HBO will premiere the first three episodes of Girls, a new half-hour dramedy from writer-director Lena Dunham, at the South By South West Film Festival. The calculated (and pretty cool) move makes complete sense considering Dunham's debut film Tiny Furniture, also premiered at the Austin set festival where it quickly found admirers, and won the award for best narrative feature. The SXSW route definitely worked out well for Dunham since TF even got the rare first feature Criterion treatment. And on the heels of it's Valentine's Day home release, HBO has just shared the first full length trailer for her new show Girls. Good timing!

The Judd Apatow produced comedy (Dunham also has a small part in Apatow's upcoming Knocked Up spin-off This is 40) follows the titular ‘girls’ as they try to navigate their desperately poor, young professional lives in New York City. This trailer for the slice of life look at this particular subsection of women struggling in the big city - one actually written and directed by a woman, and the voice of a generation no less - offers a better look at the characters and their conflict fueled relationships that populate the series. We see a lot more of Dunham's lead, whose journey of independence in New York begins when her parents finally pull the financial plug. At least the girls have each other (when they aren't fighting).

As a fan of her uncompromising vision and willingness to explore and display the ugly side of her characters (especially herself), I'm really looking forward to the mumblecore comedy coming to HBO and am sad that I won't be in Austin to catch the premiere. It looks both fresh and funny, an honest look at the struggles of trying to live and make a living in (a beautifully photographed) New York City. Girls debuts Sunday, April 15 on HBO. It stars Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Angelic Zambrana and Chris Eigeman. It was created by Lena Dunham and executively produced by Judd Apatow.

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