’t even make it all the way through. I thought they were joking about the nudity! I wonder what was wrong with young women these days, and now I know. It is this show.

  • MostGrumpyJim

    If Lena Dunham’s character (and the accompanying narcissism, neuroses, self loathing, superficiality, and general lacking of virtually any redeeming qualities) is representative of women, then I am proudly a misogynist.

    If Dunham’s character is, rather, simply the portrait of a boring, shallow, profoundly annoying person who also just happens to be a woman – anyone tossing out accusations of misogyny at those who criticize the character and/or Dunham for manufacturing it should be ashamed of themselves.

    • rahjeed

      I want to bake you cookies.

  • HayesOose

    Weird, a show “nobody watches,” but almost everyone here is complaining that its star is always naked.

  • RenoRick

    I really wanted to like this show. I watched the first 2 episodes and figured it wouldn’t last 1 season. It is really that bad. The forced dialogue alone was enough. But since Brooklyn is hip now, we have a fourth season of Girls.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I’ve never watched a single episode of Girls, but now I want to just to see what everyone is making such a fuss about it.

  • diarrhea bride

    Let’s be honest. The question (which is a bullshit one) is really “Why are you naked so much when you’re not even hot?” Sex in the City, a similar show about privileged white ladies and their friendships and love lives, was awash in Kim Cattrall’s tits but I don’t recall anyone asking her why she felt the need to show them. I don’t understand why people become enraged when they see a naked body that doesn’t give them a boner.

    • Gunnut2600

      But that show was about four transgender/homosexual men. I realize that this may shock people. but generally, homosexual men, especially ones who live in a highly open segment of society, generally express their sexuality much more open than straight men or women.

      I’ll put it this way…could you imagine the dialogue from Sex in the City taking place in The Wire? Of course not. And the opposite would be true as well. Similarly, whether or not the nudity is just there for for superficial reasons in Girls or that Dragon show is a valid topic of discussion, whether or not the people involved are deemed attractive.

      • diarrhea bride

        What are you on about?

        • Gunnut2600

          Oh come on honey…believing that Carrie and the gals were straight women is like thinking Moby Dick is about a whale. There was no way the original show, featuring four gay men, would ever see the light of day. You have to remember, this was before white people co-opted gay culture.

          • J. Audobon Woodlore

            Another gay man who thinks every hit show is actually just a hidden subtext for gay men. Yawn.

          • Gunnut2600

            It took you five months to think of that?

            You must be fun at parties!

          • J. Audobon Woodlore

            Thanks for proving my point.

          • Gunnut2600

            Oh honey…you really should stick to the biannual responses. You need the build up.

          • J. Audobon Woodlore

            This from a guy whose diet is semen and santorum. My ego will manage.

          • Gunnut2600

            Oh you are just sassy aren’t you?

          • theHIGHevilutionary

            “white people co-opted gay culture” Just nuke this entire fawking world already.

    • Brandon Allen

      Except that Kim Cattrall wasn’t in charge of writing the stories which required her to be naked. The real question is why aren’t the other cast members naked as often.

      • J. Audobon Woodlore

        Because Kim had the best tits.

        • Brandon Allen

          First off, I posted this 5 months ago. Secondly I was referring to the show “Girls” with the question. The point of my entire post is that Lena Dunham writes the show in which she appears naked more often than any other cast member.

          • J. Audobon Woodlore

            The internet lives forever.
            I know you meant Lena writes that sh!t.
            And I was saying why we saw Kim’s rack more than the other 3.

    • Vermillion

      Um, no, that wasn’t the question. He asked what was the purpose of her nudity in relation to the show. She doesn’t seem to be do it for the same reasons as GoT or even Sex and the City, which were pretty up front with their intentions (as he said, “to titillate”). It sounds like he wanted clarification to what exactly her message was.

      Now you can argue that he was being snide or obtuse, in that he didn’t address the constant repetition of said question. But really, if so many people are still asking this question, isn’t that a bit on Dunham to give a clearer answer?

      From what I read about the show, it seems like Dunham wants her cake and eats it too. She wants people to take her show seriously and have a message, but she also wants to indulge in the absurdity and silliness with impunity. She doesn’t want her nudity to be a big deal, but she also wants it to influence and change people’s perceptions. She wants the attention, but no controversy.

      Either she is trying to send a message or not. She can’t have it both ways.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        You honestly think Dunham wants no controversy? Clearly she does, because she writes scripts that deliberately provoke people. If you are provoked by her work, then some internal discourse should be happening about why it gets to you so much. I mean, is the artist responsible for how you react to the art? I say no. It’s a free country. You don’t have to interact with Dunham or GIRLS in any way, but here you are, commenting about her in your free time. In my estimation, that’s a win for her.

        • Vermillion

          Yeah, I don’t buy into that “any attention is good attention/don’t like, don’t watch/read/etc.” crap. It asks for a quick dismissal of any criticism based on the idea that people should be allowed to stay in their bubbles and never hear any contradictory opinions. I want to learn about experiences different than mine, but I also don’t want to waste my time looking for meaning where there isn’t any.

          The artist isn’t responsible for the reaction, no. She is responsible for making the message clear if people keep asking what the hell is it supposed to mean. If there is no meaning, if this is some “death of the author” thing, then she should say so and let people get whatever message they want. But she doesn’t do that. She keeps acting like people are missing some grand point, but what is it? And how is her show unique in expressing that message?

          Poking someone in the head is provoking. It doesn’t automatically mean you want them to respond to you negatively. That is the controversy I mean. She wants people to talk about her and her show, but only in the way she wants.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            But if you don’t like it, why in the world would you watch it? There is so much interesting TV out there, not to mention books, etc. Why would you waste time and energy on something you actively dislike? I don’t understand this. I’m not being facetious. I really don’t get it.

            It’s not a quick dismissal of criticism. It seems like the author of this piece and several of the commenters have nothing but hate and contempt for Dunham. I see no even-handed “well, I like the overall narrative, but…” It’s all “Dunham is a privileged narcissist with nothing to say, and WHY IS SHE SO NAKED!?!”

            The difference between GIRLS and a poke in the head is, the poke in the head is involuntary. Interacting with any aspect of Lena Dunham is entirely voluntary. This takes the teeth out of any virulent criticism, to me. This is HBO. You have to go out of your way to pay to see this.

            As for the (in my opinion disingenuous) repeated calls for Dunham to “explain why” she is naked so much… come on. She isnt trying to titillate, you say. Why do you say that? I know for some it’s unthinkable, but I have seen various people comment that they do find her attractive. However, I agree that’s not solely the reason for her nudity. I don’t think, though, that she goes out of her way to be nude. She just doesn’t cover up when her character would be nude. There really is a lot less nudity on this show than there is on, for instance, Spartacus. It does not seem excessive to me. I don’t find it particularly egregious, provocative, or even all that notable.

