When first we meet Hannah, the wondrously mopey mid-20s heroine of HBO's new hit series "Girls," she seems to have more strikes against her than a bowling alley at Fenway Park. Her parents have cut off her monthly stipend. Her literary-magazine boss refuses to turn her unpaid internship into a real job. Her atonal lover explores his sex fantasies on her awkwardly untitillated body. She lives in New York City. She majored in English.
Yet offsetting all those slings and risk factors is a powerful defense system: girlfriends. Hannah has a tight-knit network of three female confederates, one best friend and two sturdy runners-up; and while none of the girl-women can offer much material support, no spare bedroom in a rent-controlled apartment, they are each other’s emotional tourniquets. You, fat? Don’t make me laugh. An unpleasant doctor’s appointment? We’re going too. Lena Dunham, the creator and star of the series, has said that while her titular characters may all date men, female friendship is “the true romance of the show.”