They love “Whitney” and “2 Broke Girls” and have this to say to “Two And a Half Men” creator Lee Aronsohn: “Nobody would ever complain that there are too many shows about guys or families or groups of friends, so why are people complaining about shows about girls?”
Lena Dunham's HBO comedy series "Girls," about four twentysomething women trying to figure out their lives in New York, finally premieres Sunday. Dunham's already gotten tons of press (including this New York Magazine cover story), but the show also boasts an impressive, mostly female roster of writers in addition to Dunham, including co-producer Jenni Konner; Lesley Arfin, formerly of "Vice" and "Missbehave" magazines, and author of the book "Dear Diary"; Sarah Heyward, a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and contributor to Zooey Deschanel's website Hello Giggles; and Deborah Schoeneman, who's written for "New York" and the "New York Times" magazines and may have coined the verb "to Google." Below, they discuss "Girls," stereotypes about women on television, and why "Friends" was so great.
Were you conscious of avoiding stereotypes about women and men when you were working on "Girls"? If so, was that ever difficult?
Lesley Arfin: Sexism and stereotypes are real things that come up. Why avoid them just to avoid them?
Sarah Heyward: We never explicitly discussed avoiding stereotypes. One of our primary goals in the room was to create a show that felt as real and true to life as possible. Whether that meant eschewing stereotypes or occasionally validating them, we were more concerned with creating fully fleshed out, complicated characters. Part of what I love about Lena's work is how surprising it is, despite featuring characters and scenarios that are familiar to my life.
Dunham, Jemima Kirke, and Allison Williams.