            So this need for her to explain– why does she need to explain it? It’s not a big deal. I cannot fathom why anyone thinks it warrants some special conversation about why it’s happening. Why do you demand her to explain herself? It seems a little demented to me, no offense.

          • Vermillion

            Well, first off, I don’t watch it. Nothing about the show appeals to me. I accept that I am not it’s target demographic. Ironically enough, this is probably because the show just doesn’t seem like a new experience to me; I have seen better elsewhere.

            A lot of sites I visit (like this one) and a lot of writers I enjoy reading (like this one) DO talk about the show. So while I do not watch it personally, I am kept abreast of the opinions surrounding it, if through nothing more than pop culture osmosis.

            As far as the “titllate” issue, the reason people can’t accept that as her goal is her responses. She gets quite hypocritical at times, like with the whole “all-day sex weekend with attractive guy” storyline. It was described by Dunham herself as a response to the male fantasy of having a female companion who is “out of their league” so to speak. Basically that is was her taking that tired trope and playing with it, getting to enjoy the same indulgence as male actors do. That I did not mind, in fact, even applauded…until she started complaining about people criticizing it.

            Here is my thing with Dunham and the whole “Girls” brouhaha: she either wants people to treat every damn thing on that show as some sort of feminist statement, or she wants people to treat her like no big deal, because this stuff should be accepted anyway. The former has its place, but the latter is a subtle and sincere attempt to present an alternative to the majority viewpoint. Such a thing isn’t an enigma, a strange new concept that must be explained. It simply IS, and there is no reason to argue about it.

            I compare it to a TV show doing a Very Special Episode, and a show doing an episode with something important as part of the story: one is blatant and out of place, clearly shoehorned in just to make that point, and will be forgotten by the end of the episode. But the latter is part of the story’s development, and can have lasting effects that make it stronger and more memorable. Dunham wants the Very Special Episode, but also wants to act like it is a natural evolution of the story.

            I don’t get why there is a brouhaha IN THE FIRST PLACE. It isn’t even that popular of a show on its own network. But because there is this echo chamber on the internet that insists on making everything about it a big deal, and unfortunately a lot of my favorite places are caught up in it, I have to put up with it. And if I have to do that, then I’m gonna put my two cents in.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            I appreciate your well-reasoned response, and we agree more than disagree on some points.

            I do want to address your point about the “all-day sex weekend” episode. It was an inversion of the “outta your league” hook ups… BUT. The reason it did not work out with Hannah and her weekend fling was not because she was not attractive enough physically. It was because she is an immature, venal, self-absorbed girl child, and he realized that. This was deliberate on Dunham’s part. You are supposed to cringe when she alienates him. There was no big, self-righteous feminist narrative there, as some critics claimed. I’d retort that they saw what they wanted to see.

            But you have to realize, the backlash about his episode was not about the outcome. The backlash was that she could hook up with someone who looks like Patrick Wilson AT ALL. That was the sole bone of contention (so to speak). And that is bullsh!t, pardon my french. It’s like people were offended that Lena Dunham could even think that she could ever have a weekend sex-fest with someone that good looking. Sorry, but that is an idiotic, unfair criticism.

            You would think the critics would have reveled in the fact that Hannah was rejected at the end for her own lameness. But no, they focused on the handsomeness of her hook up. Can you see why the critics seem so strident to me? And why it seems so mean-spirited? Dunham is a lot more self-aware than her critics give her credit for.

          • Vermillion

            I suppose that is where I get lost; I don’t get why she HAS to respond at all. If she really, truly wants the work to speak for itself, then let it. The message will get through to some and be lost on others, as it is with any message. If people are gonna complain about that aspect of the episode, they were never going to “get it”, and any more explanation would be moot. AS I said, I actually applauded the episode, at least before I heard her complain about the mean things people said about it.

            I get why she would be fed up with people questioning the nudity, and even to say that it’s their problem, not hers. But that isn’t what she said. The guy asked what was the point of it at all, since he didn’t get it from a thematic perspective. But she (and Apatow) took it to mean that he wanted to be attracted to her, but couldn’t. As it sounded to me, he was saying the nudity in GoT was pretty superfluous to the meat of the story, and could be held separate from the work in a way that Dunham’s nudity on Girls couldn’t.

            My main problem isn’t the show itself; but the unbelievable cachet it has and the hubris that Dunham has about it. I could see it working a lot better if people didn’t insist that it was this mega-amazing show OR this utter shitstorm. It is a fairly banal sitcom (and it is a sitcom) that has a somewhat clever twist in its material and POV. And really, all the “outrageous” stuff is pretty ludicrous and feels like it is only there because “it’s not TV, it’s HBO”. Dunham may joke about eing “the voice of a generation” on the show, but her attitude about any criticism makes it clear that she certainly thinks her show is much more than a few laughs.

            I don’t know, I just don’t have a lot of tolerance for people wanting to
            do something controversial and daring, and then turning around and
            whining when people actually criticize it. If someone is seeking to make people confront their long-held viewpoints, it seems more effective to me to present the alternative and question why their way is so much better, than to outright demand they accept this new one. I would rather a creator ask
            “why do you feel that way?” rather than state “you should/shouldn’t feel that

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Can’t you see that she’s in a Catch-22? If she is being asked the question repeatedly and refuses to answer, you have people saying (as they have in the comments here), “Why won’t she answer the question? Huh? HUH!?” I feel like she can’t win for losing, because people aren’t really questioning the nudity. They are wondering why someone they find unattractive feels the need to flaunt her body. That is how it comes off to me, and that is what she is responding to.

            Similarly, come on. She got PILLORIED for the “sex weekend” episode. People lost their minds over the temerity that she had to believe that someone as ugly and gross and awful as her (not Hannah, HER) could EVER hook up with someone that hot. What would you like her to respond to that? Nothing? Any artist would respond to such vile, personal, and frankly hateful comments. It made me angry vicariously, because yeah, it was misogynist, and yeah, it was about hatred for Dunham, not for the content of the show, which explained both character’s rationales for that hook up very carefully and well. Nope. Couldn’t happen. Because Dunham is too ugly. PLEASE.

            The entire premise of this post and of Molloy’s comment are that Game of Thrones is showing nudity to titillate… wrong. Anyone who has read/watched the show knows that is as false WRT GoT as it is WRT GIRLS. Both of them have their thematic reasons, but only Dunham is called on the carpet for it. This is the hypocrisy she is pointing out, and rightly so.

            It’s not a criticism of the show to say “Why is she nude so much?” because if you watch the show without a jaundiced eye, all the nudity makes sense and isn’t worthy of much comment. They’re just tits, folks. It’s not Dunham who is making a big deal about her tits. It’s everyone else, and she’s responding by changing not a damn thing. And good for her. It’s only people who seem to have this huge, personal ax to grind with Dunham who bring it up. I could launch into a big explanation of her reasoning, but I feel like that dignifies idiotic questions like Molloy’s with a response it doesn’t deserve.

