GIRLS vs VEEP (part 1): Which Should I Watch?

By Jef Dinsmore on Apr 12, 2012 to Girls, Veep

Jef takes a look at two new series coming to HBO in 2012.  Both are said to be great by critics and insiders who’ve already seen the pilot episodes.  Here is his take on Girls with a follow-up on Veep forthcoming!

To be clear, I am going to watch both series to start. Every show on HBO gets a chance. It is whether I stick with that show until the end of the season that counts. Let’s just say for now that there has been that rare show or two that I started to watch on our favorite channel and didn’t see it through the end. Now, two new shows are about to premiere and each one wants to capture my attention. They are Lena Dunham’s GIRLS which premieres on April 15 and VEEP with Julia Louis-Dreyfus premiering April 22. Each is a half-hour comedy with female leads of some note.

Louis-Dreyfus is, of course, the one people are most familiar with because of her stints on two popular sitcoms through the years yet, Dunham and her show seem to be getting more attention out of the gate. Is that because her show premieres a week earlier, because she is the same age as the younger viewing and social networking audience or because more teasers and behind-the-scenes footage is getting played for GIRLS, or so it seems? HBO Watch is running pretty even with clips and trailers for both shows. Check them out. Maybe, it is because she is not as recognizable with audiences as Julia, so she is promoting a bit harder?

NYC girl Dunham started with her movie “Tiny Furniture” in 2010. She directed, wrote and stars in the film. In it she plays a Liberal Arts graduate returning home showing nothing for her efforts. It was a favorite at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) and won an Independent Spirit Award. Her next work now is GIRLS. A few episodes also played well at  SXSW and it has, as noted on this site, already touted a big premiere party. It seems Lena Dunham is the “It Girl” of the moment.

GIRLS takes the premise of her earlier movie with some tweaks to it. The largest commonality is the idea of a Liberal Arts grad without direction and facing it within the Big Apple. Along the way, of course, are friends, relationships and a job. It all fleshes out in the usual HBO offering of ten episodes. Many critics and posters show favor for the show citing the same common reason as the show’s executive producer Judd Apatow. they are enthused with the notion that the girls in the show are “realistic, true-to-life twenty-somethings” and not filmdom’s glamorized version of such. I’d have to agree that that is a refreshing perspective for the show but, then again, I’m not a girl or in my 20’s so what do I know.

To be honest, here is what does not capture 100% of my enthusiasm about GIRLS. It has largely to do with my age bracket I suppose but, I am tired of the “finding my way in the world” plots and always having to find it in some big, hard city. If we are going to espouse realism here how about acknowledging the reality that a lot of people do not live in NYC. So, then even this show falls into the trap it was stating it was avoiding because we have to glamorize the show by locating it someplace accessible and exciting! Think about it, SEX AND THE CITY, which this show has been compared to, is about women making their way in fashionable New York and HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA is about men making it in the same locale. So is BORED TO DEATH to a degree and ENTOURAGE is the same journey just a different city. It sounds to me to be a little bit of an overload of that concept. Still, despite that over used plot devise GIRLS has caught my attention and here is hoping I relate or at least enjoy what these chicks have to tell me come Sunday, April 15.  But that’s my take, what do you think?  Leave us a comment below.

Part 2 of my GIRLS vs VEEP will be coming soon as I give equal attention to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s new political comedy.

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