Lena Dunham's comedy series is slow to develop laughs and characters' humanity

Lena Dunham might be brave, daft, naïve, mining some dark undercurrents of a fractious soul or a combination of all the above, but her role as creator, director, executive producer and main star of Girls (Sky Atlantic, Mon 22 Oct, 10pm) will result in questions being asked aplenty. The fact that there is some rough fuckbuddy sex bordering on horrendous abuse is one thing; that it is all inflicted on her own character, Hannah, is a dissertation in itself.

This show was a multi-Emmy nominee in the comedy category and won one (for casting, which is as good as winning nothing) but there is barely a titter to be raised for a couple of episodes, before it gets into some kind of stride. Given one character’s total obsession with Sex and the City, you immediately start second-guessing which of the Girls quartet matches up to Samantha and co. While Carrie sat cross-legged on her bed in jim-jams, chirpily firing up her laptop with bon mots de New York relationships before her deadline hits, Hannah is mostly naked and Googling the diseases you can catch from sex with shoddy condoms.

But matching like for like is ultimately a distracting and pointless exercise given that this is really Bridesmaids meets Juno hanging out with Gossip Girl. Eventually the awfulness of everyone in the show fizzles out marginally as some semblance of humanity flickers through. But Lena/Hannah really needs to dump her Mr Pig.

HBO "Girls" official trailer featuring Lena Dunham

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