            I don’t see Dunham’s response as whining AT ALL. Pazienza’s response here? Totally whining. “You’re not allowed to criticize Dunham’s nudity!” is just BS. You’re allowed to question it. Who is stopping you? But if you do it in some very nasty, pointed way that roundly ignores the content of the show, then expect a nasty, pointed response. Pazienza says, “Yeah, Molloy’s question is blunt.” No, it wasn’t blunt. It was rude and accusatory and Apatow responded in kind. Put on your big boy panties and get over it. If you want to start a fight, then be prepared for what you get back.

            I also have to disagree with you that it’s a fairly banal sitcom. It’s a sitcom, but I find it anything but banal. To me, it’s in the same class as Louie in terms of what it brings to the table.

          • Vermillion

            Dunham and Apatow are conflating honest questions with sexism. Yes, there are people who bitch and moan about less-than-pretty people daring to show themselves. And I am sure the same people would complain about some unattractive GoT character showing all as well. But just because some folks are being sexist, it doesn’t mean treating any questioning of the nudity as sexist in and of itself. That is the “trap” Molloy mentions: either the nudity is supposed to be salacious like in GoT (which is considered sexist, both when it does and when it doesn’t), or it’s for some other purpose (which they keep alluding to, but only ever mention as “it’s true to life”). If the nudity is supposed to be attractive and get people accepting it, she certainly acts like she didn’t expect such a strong backlash from decades of media normalizing an unrealistic physical form. Being attracted to someone, or not attracted, is not sexist or misogynistic. If the guy had insisted on say, Allison Williams should be the one most naked on Girls, then I can see sexism and misogyny. But simply asking “why all the nudity?” is not. And, also, there have been plenty of people who questioned the nudity and sex in GoT for far better reason, seeing as how there is not nearly as much in the books it’s based on.

            That’s why I said she wants the attention, but no controversy. People were gonna give her shit the second she decided to take her clothes off on that show, no matter what she looked like. Hell, if she was more conventionally attractive, they would still be a loud contingent of people saying she was full of herself and only getting naked to get low-brow males to tune in (and still meatheads saying she wasn’t hot enough for them). She wants people to talk about her show, but doesn’t seem to realize that, unless she has something to distract from the nudity (again, like GoT) that’s all anybody will talk about, because that is the thing most appealing and common to the mass audience. It would be the same with anyone doing the same thing. hell, look at the flack Jon Voight got for his nudity in Ray Donovan. But Dunham doesn’t sound like somebody who is weathering a storm to get people to realize her point. She sounds like an unsure creator who wants to be taken seriously, but as soon as people challenge her, she retreats into her protective shell and throws out claims of sexism.

            As far as the show’s quality, I just don’t have any connection to it. There is no frame of reference that I find with the show that makes it watchable. And no unusual spin to make it interesting. The characters live a life that I don’t and will never want to experience or know about on a regular basis.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            First of all, I don’t agree with the general premise of Molloy’s question. I don’t think there is a lot of nudity. Hannah is nude before, during, and after sex, in the bathtub, and in her own apartment, if she’s getting dressed or changing clothes. It’s not gratuitous, it’s not particularly salacious. She is nude more than the average TV show character, but I would never think it was a big deal unless people like Molloy found it so intrusive and for some reason require some explanation. To me, Molloy’s question sounds kind of strident, an attempt to start a fight. Note that it was Apatow who used the word sexism, not Dunham.

            You don’t like the show, and I get that. It’s not for everyone. But I wish people would stop confusing Dunham with Hannah. They’re not the same person.

          • Vermillion

            Well, there you have it. You don’t feel the nudity is too much. Fair enough. But some people do. I myself just don’t see the point in seeing her nude at times when what transpires during those periods doesn’t necessarily warrant it. Yeah, people are naked in their lives, but must those points be documented so thoroughly? Is there anything going on in the scene that necessitates it? Hell, if it was a case of Dunham being the only one that would get naked on a constant basis without extra compensation, I could respect that a lot more than a vague artistic statement.

            Dunham and Hannah are about as different as, well, Louie CK and Louie. Or Larry David and Larry on CYE. Yes, some aspects may be fictionalized, but the views and emotions being expressed are still Dunham’s. And yes, Hannah’s body is still Dunham’s. She can try to separate the criticism of the character from herself as much as she wants, but from her responses, I highly doubt she does. Those guys are willing to take flack for the sake of their work, even if it makes them look bad. But Dunham doesn’t. She wants to have the unsympathetic protagonist, but she also wants sympathy through that protagonist.

            Now that I think about it, that isn’t even my problem with Dunham and Apatow’s response above. It isn’t “you just don’t get it”, it’s “you must don’t like women” or some such nonsense. Disagreeing or criticizing ONE woman is considered the same as criticizing ALL women, or even all women like Dunham. It is a zero-sum game, and nobody wins. In fact, maybe if Apatow didn’t play white knight, I could accept that both her and the interviewer were being kinda facetious. But he took it to another level with his remarks.

            Look, she can make her show any way she wants. I am fine with that. And people can talk about it any way they want. That’s not gonna change. But just as I am tired of the constant overblown reaction to her taking her clothes off, I am tired of people acting like any disinterest in the same should be treated like he-man woman hating. I really want both sides to shut up about the nekkidness and focus on the actual substance on the show, which is supposedly what EVERYBODY wants.

            No disrespect, but I am going to wrap this up here. I just find that there are things much more worthy of both our time and considerable commenting prowess than this particular subject.

            So let’s agree on some, and even agree to disagree on others.

          • Esskay

            I enjoyed the show for a while..but tired of the hannah character and wished more time would be spent on the rest of the cast whose quirks were more interesting…really they could have killed off hannah early on and it would have at least given her a purpose. As for the nudity who cares, it is as pointless as anything else that is done to develop the character. At least if provided some comic relief for some (and a gross factor for others.) And yes, Dunham is not Hannah, though she obviously wants everyone to think she is.

    • CL Nicholson

      The difference is that Sex and the City weren’t pretending to be some form of ‘New Feminism’ and a ‘voice of a generation’. It was a mostly funny show about rich white women that rarely took itself too seriously. It was knew it was stupid and gladly ran with that stupidity for years. Basically, Kim Catrall naked half the time because her character was a sexpot who, well, ran around naked.

      ‘Girls’ is pretentious drivel too self important to be self aware. I’ve watched most of the two seasons for ‘Girls’ on and half the time Dunham is nude makes no sense and adds little to the scene. I just think she doesn’t like clothing. Add on top of the fact most of the storylines are privilege hipsters pretending their lives are actually hard, makes the ‘let’s get nekkid’ meme all the more puzzling.

