Monday, February 13, 2017
Lena Dunham is back (again)
Lena at least can write, act, and direct. But her real gift is focusing the spotlight directly on herself. Lately, any time you turn on a TV talk show there she is plugging the new season of GIRLS. Or open the Style section of the New York Times. She’s there too. Hell, she's the subject of today's blog post.
But it goes beyond that. And again, I give her credit – she knows how to stand out. In a recent appearance on THE TODAY SHOW she managed to rattle host Maria Shriver by throwing around terms like penis and vagina in her live interview. This made headlines. This made for great click bait. And sparked curiosity in her subsequent talk show appearances. Was she going to say something outrageous? Was she going to shatter a TV taboo? The lady’s got savvy.
Meanwhile, no one's talking about Drew Barrymore hawking the Santa Clarita diet on THE TODAY SHOW.
It's Lena's ability to capture headlines that has kept GIRLS on the air. The dirty little secret is that the ratings are terrible for GIRLS. They’ve been terrible for quite a while. But HBO has stayed with the show because it generates buzz. And that’s thanks to Lena. Bill Simmons couldn't save ANY GIVEN WEDNESDAY.
The true self-promoters know how to stay in the public eye even when their fifteen minutes are up. When was Madonna’s last hit? When was she last in the news? Yesterday. She’s adopting Malawian twins. Oprah was last seen hijacking the CBS Mary Tyler Moore tribute. And Lady Gaga is either wearing meat, touring with Tony Bennett, or diving into football stadiums. (Although, in fairness, she’s also an extraordinary talent… and a very agile diver.)
Once GIRLS ends I’ll be curious to see what Lena does next. Whatever it is, I know for absolute certainty that I’ll hear about it.