IS GIRLS THE NEW SEX AND THE CITY?

HBO once again brings us four Manhattan BFFs-but with a difference

Judging from the posters for this brilliant new comedy (premiering April 15, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT), the ghosts of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte have come back as four hipper if slouchier young women. But Girls, created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) as a sarcastic, saturnine wanna-be literary star named Hannah, is SATC turned on its expensively styled head. Life for Hannah and her friends is not full of the breathtaking adventure of New York City. They text, party, work entry-level jobs and hook up with men they don't love. Hannah allows herself to be the sexual plaything of a dumb young actor whose fantasies are degradingly sick-the bitter joke is watching Hannah gamely, heartbreakingly, trying to make the best of it. Girls is a classic in the Larry David school of discomfort, but it'd be more accurate to say it's what you'd get if Sarah Silverman rewrote Jane Austen. It's a raw, ironic, occasionally touching comedy of postmillennial manners. Not "feel-good"-but on its own terms, perfect.

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"It's what you'd get if Sarah Silverman rewrote Jane Austen"

YOU'VE GOTTA SEE THIS ...

NYC 22

Leelee Sobieski (with Harold House Moore) is taut and tough in a new cop drama. CBS, April 15.

SUBURGATORY

Alicia Silverstone-underrated!-plays a health nut in the first of four new episodes. ABC, April 18.

KATHY

Kathy Griffin, having lost none of her enjoyably crass drive to claw her way up from the D list, gets a weekly talk show. Bravo, April 19.

LATE NIGHT BREAKOUT

DO YOU STILL GET NERVOUS DOING LIVE TV?

I get more nervous at the dress rehearsal. Live, you have to just have fun and commit.

DOES YOUR FIANCEE, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER STAR COBIE SMULDERS, WATCH YOU ON SNL?

I actually ask her not to stay up to watch the show live because she's tired from taking care of our child [daughter Shaelyn, 3]. I'd love her to come on as a guest.

SHE'S IN L.A.; SNL IS IN NEW YORK. HOW DOES THAT WORK?

When it's hiatus, I will do the show, go to the afterparty, go to an after-afterparty, then go straight to the airport. As long as I can sing karaoke, that will keep me going!

THE GOOD WIFE

PLEA: In regard to the CBS legal drama, I ask the court to expunge my middling review of Dec. 19, 2011, and submit into record a fresh rave.

DEFENSE: Prior review caused by temporary critical insanity, triggered by bad turn in plot.

HISTORY: Halfway into season 3, I objected to the new romance of attorneys Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and Will Gardner (Josh Charles). Said fling felt less like consummation than amorous overreach (see Grey's Anatomy) and gummed up the plot. Once affair ended, Wife reverted to top form.

EVIDENCE: Devilishly complex cases; witty, understated performances.

SUMMATION:

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