      • diarrhea bride

        I am amazed you have watched the show. The line, which the character drunkenly slurs to her parents, who are supporting her is, “I’m the voice of my generation….I mean a voice…of a generation.” It’s meant to ridicule the hubris and stupidity of being in your 20s. Girls makes fun of itself all the time. The characters are always getting their come-uppance in funny, humiliating ways.

    • karen

      All of Samantha’s nudity made sense because it was in the context of having sex and all of the other characters were shown in varying levels of nudity in the context of having sex also. With Girls the majority of nudity stands out as painfully contrived because it is all the time no matter the situation – sometimes it is consistent with happenings of everyday life (i.e. sex, bathing, getting dressed) but then why is this level of realism reserved for just one character? Many times it is not consistent with the situation and thereby acts as a distraction from what is happening in the scene. You are left wondering what purpose is this serving – a sure sign of poor writing. I actually enjoy some aspects of the show but almost feel compelled to watch it in that train wreck sense. I feel kinda sad to see the way her nakedness is frequently framed in such a way that she is humiliated, pitied, used/abused and looked down upon by the other characters mainly because my body type is not unlike hers. If it is everyday realism she is going for then she needs to be consistent across characters show them all going to the toilet or throwing their clothes on after sex, again if she simply wants to break convention by being nude on a show despite not being the epitome of the beauty ideal – kudos but it needs to be balanced by again being consistent across with nudity across the characters or at least used sparingly.

  • jewelbomb

    While Girls certainly is not perfect, the vitriolic tone of this piece (and a lot of the criticism thrown around at Dunham) says a lot. I mean, it’s clear that you don’t like the show. Whatever. Maybe it’s not your thing. But the palpable anger your writing evinces is seriously creepy. Guess what? There’s a lot of art that doesn’t appeal to me. I simply ignore it. You don’t understand the show’s use of nudity? Fine, no one is making you watch it. Go play Grand Theft Auto or whatever you’re into. Seriously, the tone of this piece suggests you see the show’s very existence as some kind of threat or provocation. As someone said earlier in the thread, it’s precisely the enraged reaction that the show gets from old-guy squares who don’t get it that makes what Dunham does so important. Rather than just dismissing things that make you uncomfortable and throwing around the meaningless epithet “hipster,” you might be a bit more charitable towards art that is challenging and ask yourself why it bugs you so much. Then again, it’s probably less effort to pick up the new Nine Inch Nails record and pretend we still live in the ’90s instead.

    • HayesOose

      “…old-guy squares…”

      Hey, don’t call Mr Pazienza a square. Did you know he’s into Nine Inch Nails? He’s a hep cat…

      • Lady Willpower

        Oh, OK.

    • J. Audobon Woodlore

      Dunham isn’t important. Girls isn’t art. You just want an excuse to let yourself go.

      • jewelbomb

        What the hell are you talking about? The amount of coverage, both positive and negative, that her show has received suggests she and her work are somewhat culturally important. Your assertion that Girls isn’t art is just your opinion, and you provide no evidence to back it up. As far as me wanting an excuse to let myself go…um, eat a dick dude. You know nothing about me.

        • J. Audobon Woodlore

          You’ve just told us a lot about you, and none of it is good. Thanks for playing.

          • jewelbomb

            More content-free bullshit.

    • PoodaChuts

      “…it’s precisely the enraged reaction that the show gets from old-guy squares who don’t get it that makes what Dunham does so important.” – You

      Why is it so important to enrage people?

      • jewelbomb

        Because doing art differently tends to make squares mad. It’s not really important to enrage people, but enraging people can be a sign that a person’s art is challenging or innovative.

  • HayesOose

    “Admittedly a pretty blunt statement.”

    Well, it was also very stupid.

    But I can see how a bore like Mr Pazienza would feel compelled to go all Sarah Palin/Phil Robertson on his readers, the dozens of them, with the observation that somehow “You” are “not allowed” to say jackassy stupid shit about Lena Dunham’s nudity.

    • Peter James

      How is it “jackassy stupid shit” to ask an “artist” (if we can even call her that, without laughing uproariously) why they choose to make a certain “artistic” decision of their so-called creative expression?

      Most artists (real ones) would jump at the chance to explain their creative process, and not get all offended at the simplest of challenges to their work.

      And try to see if you can answer it without devolving into 3rd grade playground level insults, otherwise spare me your juvenile rants.

      • Synthmatrix

        Brilliant response Peter James!

      • ShaoLinKitten

        It’s funny that you are criticizing Dunham’s defenders’s comments as “3rd grade playground level insults” and not looking at all the ad hominem attacks against Dunham as a person in this article. If this were a question about the art, then Dunham’s personality would be irrelevant to the conversation. I don’t know her, I don’t care about her personal self-esteem levels, her alleged narcissism, privilege, etc. I watch the show to watch the show, not to critique Dunham as a human being. The purpose of her nudity is the fact that it is a slice of life. She doesn’t aritificially cover up Hannah when she’s having sex, or in the bathtub. And yes, she has also been shown on the toilet. If you feel provoked by it, then I think the real question is, why is her nudity such a big issue for you? IMO her nudity is not excessive. Watch a show like Spartacus on STARZ. There is so much nudity in that show, yet I hear literally no one complaining about it. I wonder if it’s because everyone on the show is so beautiful.

        This article seethes with rage, and is full to the brim with ad hominen attacks on Dunham rather than objective criticism of the show. The upshot seems to be that the author is very upset that Dunham doesn’t hate herself as much as he hates her. No one is forcing him to watch the show. You can easily avoid every aspect of Dunham and GIRLS, as most people do. If you are watching enough to diagnose how much nudity it has across multiple episodes, I have to question your reason for engaging so much with the art of someone you claim to dislike so much.

        • Peter James

          >>>>>”It’s funny that you are criticizing Dunham’s defenders’s comments as “3rd grade playground level insults” and not looking at all the ad hominem attacks against Dunham as a person in this article.”

          You know, I went back and read the entire article SPECIFICALLY because of your response to me – for the express purpose of trying to find an ad hominem attack against Dunham.

          And guess what? I didn’t find one.

          NOt a single one.

          So please, be a dear and point out to me where exactly the author launched an Ad hominem (assuming you even know the meaning of the phrase) attack on Dunham.

          Take your time.

          I’ll wait.

          And it better not be his assertion regarding her hypocrisy – because that’s a point he defended by highlighting exactly how she’s a hypocrite.

          It also better not be his point about her double standards, because again, he explained exactly how he sees her indulging in this.

          Lastly, it better not be his OPINION of her show being a “mumblecore monstrosity” or an “insipid, unfunny meandering piece of privileged white-girl provocation”.

          These are his OPINIONS of what her show is.

