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Sunday Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: January 13, 2013

If you have HBO, be sure to watch "Girls" tonight and in the weeks ahead. I have seen the first four, and the show is even better than it was in the first season. That is not to say things are better for the characters; in fact, it is rough going for most of them, including some really sad moments in the later episodes.

But some of the misery is also self-inflicted; one of the things I like about watching Hannah (Lena Dunham, the series creator/writer/director) is that she can be so thoroughly self-absorbed, and selfish, in ways that make you hate what she is doing while you understand exactly why she is doing it.

And the same can be said of the other characters; I may not like them, but I get them, and that's a real tribute to the depth of the show.

As much I have been thinking about "Girls" lately, I thought more after writing a brief column for today's Beacon Journal about "The Carrie Diaries," the "Sex and the City" prequel.

That show reminded me again what a fantasy world the "Sex" characters lived in, and how that fantasy carries over to the adolescent Carrie in the new show -- and what a bright contract "Girls" is, with its acknowledgment of money worries, dinginess and other aspects of the single life in NYC which rarely intruded in "Sex."

As you have seen, I have written some about the Oscars, and I expect to be writing more in the days ahead about the Oscar movies. You may already have read my post about "Zero Dark Thirty," but I plan to write at some length about the films getting major nominations. So keep an eye out for that.

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