1. “Callow, Grating, and Glib.” For the New Republic, James Wolcott on the first-person fodder of Lena Dunham Inc.
“Despite bluff talk about squirreling away acorns for her octogenarian Hollywood tell-all, Dunham operates on a much tighter time-loop and a much laxer filtration process, the inappropriate, often insensitive, nearly always self-centered blurting of unedited thoughts forming the basis of her comedy of embarrassment and incontinence. ’Getting naked feels better some days than others. (Good: when you are vaguely tan. Bad: when you have diarrhea.)’ A little of this goes a long way, and there’s a lot of it in Not That Kind of Girl. At other times Dunham does a standard knockoff of the nice-naughty Jewish girl routine, offering sub–Sarah Silverman-isms such as ’Holocaust, eating disorder. Same difference.’ (From ’13 Things I’ve Learned Are Not Okay to Say to Friends.’) The shock tactics and venting tantrums deployed in Girls don’t play so well on the page, where there are no other characters to react to the provocation, only the solitary reader who may feel at times as if he or she is babysitting a brat. “