Lena Dunham's much-hyped new HBO show Girls, which follows four newly graduated young women as they navigate New York City-and the recession-in privileged poverty, has been anointed by countless journalists as pinpointing the coddled, twentysomething female zeitgeist. The main character, Hannah, a version of (and played by) Dunham herself, is downwardly mobile and broke and overeducated, negotiating hookups and sexual mixed messages and social media while trying to mine dignity out of a delayed adulthood.
Because Dunham is deft at preserving her vision, and because it's an HBO show, Girls is more natural than anything else on television, especially when compared to all the new sitcoms starring young women: 2 Broke Girls, New Girl, Whitney. The show hasn't even aired yet-the premiere is Sunday-but there's already a backlash brewing. Critics who are scandalized or irritated by the frank, unglamorized sex scenes, who are turned off by the upper class entitlement of the central foursome, or who simply, as one Jezebel commenter put it, would like to be notified "when Lena Dunham realizes that there's a person of color in New York City." Most of the criticism can be summarized thusly: "I was/am a young woman, and that's not my experience."