HBO’s ‘Girls’ Is Realistic Portrayal of Many Girls in Their Twenties

[ 0 ] July 11, 2013 |

‘Girls’ HBO characters are more realistic than not for many, says ‘Girls’ writer Sarah Heyward; comparisons to Sex and the City, her rise to show writer

Sarah Heyward, writer for the smash hit Girls series, HBO, began as an assistant on Girls. After giving a short story about sex to a producer, it found its way to Lena Dunham – the show’s head writer and lead actress. Heyward then found herself as a writer on the HBO show that has taken our culture by storm within three weeks.

Heyward feels that being part of the generation the show portrays is extremely helpful, especially since most of the other writers are in their late thirties and forties. “Lena and I are often looked to as like, the twenty-somethings in the room to kind of be like ‘this would happen’ or ‘this wouldn’t happen,” Heyward says.

Watch genConnect chat with Sarah Heyward about why Girls is so popular and comparisons to Sex and the City at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival:

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Heyward think Girls is extremely accurate for some people – like young women living in Brooklyn, N.Y.; it’s “the first show that’s putting a realistic images of sex; what sex is like in your twenties, what bodies are like in your twenties, changing careers, changing apartments, changing friendships,” she says. “A lot of that just hasn’t been addressed in much detail before.”

The show draws a lot of comparison to Sex and the City and Heyward admits that Girls could not have happened if Sex and the City hadn’t preceded it, and there’s a lot of overlap between the two shows. “Girls could NOT exist without Sex and the City. We are all huge Sex and the City fans,” she said. “We see Sex and the City as an aspirational show that paved the way for Girls to be the more realistic version.”

She adds: “Sex and the City was groundbreaking. People weren’t hearing women talk about these things honestly and openly on television before that show.”


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What’s been the most important piece of advice Herward has received, she thinks that it is important to, “support other writers around you, as well as yourself to form a community of writers.”

“You never know, especially in Hollywood, positions change all the time … it’s good to just keep those people around who can be honest with you and who you feel supported by and who you support.”

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013

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About Sarah Heyward: I write stories and screenplays. I have an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop which means for two years I also had a porch, vintage wallpaper, and a predilection for late night drives into cornfields. [...]
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