          YOu know how those work, right? And how they specifically differ from Ad hominem attacks?

          So if you please, I’ll be here waiting for you to point out where exactly he launched an ad hominem attack on her, and try not to abuse the English language in your reponse or the common understanding or semantics and the meanings of words.

        • Peter James

          >>>>”The purpose of her nudity is the fact that it is a slice of life. ”

          Actually, she claims that the purpose of the nudity is because it’s ” realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive,” (Which is ridiculous on the face of it, and as an explanation, but whatever. I don’t define my reality, life or realism in general by nudity and the concept of the nude body , and I hardly know that many people who are not porn actors that do.)

          right before she turns it into all about her, but claiming his issue with the nudity is because he doesnt’ like her (as if he’s supposed to, or worse yet, as if that’s supposed to even matter or be relevant to the question) and that really it’s his problem (thanks for that expressive and well-detailed answer).

          >>>”If you feel provoked by it, then I think the real question is, why is her nudity such a big issue for you?”

          Because it’s pointless and more to the point needlessly superfluous to the function of relaying the narrative (if there was even one to relay) to the point of being distracting, which is probably the function anyway – the distract from the fact that this is a hollow show with no real substance to speak of.

          A gimmick, if you may – and a one-trick pony.

          >>>>”Watch a show like Spartacus on STARZ. There is so much nudity in that show, yet I hear literally no one complaining about it. I wonder if it’s because everyone on the show is so beautiful.”

          No it’s probably because unlike Girls, Spartacus is a period piece based in a time of history when nudity was actually a part of not just how people looked but how they interacted with each other.

          To wit, most of the nudity in Spartacus tends to be expressed in the characters of the Gladiators and the servants – who by their definition are SLAVES (a key aspect of a show centered on the real and actual Servile revolt that occurred in the Roman Empire with real and actual historical characters).

          SLAVES, if I have to remind you – were not exactly gifted with a great deal of clothing and a key aspect of their existence was the fact that they were expected to always be “on show” for their Dominus’ and masters – to the exten that they were also expected to be ready and willing to be raped by their masters (yet another thing that was repeatedly shown on the show).

          So yeah, the nudity in Spartacus actaully served a multifold purpose.

          Whether it was for historical accuracy, or to express the brutality and cruelty of how the Romans treated their slaves leading to the revolt upon which the show is actually centered, or even simply to titillate and attract eyeballs as the showrunners and producers opnely and freely admitted.

          BUT….it wasn’t just a gimmick, and anachronistic like it is in Girls which is unrealistic in it’s context in modern day New York.

          How’s that for an explanation?

          You’d think that an “accomplished” writer like Dunham would be able to fashion something similar, of a work of “art” she created without devolving to taking a juvenile cheapshot at the person asking the question instead of taking the opportunity to defend her work using the tool for which she’s become so “famous” – her ability to express herself..

          • ShaoLinKitten

            It isn’t pointless. I have seen every episode of this show, sometimes more than once. The nudity is not pointless, not offensive, not excessive, not in any way worthy of great comment. You are just incorrect about this. People who watch the show regularly (you know, the audience for the show, not disaffected people with axes to grind) do not find it noteworthy. Thus, the entire premise for your argument, and Molloy’s, is invalid.

            You are also wrong about Spartacus. There is rampant, pointless nudity, not just of slaves, but of the Romans, random people in the streets, in the arena, just… everyone. Gratuitous nudity that did not serve the plot whatsoever and was completely unnecessary to the point of the show. Have you watched the show? If so, you know what I mean. But nary a fatty or flabby one amongst them, so it’s cool with you.

          • J. Audobon Woodlore

            Fawning. Fangirl.

        • Peter James

          >>>>>”This article seethes with rage, and is full to the brim with ad hominen attacks on Dunham rather than objective criticism of the show. ”

          I hope you don’t need me to remind you that this sentence will remain irrelevant and wholly pointless UNTIL you actually provide proof of these so-called Ad HOminem attacks.

          Just a single one will do.

          How you perceive rage in the article is beyond me, but seems in keeping with both Dunham’s and fans of her show’s deluded and over-inflated sense of self and air of self-importance.

          >>>>”The upshot seems to be that the author is very upset that Dunham doesn’t hate herself as much as he hates her.”

          That’s all in your head.

          It would be a laughable waste of emotion and effort to expend such a strong impulse like “hate” on Dunham.

          Nobody expects her to hate herself (that is clearly a virtually impossible happenstance given the size of the ego we’re dealing with here- her response to someone asking her about the nudity on her show, was to tell the person to seek professional help for his problem of not being into her or digging her, and generally not genuflecting in a grovelling manner at the mere sight of her. Okay that last one was an exaggeration – but clearly not that far off).

          A little bit of perspective, humility and generally dialing down the odious “me me me” wouldn’t hurt her cause.

          >>>>” If you are watching enough to diagnose how much nudity it has across multiple episodes, I have to question your reason for engaging so much with the art of someone you claim to dislike so much.”

          Actually I’ve only watched a handful of episodes, and needless to say they ALL had pointelss nudity in it. So it’s not like I don’t know what I’m talking about.

          And my argument is actually in response to the treatment that Malloy (the writer,…. who I’m sure watches more episodes as part of his JOB) received from Dunham, Apatow and showrunner Jennifer Konner.

          He’s was simply doing his job and asking a well-reasoned question, which a lot of people ask about the show.

          There was no cause for them to devolve into their childish, harpie-ish attacks him, simply because they lack the capacity to maturely respond in a reasoned and measured manner to what he said.

          I’ll be here at the corner waiting for your response outlining in painstaking details, the parts in the article where the writer launched the so-called “Ad hominem” attacks on Dunham.

          Just remember the rules above.

          To recap.

          If you think is an “ad hominem attack” has actually been accompanied by a well-reasoned explanation for why he feels that way about her, then it likely isn’t an Ad himinem attack as those by their nature imply that they are not well-reasoned or in need of any defending.

          Likewise for OPINIONS.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            The entire premise of this article is that “Dunham’s depthless and titanium-plated self-love” is the reason that she’s naked so much, and that she therefore believes that a) she should be nude all the time, and b) why she can’t be questioned. So much wrong with this, where to begin? Of course this is an ad hominem attack– the entire article is about Dunham, how her show is a reflection of her narcissistic self-love, and how we must all bow down to her and never question her.

            If you reread the article as you claim, you would realize that she never said the questioner should seek professional help. She simply said, that’s your problem. AND IT IS. IF you are watching a show, week after week, that you find without value, then you do have a problem. No one is forcing you to look at Lena Dunham’s naked body. You are choosing to do this. It seems like masochism on your part, and that is indeed your problem.

            You have only watched a handful of episodes, yet you feel like you are an expert who can toss of hundred (maybe more) words in the comments section here about why the show sucks. Wow. Now who has the titanium plated ego?

