TV Diary: Delusional Downtown Divas ‘Desperate Decadence: S1, Ep 1’

Premiered 9th January 2009.

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 23.20.26Delusional Downtown Divas(DDD) is Lena Dunham doing what she does best. Its a wry satirical web-series produced and directed by Dunham, starring herself and some of her closest friends. It provides a commentary of a group of young adults in New York yearning for stardom and to be a part of the art world’s inner circle, addressing topical issues and exploring the psyche of privileged children as they try to make a name for themselves.

Each 7 and a half minute episode is driven by its the quirky characters. The series has a relatively low production value, relying on long takes and the shots which at times are very shaky, with a handheld feel to them. This style is almost reminiscent of a fly on the wall documentary, the audience feels as if they are voyeurs watching intimate moments between friends. The likeness to a documentary is furthered by reverse shots that are held for longer than feels natural. Delusional Downtown Divas is reliant on dialogue rather than fancy camera shots and special effects.

Direct address is used frequently. The characters speak candidly to the camera as if they were recording a Vlog, utilising its online medium perfectly and allowing audiences to relate to the characters in the short space of time available.

The webisodes showcased Lena Dunham’s ability to effectively develop characters and story lines and caught the attention of financiers and ironically the art world. The web series is engaging and a pleasure to watch. It’s unsurprising that HBO picked up her current show ‘Girls’ as it isn’t dissimilar to Delusional Downtown Divas with its clear mumblecore influences and character driven narratives.

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