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The Boston Globe

Television

Television Review

‘Girls’: Painfully good

I don’t think I’ve come across a character like Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath on TV before. She doesn’t easily fit into the young-single-women molds that TV writers have shaped over the past few decades — the coiffed ditzes of “Friends,” the frank, swank ladies of “Sex and the City,” Mary Tyler Moore’s lovable professional.

For that reason alone, for the rare act of breaking off from the familiar, I’m inclined to love HBO’s “Girls,” which returns in great form for season 2 on Sunday night at 9. Hannah is her own special creation. She’s frumpy, for one thing — check out her “stupid sailor-nun” dress in the premiere — in what is an out-and-out rejection of magazine-bred standards of beauty. Sometimes her voice even has an old-ladyish timbre. And she’s irritatingly blasé about love, career, and friends, until she’s irritatingly obsessive about them, over-thinking and over-sharing.

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