          • HayesOose

            “She simply said, that’s your problem. AND IT IS.”


          • Lady Willpower

            You don’t have to be into her or NOT into her to think that the nudity is a cheap stunt.

          • HayesOose

            Then call it a cheap stunt and be done with it.

            Just don’t howl like a Palin that you’re “not allowed” when someone calls you an idiot for it.

          • Lady Willpower

            Sure. I’m certain that would get a nice, measured, respectful response.

          • HayesOose

            Are you somehow *owed* a response that you believe to be nice, measured, and respectful? If that is the case, I think you’d best stay away from challenging the motives of artists to their faces, in stupid, stupid, jackassy stupid terms.

          • Lady Willpower

            Well aren’t you a peach.

        • J. Audobon Woodlore

          You’re a fawning fangirl.

      • HayesOose

        He didn’t “ask” anything, Mr James. He made a statement, basically boils down to an assertion that the only point of nudity in a work is to provide his intellectually lazy ass with “titillation,” was stupid, stupid, jackassy stupid.

        Chez’s claim that people are “not allowed” to criticize the artist. Hardly. He’s whining that someone chose instead to criticize the critic.

        Chez likes “edgy” so long as it’s from well-stocked bins at the mall.

        • Peter James

          >>>”He didn’t “ask” anything, Mr James.”

          His first sentence was this:

          >>>>”“I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show.”

          With the implied question being “What is the purpose of all the nudity of the show.

          Is someone tells you, they don’t get the reason you’re doing something, they’re asking you why you’re doing that thing.

          Furthermore, he goes on to say to Apatow himself,-

          >>>>”I don’t understand as a writer, what the reason for it is… I’m trying to understand it as a TV critic. That’s my job.””

          You’re seriously going to sit there and tell me that you don’t see the question being posed and asked in that sentence?

          Does it seriously need to have a question mark at the end of it for you to accept that he was inquiring information from the person he was talking to, or,is it just that you expect other people to read, understand, digest and breakdown for you what is otherwise straight-forward simple and easily comprehensible English?

          Furthermore, the comment he made about “titillation” was inn reference to Game of Thrones, and not of his opinion of the real reason for nudity in Girls.

          Forget understanding simple things; you can’t even read simple straight-forward things correctly without incorrectly attributing what was said to the wrong .party.

          This is somehow not shocking at all.

          >>>>>”Chez’s claim is that people are “not allowed” to criticize the artist. Hardly. He’s whining that someone chose instead to criticize the critic.”

          The only “whining” I’m seeing here is of Dunham and her producers,of the audacity of this TV critic doing his job inquiring something that a lot of people do ask – in place of actually defending their work of “art”, – and also of her fans on this comment board that someone dare call out the hollowness and insipid lack of substance in their hero’s “opus”.

          If you can’t stand criticism or being judged on your work, then maybe you should get out of the business where people will inevitable criticize you, judge your work, and call you out for your bullshit as they see necessary.

          At the end of the day, no one is forcing you to read this article, and Chez is welcome to his opinion of the show and Dunham as is anyone else here commenting whether you like it or not.

          • HayesOose

            The very headline of the piece is a whine.

            And I’ll stick with my original point: It wasn’t a question, it was a critical comment. Yes, it served to challenge Dunham to justify her art. Her response was not that he “wasn’t allowed” to offer up his stupid, stupid, jackassy stupid critique, it was to bluntly suggest that maybe she wasn’t that into him, that maybe he should stick to the *engrossing* drama and plotting of Sons of Anarchy.

            And there you go again: There is no argument from me that states I am being forced to read Chez’s piece. I’ve been hate-reading his nonsense since he appeared on my radar via the Bob n’ Chez show (long since stopped listening) with his crass drone love.

          • villemar

            There it is. “Drone love.”

          • HayesOose

            *Crass* drone love, actually.

          • villemar

            It explains a lot.

  • Razor

    I think the question answers itself, Dunham keeps doing it because people like Molloy keep asking. Joss Whedon gave a similar answer when he was asked why he keeps making shows and movies with powerful female characters, “because you keep asking that question.”

    I realize Dunham is a lightning rod and can be pretty hypocritical over issues that don’t gel with her particular idea of feminism and that bugs me too, but Molloy was being kind of an ass and not asking anything that hasn’t been brought up since the pilot aired. He basically said, “I get why Game of Thrones does it, they have hot people on the show… but you’re frumpy, what up with that?”

    I’ve been with and have lived with a lot of women that look like Lena Dunham and the minute they walked in the door after work, they wore as little clothing as possible, much like Dunham does. I think it is a very realistic depiction of what women do and that’s part of what provokes people about this show and Dunham in particular, they’re not used to seeing realistic women on television.

    • Nick L.

      I guess it isn’t that big of a deal to ask “are you doing this to arouse people or for some other reason”. I think there is something interesting about her intention, decoupled from how it has been received. I get a little tired of the “look how weird and interesting I am” crowd and if her entire purpose of nudity is some kind of social protest/commentary, then I can’t be bothered. Nobody’s body is that interesting.

    • Peter James

      >>>>”I think the question answers itself, Dunham keeps doing it because people like Molloy keep asking. Joss Whedon gave a similar answer when he was asked why he keeps making shows and movies with powerful female characters, “because you keep asking that question.””

      That’s nonsense, and more to the point, a jerk answer (even when Whedon gave it) because that’s not the real reason they do it.

      I mean how much harder is it to say “I do it because I find powerful female characters more interesting from a narrative point of view and more fun to work with from a writing point of view” (which is probably closer to the real answer and the truth; especially if you consider Whedon’s other work), than to claim that the only reason you do it is because people keep talking about it.

      It’s like a response generated from the response to this thing you deliberately and consciously did that doesn’t address the root of why you did it in the first place and continue to do it.

      I can understand why Whedon did it (he has a notoriously annoying and frustrating “interview” bedside manner, so to speak, where he’s perpetually too jokey or too snipy, and that was probably a retort tailored to the latter emotion.), and a lot of people will forgive him that because they know there’s more to him and his work than just the preponderance of strong female characters (as evidenced by other arenas he’s worked in, like Comics, and also in his biggest project to date – The Avengers – which only had 2 main female characters of note.

      The problem in Dunham’s case is that it would seem to be that that’s all there is to Lena Dunham the writer and without that gimmick, there’s no there there.

      So when people give (or defend) the answer that she puts excessive inexplicable nudity in her show because people keep talking about it, it’s a cop-out that avoids the reality that the real likely reason she does it is because she lacks the range to produce a truly creative narrative, – even one depicting actual realistic 20-something year old females – without leaning on the crutch of shock value nudity and oddball sex-acts.

