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HBO is a network known for its fantastic and award-winning scripted television. But part of crafting realistic and visceral TV is portraying intimate moments for the characters, including lots of sex. HBO shows have never been shy on producing love scenes; we've seen orgies in Westworld, Vampire sex in True Blood, and the short lived series Tell Me You Love Me was almost exclusively focused on the characters' sex lives. So it seems like the network would allow just about anything to fly. Alas, there was one sex scene that even HBO had problems with.
The cast and creatives of HBO's hit comedy Girls recently did an oral history and photoshoot with THR celebrating the series which will end this year. In the interview, producer Judd Apatow revealed the one love scene which HBO had major problems with. And it was because Adam Driver's character needed to ahem finish, with his character's ejaculation and bodily fluids being shown on camera.
From the beginning, we were aware that what we were doing was sexually provocative, and that's what made it interesting and new and fun... But then we had a scene with a conclusion shot. And HBO said, 'If this is in the show, we could lose our license.' We were like, 'Oh my God, we've actually found the line at HBO.'
That's right, ladies and gents. You can have as much Dothraki humping as you want, but there will be absolutely no bodily fluids shown on screen. That's where HBO draws the line.
The scene in question is from an episode in Girls' second season. After being unceremoniously dumped by Hannah, Adam eventually starts dating a nice young girl named Natalia after meeting her mother (Carole Kane) at Alcoholics Anonymous. While it started off well enough, Adam eventually runs into Hannah on the street and gets a bit self-destructive. After breaking his sobriety, he and Natalia return to Adam's apartment, where he gets a bit too rough and inconsiderate during sex. It was here that Adam has on-screen ejaculation, and thus HBO's controversial sex scene was born.
HBO's issues with the scene in question actually seems like a bit of a genius by Lena Dunham and the creatives. Because the scene itself was purposefully extremely uncomfortable, with some publications even questioning if it was in fact a case of sexual assault. The audience sees Adam at his rock bottom, finding out what happens when the sympathetic weirdo falls off the wagon. It is without the most cringe-worthy love scene in the show's long tenure, which saying quite a lot.
Girls will return to HBO on February 12th for its final season. And we can be rest assured that plenty more uncomfortable sex scenes this way come.