When thinking about Lena Dunham, the Woody Allen comparison comes to mind almost immediately. Dunham is less manic than Allen in front of the camera but she has a sharp wit like Allen. That is what is overlooked most about Lena Dunham. She is very funny. Her writing sneaks up on you and charms you unexpectedly. That’s not to say there aren’t inconsistencies in her work because there are. However, like any other endeavor, writing is something you grow into. Anyone who tells you they came out fully formed is not telling the truth. Dunham has too much talent and needs to be encouraged every step of the way. Two important things to remember are: if art were perfect, it would cease to have the power to move us and engage us; and, if art doesn’t upset us, then it is not doing its job.
Dunham has the spirit of an artist more than any young filmmaker working today. Living on an edge, as her HBO series, Girls, does to a certain extent, means you make yourself a clear target for scrutiny and Dunham has been just that. Starting with the copious amount of time Dunham spends in the nude on the show, as well as the strong sexual content, to the criticisms about the lack of racial diversity, the road has not been without its bumps. Dunham has done a great job defending herself and should be applauded for the way she has conducted herself. Some of the public may not be ready for a girl like Lena Dunham, but she is here to stay and it is hoped that she will continue writing, directing and being everything it is that got her to this point.
Like Lena Dunham or not, you have to respect the amount of work she puts in on Girls. She has written 25 of the 33 episodes, produced and starred in all of them, and directed twelve. Who knows what Dunham may do in the future, but she is definitely worth keeping track of.