      >>>>>”He basically said, “I get why Game of Thrones does it, they have hot people on the show… but you’re frumpy, what up with that?”

      That’s not what he said and you know it.
      That’s just you’re interpretation of what he said which allows you to label him an ass.
      The point about Game of Thrones nudity dovetails nicely in the whole point of whether or not it serves a larger purpose in the story and the series, or whether it’s all there is to the show.
      Nobody questions whether Game of Thrones is all about nudity because if you’ve watched the show and actually pay attention to the parts where people are not getting naked, you realize that the story is much bigger than the gimmicks (which incidentally don’t exist in the decidedly non-visual source material of GRR Martin’s books).
      In other words, the nudity serves the story (And not the other way around as in the case of Girls, and certainly of Dunham’s character) and more importantly it serves HBO’s greater purpose of marketing the show to the non-novel-reading potential audience demographic.
      Come for the nudity; stay for the story.
      The same can’t ever be said to apply for Girls too, unless you fall squarely in Dunham’s rather restrictive target demographic (20-something year old, female, upper-middle class, white and likely privileged by most standards).

      • ShaoLinKitten

        No one who watches GIRLS faithfully thinks the show is “all about nudity,” or that the story served the nudity, or that the target audience of the show doesn’t read novels (whaaaaat?). That is a ridiculous, flat-out false set of assertions. You obviously don’t like the show, yet you seem very free to state what the show is about, and how it sucks. How do you know? Are you forcing yourself to watch it despite your strident and repeated contention that it has no artistic merit whatsoever? Or maybe you don’t watch and have no idea what you’re talking about? I’m wondering what qualifies you to speak about the purpose of the nudity or the artistic value of the show. I don’t fall into Dunham’s target demographic at all, but I find the show brilliant. I’ve also watched every episode. Have you? Or are you just making this up as you go along?

        • Peter James

          >>>>”…. or that the target audience of the show doesn’t read novels ”

          That was actually a point I was making about GAME OF THRONES, and the desired target audience of HBO or people who haven’t read the novels upon which, it is based, and aren’t likely to read them.

          But please,….don’t let a little annoying thing like simple basic reading comprehension get in the way of a good rant.

          >>>>” You obviously don’t like the show, yet you seem very free to state what the show is about, and how it sucks. How do you know? ”

          It’s called having an OPINION (we are still allowed those in the modern world, right?) and I know because of the handful of episodes I’ve watched through which I’ve formed and based said opinion along with the opinion of other people who watch it more frequently than I do, and whose opinion I do trust.

          >>>>”Are you forcing yourself to watch it despite your strident and repeated contention that it has no artistic merit whatsoever?”


          Because as we all know so well, the only people who can offer a valid opinion about a show, are the ardent fans who religiously watch every single episode and whose opinion can’t possibly ever ever be tainted by their groveling adoration for the show’s creator.

          >>>>”Or maybe you don’t watch and have no idea what you’re talking about?”


          Could be that.

          …or could be that you seem to love jumping to ludicrous conclusions of people you know nothing about, based on half-baked perceptions and laughbly conceived opions with as little information as possible.

          >>>>”I’m wondering what qualifies you to speak about the purpose of the nudity or the artistic value of the show.”

          I’m no medical expert but I think it’s this thing I have between my ears called a brain,…which, for shits and giggles likes to analyse, break down and form opinions on things I perceive in life.

          >>>>” I’ve also watched every episode. Have you? Or are you just making this up as you go along?”


          Do you really need me to point out to you how ridiculous it is an argument to make suggesting that the only way one can and should offer an opinion that can be considered valid is if they’ve watched every single episode?

          Are you really serious with that?

          And that’s what you were closing your argument with?


          So I take it that when you vote (if you vote) you don’t do so until you know every single minute detail of every single candidate of all the parties (including the one that doesn’t politically line up with your ideology), including all their platform issues, their family issues and personal histories, business and professional histories, right?

          Come on.

          At least tell me you were slightly embarrassed writing that line.

          I would be….. just like I am now, for you.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            This response is a very long-winded defense of your right to spew criticism on a show you don’t watch. Really, it’s hilarious. You say you’ve watched a handful of episodes. What is that, like 2 or 3? But you can from your lofty perch state with utter confidence that the nudity is pointless and issues straight from Dunham’s narcissism and ego. So when I tell you that, in the context of the entire show, the nudity does have a point, and is not excessive, do you not believe me? Could you maybe, perhaps, be judging the show incorrectly due to lack of information and sufficient context? Or are you so sure of your own correctness that you will not consider that maybe you don’t really know what you are talking about?

            As a matter of fact, yes, I do extensive research on candidates before I vote. Know why? I don’t feel I’m entitled to my half-assed, BS opinion. I’m only entitled to my INFORMED opinion. If you pop off at length about something you have to admit you don’t know much about, then you are making a fool of yourself.

          • J. Audobon Woodlore

            It’s your use of ALL CAPS that reveals the depth of your intellect. ;-)

        • J Williams

          I have been watching Girls faithfully since the premiere. It isn’t all about the nudity, but it is pointless sometimes, like when she changed mid-conversation to go to work. It could have easily been her putting on her shoes or grabbing a purse but instead, she takes her shirt off and flashes the audience a bit. The scene where she and Jessa (I think the actresses name is something Jemima, I forgot) were in the tube was one of the FEW times the nudity actually moved the story along. They were in the tub together, like they were kids, after she was dealing with some heavy and emotional shit. It made perfect sense and was a good, touching scene. The nudity in Game of Thrones actually is part of, and important to, the story, such as the first time Jon Snow had sex, It created a bond between him and her, which emotionally fueled a later, non-nude, important scene. I’m very disappointed in Dunham’s and Apatow’s response. Konner’s response should have been anticipated, but Apatow’s and Dunham’s were extremely disappointing. Instead of defending, explaining and engaging, they dismissed the question, and the person asking it as asinine, annoying and beneath them. This also, unfortunately, shows how inflexible and unprepared they were. This was a golden opportunity to quell the criticism of nudity, but instead it solidified the perception that they are elitist.

        • J. Audobon Woodlore

          Anyone who watches the show Girls faithfully is fucktarded.
          Case in point.

      • IrishGrrrl

        LOL, the nerdy readers of GOT came for the story and got bonus nudity. There’s been similar discussions on GOT sites asking about the nudity and some people are unhappy with it. They end up tolerating it because they understand that some of it probably is for titillation and for attracting the non-readers but they also feel that much of it does serve the story’s purpose–if you’ve read the books you’d understand, GRR Martin has created a brutal world.

        What kind of world is Lena trying to show us when she is the one that is almost always naked but the other characters aren’t? Doesn’t that say something about what she is trying to say? Or could it just be her ego? If she’s just showing what is “natural” then what about other natural things…..Again, her purpose isn’t clear by what she’s shown us (no pun intended). And it should be, particularly since she has set up a “feminist” agenda. If she’s trying to make a statement, she’s failed. So either make it clearer on the show or quit getting naked. And I would say that even if she was a Playboy bunny.

