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The New Girls

Lena Dunham and Her HBO Cast Make Their Red-Carpet Debut

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Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham   
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Four post-college females take New York—or, just as much, are taken by it—in the much ballyhooed new HBO series Girls. Uncensored, hilariously self-deprecating, and set mostly in the city's less prestigious zip codes, it's no Manhattan fairy tale, and when the show's creator, 25-year-old Lena Dunham, stepped into the spotlight last night to debut the first three episodes in front of a glitzy Cinema Society crowd at the SVA Theater, she and her cast mates handled themselves with more poise and grace than their TV characters would have. "They'd be so nervous," Dunham theorized. "They would arrive like an hour early, then wait around the block, then accidentally be late, and all wear sneakers; it would be a disaster! And then they'd lose their tickets."

No such blundering on this evening, which saw several big names—including Edward Norton, Chloë Sevigny, and Claire Danes—come by for an early look at Dunham's surprisingly uncensored take on the perils of young adulthood. Judd Apatow, who helped see the show to fruition, acknowledged on the red carpet that a certain HBO predecessor looms large over such a project. "There isn't a moment in the writer's room where we don't think, did Sex and the City do that already? And 90 percent of the time, the answer is yes," he said.

"It's a little bit of an anti-fashion show," he added. Girls doesn't name-drop nightclubs or fetishize Jimmy Choos, but who's to say serious young fashion types won't find it perversely liberating? "Very well done," Charlotte Ronson declared at the after-party at the Boom Boom Room, where perfect tiny cupcakes were being presented at every turn—a nod to the show, in which Dunham's character has a thing for cupcakes. And eats them in the bathtub.

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