Press Tour Live-Blog: HBO’s ‘Girls’

I’ve already live-blogged Thursday’s (January 9) TCA panel for “True Detective,” which was a good one.

Now it’s time for HBO’s “Girls,” with Lena Dunham joined by co-stars Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke, plus executive producers Jenni Konner and Judd Apatow.

Click through for the full live-blog.

5:32 p.m. I really liked the first six episodes of the third “Girls” season. But I like “Girls.”

5:32 p.m. NEWS! HBO has renwed “Girls” for a fourth season.

5:35 p.m. “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show, by you particularly,” is the first question. Well. OK. “It’s because it”s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive,” Dunham says. “Do you have a girlfriend? Does she like you?” Judd Apatow asks the reporter. [UPDATE: The full text of the first question: “I don”t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I”m walking into a trap where you go, “Nobody complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,”” but I get why they are doing it. They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.”]

5:36 p.m. Does Lena like these characters? “Yeah. I love them.” she says. “I think that they accurately reflect people I know, people we’ve all been. I think that they’re all trying their hardest, which is sorta the most you can ask of the people in your life,” Dunham says. “I like flawed people. I don’t know what a person looks like who isn’t flawed,” Jenni Konner says. “I never want to pull out the sexism trump card, but I feel like there’s been a lot of license,” Dunham says of male anti-heros. “I think there’s a normal human compassion for people’s struggle to get through the day,” Apatow says. “These aren’t that weird mistakes. Cheating on your boyfriend. Experimenting with drugs,” Apatow says, adding, “They’re not really selling meth or anything.” Excellent.

5:38 p.m. “We’re all active on social media except for Jemima, who’s never seen a computer, and Allison, who’s very ladylike,” Dunham says of their interactions with fans and haters on twitter. The key is the balance between hearing people. Dunham likes that Judd talks back to trolls. Did fans shape Season 3 at all? “No,” Dunham says. “We really make the show in a vacuum,” Konner says. “It’s pretty insular,” Konner adds, saying that was part of what Judd taught them. Judd and Lena tried to take a Twitter break in the fall. She lasted 14 hours. Judd says that Leslie Mann deleted his Twitter ap today.

5:41 p.m. Is anything autobiographical this season? “Lots of things,” Dunham says. She notes that the people who things are based on usually don’t recognize their bad behavior. “Or they’re incredibly flattered,” she laughs.

5:41 p.m. A complicated question about bad behavior coded as male versus bad behavior coded as female. “We need a few days to break that down semiotically,” Apatow says. “I think it’s real, so it’s uncomfortable, because you could be any of these characters, but I don’t think any of us think we could sell meth in the desert,” Apatow says. 

5:44 p.m. On to diversity and Donald Glover and whether or not the show really works in a vacuum. What happened there, yo? “We are in a bubble, but we heard that criticism and there were parts of it that we agreed with and we’re trying to address it still,” Konner says. Dunham agrees that it’s still an important conversation that needs to happen. “We need to talk about diversifying the world of television,” Dunham says. Taystee from “Orange Is The New Black” is in the premiere. “I don’t feel like there’s any reason why any show should feel an obligation to do that,” Apatow says. He wants diversity to be organic. He then says something about how you could look at any show and wonder why there aren’t Native Americans or Asians and it has to be organic. Ummm… Like having diversity in a show set in BROOKLYN? [UPDATE: The full text of the Apatow answer that annoyed me: “I don”t think that there”s any reason why any show should feel an obligation to do that. I think there might be some obligation to have shows about all sorts of different people, but if it”s organic to the show, then we should do it, and if we don”t have story lines which serve it naturally, I don”t think that we should do it. I mean, in the history of television, you could look at every show on TV and say, “How come there”s not an American Indian on this show?” “How come there”s not an Asian person on this show?” It really has to come from the story and the stories that we are trying to tell. We want to accurately portray New York and groups of people. So we are going to do it where it feels honest to these characters in this world.” I still think the American Indian/Asian thing is an absurdly false equivalence and cheapens what may be a point buried here.]]

5:47 p.m. Apatow came out to fight, rather than to think today. That’s a bit disappointing.

5:47 p.m. The show is fluid and open. Whoa. Jenni Konner is pissed off at the first questioner. Very pissed off. 

5:49 p.m. “As cheesy as this sounds, you’re looking at a family on this stage,” Dunham says. She birthed the characters, but then the actors have had a huge impact on their life. It become an adoption metaphor. Jemima agrees that Jessa has evolved and changed, with Lena agreeing that Jemima demanded a Wu-Tang Clan t-shirt this season and she got it. 

5:52 p.m. Kirke says that Jessa’s on a sexual journey this season and that she’s sexually damaged. Dunham compares Jessa sexuality to a rushing river and she needs vessels to put it in. 

5:53 p.m. Which of the “girls” is getting ready to change and grow up. “I think that the character who might grow and change the most is Ray,” Konner says, adding that we spend good time with Adam and with Ray this season and so we understand them better.

5:55 p.m. The show’s apartments all exist on a stage. “It’s filled with happy memories,” Allison Williams says, talking for the first time, remembering breaking a bed with Lena in the pilot. Everybody agrees that Shosh’s apartment has changed the most and has a great napping bed. 

5:56 p.m. Was “The Golden Girls” something Lena was thinking of when she wrote the show? Jenni and Lena are much happier with this question than the diversity and nudity questions. “I think we can all agree that she’s Blanche,” Lena says of Jessa. “That show’s so good!” Lena says, raving at how the Golden Girls were able to “keep it fresh” on set working long days.

5:58 p.m. A Chris Abbot question! Was it a happy accident that he left and Marnie was able to shift gears this season? Allison says that her first reaction was to make sure the writers were OK with it. “It wasn’t terrifying. It wasn’t devastating. It was kinda of opportunity only itsofar as it was a situation we hadn’t foreseen,” Williams says, calling it a present.

6:00 p.m. I really wish Judd Apatow hadn’t set a tone that made it clear that questions about “Golden Girls” would be better received than questions of substance.

“Girls” premieres this Sunday.