12. Girls (HBO)
Stars: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Kathryn Hahn
Only 26-years-old, New York native Lena Dunham is a one-woman powerhouse, and HBO's Girls, easily the year's most polarizing new TV show, is her call to eminence.
Guided by comedy superproducer Judd Apatow, Dunham's uncomprising look at the modern-day lives of young women coming of age in NYC is unlike any other television program, both past and present. In addition to its emphasis on flawed yet sympathetic female characters, Girls also approches sex with an unusual fearlessness, depicting Dunham's bedroom experimentation without cutting away from un-Hollywood bodies bumping and grinding.
More than a brave provocateur, Dunham is a vastly interesting writer. The dialogue is sharp, the comedic set-ups are never obvious, and, as displayed by her character Hannah's complex relationship with oddball Adam (Adam Driver), the story lines all took unexpected turns.