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There's a lot of bad sex in Girls, but to a point. "We're always trying to make the sex an exploration of where the characters are at emotionally," Dunham says. "Hannah thinks she's this tough girl gathering experience in the city, that she can handle this weird, potent sexual interaction. She actually kind of can't."
But some of the nakedest scenes in Girls are ones in which Hannah is fully clothed. (The following is a spoiler, but Girls is not really a spoiler-vulnerable comedy.) The morning after she pleads with her parents, Hannah wakes up alone in their hotel room. They've left cash in two envelopes: $20 for Hannah and $20 for housekeeping. She takes both and walks out onto a bright, crowded midtown sidewalk to Harper Simon's lovely "Wishes and Stars." And ... credits.
It's audacious, the comedy equivalent of an antihero moment from Breaking Bad or The Shield. You've come to like Hannah, with her self-deprecation and her quips, and then, as Dunham puts it, "It's like, 'You just took that from a Mexican lady with five children because you want to f---ing buy some fancy sandwich.'"
Hannah is not evil; she'll probably regret it someday. So many great stories are about dealing with regrets; Girls is about creating them. "I was thinking about getting a Girls tattoo," Dunham says. "Jenni Konner told me, 'That is the worst luck in the world. It could just be the saddest reminder of your cancellation of all time.'"
Which may be right. But Girls is a soulful, exhilarating argument for just that kind of amateur move, for the screwups that mark you and make you, so that even when you put on your grownup clothes, you can feel them, written on your skin.