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Maureen Dowd Stumbles Upon Female “Raunch” Comedy, Proclaims It a Trend

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It is one of the small pleasures of life to see a New York Times op-ed columnist come down from her tower, take notice of a phenomenon in the culture sphere, and proclaim it an actual trend. It is even better when that trend has been percolating for over a decade, as is the case with the subject of Maureen Dowd’s most recent column, “Dirty Words From Pretty Mouths.”
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The Case for Writing Workshops

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Girls‘ recent exploration of the writing workshop has provided a rare opportunity to publicly explore the good and bad sides of the building block of creative writing instruction, known as just “workshop” to veterans. For those who don’t know, during workshop, one writer sits silently, offering up a previously-submitted piece of writing to discussion, analysis, and critique. During the allotted time, the teacher classmates will refer to “the writer” and “the writer’s choice” as if the person in the “hot seat” were absent (this is the mandatory silence that Girls‘ Hannah cannot maintain in class). Sometimes the writer gets a five-minute response window at the end, sometimes not. Often the critique begins with a “what works in this piece?” discussion before moving in to constructive criticism. The received wisdom of workshop is that you learn as much from dissecting the “craft” choices of your peers as you do from their dissection of your own work. In other words, everyone is learning from each others’ mistakes.
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‘Girls’ Season 4 Episode 3 Recap: “Female Author”

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It’s about damn time Girls gave us a reason to root for Marnie. “Female Author” is enough to make us remember the show’s early days, when Marnie didn’t just have her life together—she had her life orders of magnitude more together than any of her friends. After months upon months of mortifying office parties and kitchen sink rim jobs, the put-together gallerist we once knew was all but forgotten. And then we got this episode, which sees Marnie make real, concrete, hopefully possibly lasting progress, personally and professionally. Who knew she had it in her—or more importantly, that the writers’ room would let her have it?
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“All Women Seduce With a Lie”: Real-Life Writing Workshop Horror Stories

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We called, you answered: inspired by Lena Dunham’s nightmare vision of a University of Iowa workshop, we’ve collected real-life stories of what happens when MFAs melt down. Readers didn’t disappoint — if there’s anything a workshop’s good for, it’s a lifetime’s worth of cringe comedy. (Good writing is also possible, but by no means a given.) Click through for bitchy blog posts, unsolicited nudity, and of course, a few healthy doses of racism, all helpfully illustrated with canonical examples of side-eye.
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Calling All Writers: Send Us Your Workshop Horror Stories!

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Much has already been made of this Sunday’s episode of Girls, which saw Hannah Horvath’s transition from alienating her entire New York social circle to alienating her entire fiction workshop at the University of Iowa. There are already obligatory rundowns of “how this work of fiction didn’t accurately reproduce every detail of its real-life setting!!!!” (though this Vulture piece is much more fun and evenhanded than its headline suggests), and Lena Dunham’s taken to Twitter to make it clear that, no, those workshop critiques aren’t based on the controversy over her memoir. So we at Flavorwire would like to cast a wider net.
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triggering

‘Girls’ Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: “Triggering”

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Girls has proven before that while you can take the girl out of New York, you can’t take the raging narcissism out of the girl. Some of the series’ most memorable episodes have zeroed in on Hannah, and what happens when she leaves the Brooklyn bubble for her hometown (“The Return”) or her extended family (“Flo”). This time, of course, Hannah’s in for the long haul. But for now, “Triggering” is the latest in Girls’ most consistently entertaining subgenre of episode: abandoning all pretense of being about life in the city, and doubling down on the series’ true subject—the all-consuming, raging, and enraging self-absorption of its heroine.
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‘Girls’ Season 4 Premiere Recap: “Iowa”

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The fourth season of Girls, like the first season of Girls, begins with Hannah Horvath’s parents taking her out to dinner. The contrast is as striking as it is intentional: the skeezy guy Hannah was then hooking up with is now her boyfriend; the unpaid internship that was then winding down (without a paying job in sight) is now an acceptance to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. And of course, this dinner is a celebration, not an abrupt announcement that Hannah’s financially on her own.
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‘Girls’ Season 4 Goes to the Writing Workshop, Gets Meta About Criticism (and Sexism)

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In the first episode of the fourth season of Girls, which premieres Sunday (January 11), Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath suggests that the last four years have been a wash. Where she’s headed, she assures her parents, is more promising, or at the very least it’s a path that requires sticking to a plan. You don’t half-ass your way through the most storied MFA program in the world, after all.
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Your Weekly TV News Roundup: ‘Smash’ Musical Heads to Broadway, ‘Girls’ Casts Shoshanna’s Parents

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The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of television news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week: Sarah Silverman’s HBO pilot, Hulu gets the rights for FX/FXX shows, and Girls casts Shoshanna’s parents.
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Shows Like ‘The Affair’ Are Proof That It’s a Golden Age of Sex Scenes For Grownups

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In Vulture, writer Adam Sternbergh has a piece about “The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of the Sex Scene,” where he argues that the cultural shift of sex scenes in art has run its course from the movies to television, leading to all kinds of crazy sexploitation in the likes of our internet-saturated age — just look at how network TV’s pushing the boundaries lately — but also revealing a distinct lack of shows that have sex in the narrative as a part of life, where it’s something that grownups do, not something made expressly for thirteen-year-old boys watching Game of Thrones.
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