    • Peter James

      >>>>>”I’ve been with and have lived with a lot of women that look like Lena Dunham and the minute they walked in the door after work, they wore as little clothing as possible, much like Dunham does. I think it is a very realistic depiction of what women do and that’s part of what provokes people about this show and Dunham in particular, they’re not used to seeing realistic women on television.”

      The problem with this thesis of yours, is that you’re conflating what you’ve seen those women (whom you know, and are familiar with) do, with what all or at least the average woman does.
      Which is not the case and very far from the truth.

      Most women I know, who fall into her target age demographic, actually feel annoyed by the perception that this is the depiction of what women of their generation think like, act like or even feel.
      And they certainly don’t wear “as little clothing as possible the minute they walk in the door after work” nor do they enjoy the misconception that they are prone to. At least not the ones that I know.
      And don’t even get them started on what they feel about the depicted sexual peccadilloes and what it supposedly says about their generation.
      Dunham’s depiction of “the realistic women” of whom you speak does not jive with how actual realistic women in the real world are – particularly if they’re not of the same class and background as she, which, given the constrictive nature of her target group – and would imply that MAJORITY of realistic women, are not like what Dunham portrays on screen.

  • Lady Willpower

    She’s so boring. Unfunny hack who’s somehow convinced herself that she’s brilliant and daring, when she’s anything but.

    • Peter James

      A friend of mine said that she’s like the Glenn Greenwald of television show writers.
      Anybody on the outside (as in, not a slobbering fanboy) looking in, sees him (her shows) as obnoxious, self-serving, odious and generally repugnant.

      But he still gets to flout his so-called influence because he has this intractable group of hard-core groupies and fanboys for whom he can never do wrong, and it’s much the same way with Dunham and her “legion” of fans versus the rest of the world that think’s she must have something on the HBO executives to keep getting such a crappy show renewed every year despite it being so godawful.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        It’s not clear to me if you dislike Greenwald and Dunham, or you dislike their work. Maybe if you could focus on what you dislike about the work and not on attacking its creator, you and the author of this article would be less likely to be told that you are being hateful or misogynistic. These comments feel really angry and personal towards the artist, using the art as a pretext for grinding a personal ax. If that’s not your intention, perhaps adjust your approach.

        • Peter James

          >>>>>”It’s not clear to me if you dislike Greenwald and Dunham, or you dislike their work. ”

          Both, both and both.

          >>>>”Maybe if you could focus on what you dislike about the work and not on attacking its creator, you and the author of this article would be less likely to be told that you are being hateful or misogynistic.”

          I did.


          If you had bothered reading my comments with any modicum of attention and objectivity, you might have noticed that.

          And I’ve never really been told that I’m being hateful or misogynistic in my opinions of this show by anyone.

          Until you, that is (and I hate to point out to you the fact that you’re quite LITERALLY, the only person who has told me I’m being “hateful” or “misogynistic” on this board. So the whole “less likely” bit is kind of not applicable).

          The “hateful”, I can understand,….somewhat; it’s a commonly misunderstood emotion and characteristic and easy go-to response.

          The “Misogynistic” is a cop-out and easy way out, often taken by women who don’t want to be challenged on their logically flimsy opinions and then try to seek refuge in the ‘sanctity’ of their sisterhood and the infallible feminist cocoon of not being criticized.

          It’s rather pathetic when you think about it., especially given the fact that the most forceful and convincing way to respond to what you consider to be a “misogynistic” attack at you is to meet their arguments head-on especially in the areas and ways you think they’re being misogynistic and showing them how wrong they are.

          But I can understand why you’d want to take that easy way out.

          Notice how you went from accusing the author of this article of Ad hominem attacks (without actually bothering to point out which ones) to now accusing me of being “hateful” and “misogynistic”, in three short easy steps and posts.

          (and by the way, would it still be misogynistic if I had said that it was only Greenwald that I disliked and his work? Or does disliking Lena Dunham automatically make one a misogynist without explanation?)

          >>>>”These comments feel really angry and personal towards the artist, using the art as a pretext for grinding a personal ax.”

          Oooh,… we’re playing quack pop psychology, are we?

          Analyzing my emotions, emotional state and supposed “intentions” based on nothing more than my comments on an internet forum?

          Tsk!! Tsk!! Tsk!!

          >>>>”If that’s not your intention, perhaps adjust your approach.”

          No, I think I’ll keep using the same approach that’s served me well enough up until now, and with which I haven’t needed to resort to accusing people I know nothing about of being “hateful”, “misogynistic”, “angry”…in lieu of making well-reasoned and rational arguments and responses.

          • Biznit

            uhhhhh, very confused with absurd comparison of glen greenwald to lena dunham….does greenwald do interviews nude or something i missed? or is he just an aggressive journalist that backs up everything he says with facts and has thus far handled all the snowden data responsibly? I don’t get the comparison at all, either in context or measure of characters…..dunham’s case is the nudity thing as a writer, and the notions of feminist double standards and woman card as creative choices that can’t be criticized or debated at all simply cuz she is an ugly artsy woman…..someone clearly has a stupid grudge of political right nature against greenwald….also, greenwald isn’t in pop-culture zeitgeist, and if you consider like all the top professors, academics, journalists, late night political satire shows, and the majority of americans that are in agreement with greenwald that nsa was a violation of privacy and that snowden shouldn’t be prosecuted, then i guess that’s “fanboys”…’re a moron

          • Peter James

            >>>>>”…in general though you’re a moron”

            Thanks for sharing.

            not that anyone cares.

            About you or your worthless opinion.

        • PoodaChuts

          Your comment literally made me nauseous for about 2 minutes. Those that post responses like yours form a league of jerks that make the world a drabber, deflated place.

          • Cranky Crab

            “Nauseated” means you’re gonna hurl. “Nauseous” means you make people sick.

            So, you are correct; carry on.

          • PoodaChuts


            affected with nausea; inclined to vomit.

            Nice, disingenuous try. Made yourself look foolish. Don’t carry on.

          • bubbahotepppp

            His use of the word ;nauseous’ is correct. Your definition is not. Look it up.

        • GemMariano1979

          I think her work is very, very bad. I also find her personality wholly repugnant, and even more so because it is a personality that young women mug and copy, thinking that taking pride in an inability to act like an adult and turning “things I don’t like” into criminal offenses is the way to liberation.

          So many people keep saying the same things. The fact that you cannot accept it does not mean we are misogynists. The inability to comprehend what words mean is on you.

        • bubbahotepppp

          It’s probably not clear to you because you obviously have very limited reading comprehension skills, especially regarding, but not limited to, the article.


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