Collider has word that Judd Apatow will collaborate with up-and-coming writer/director Lena Dunham on an upcoming tv pilot for HBO. Dunham plans on writing, directing and starring in what will likely be a semi-autobiographical series. Her most recent feature, Tiny Furniture, got great word-of-mouth from SXSW and won the "Best Narrative Feature" prize. The news comes as a bit of a surprise to some because, well, Dunham's a girl and Apatow's comedies typically treat women like comedic foils for their boy-men protags.
Then again, having seen Tiny Furniture, I can say that though Dunham is in fact a lady, her style of comedy/drama is probably more in-sync with Apatow's than most people might think. Tiny Furniture is a semi-autobiographical indie that roughly follows Dunham's post-grad slump after she moved home and was unable to find work or a normal romantic relationship (mumblecore darling Alex Karpovsky plays one of her two love interests but it's assumed he's stringing her along). In other words: it's a movie about growing up and learning to accept new social responsibilities. How does this not sound like a Judd Apatow comedy?
Apatow has in the past been accused of being a misogynist and it's easy to see why, though I'd probably call him more of a sexist than a misogynist. His women characters have needs just as much as the men do but they rarely are afforded the same opportunities to screw up and have a good time like Apatow's stable of guy comedians are.
Apatow is however working to change that image: he's producing a chick flick romcom called The Bridesmaids starring Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, who also wrote the script. Apatow's wife Leslie Mann is set to star in the upcoming Business Trip, though probably not in a role comparable to something Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill might normally play for Apatow. Dunham will also help to change that perception, though I don't think she'll be joining in some of the more frathouse-oriented gags of Apatow's boys. Though honestly, I think that might be a great way for her to branch out from her semi-autobiographical material into uncharted and probably more challenging material for her. I look forward to her first dick joke.