'Camping': Does Lena Dunham's new Jennifer Garner-starrer follow some of the traits from her previous work in 'Girls'?
Lena Dunham has always been real with her characters, sometimes even by imposing some real-world issues such as fake friendships on them. Will 'Camping' see more of the same?
Lena Dunham's upcoming show HBO's 'Camping' is set to release on October 14, and it looks like once again, she will be bringing her trademark signature to her works. 'Camping' star Jennifer Garner recently opened up about how it is like being in a toxic relationship, and as we know toxic relations are something Dunham has explored in depth in her show 'Girls'.
In a recent interview with InStyle, the 'Peppermint' actor revealed that her character Kathryn is part of a toxic relationship, however, unlike the usual "trend", she is not the victim in this relationship. Instead, her husband Walt (played by David Tennant) is at the receiving end when, on the occasion of his 45th birthday, Kathryn brings together a group of old friends, who are all grown-up and messed up.
Kathryn has been described as the controlling one who has beaten her husband to the ground in such a way that he can no longer recall if he has his own voice anymore. Although we still do not know the extent of abuse in the relationship between Kathryn and Walt, it resonates bits and pieces of the Adam-Hannah relationship trauma in 'Girls'.
Adam (Adam Driver) in 'Girls' was not the most-liked character in the show (it's a different story that no one was likable), however, his character begins to get even darker when the story takes a twist and he begins to sleep with Hannah's (played by Lena Dunham) ex-best friend, Jessa (Jemima Kirke).
While that was an emotional abuse of a different kind, Garner has indicated in her interview that Kathryn was more physically aggressive when it came to Walt. Just like Hannah who had discovered a strange reliance in being with Adam, both Kathryn and Walt are a co-dependent married couple.
Garner describes, "I think that she has beaten him down to the point where he doesn't even know that he doesn't have a voice anymore. And then that's not attractive, and she feels like she has to do everything, and that's not attractive, and she's a nightmare and doesn't have sex with him, and that's not [good]. So they're definitely in a bad cycle, and there's no reason for them to get out." Although things might be a lot more complicated between Kathryn and Walt, we cannot help but recall the five-year-long strenuous friendship that the girls had shared in 'Girls' was just as "not attractive" as Garner defines the couple's relationship to be.
Although 'Girls' was expected to be a show which would showcase the strong friendship between women, it instead portrayed the very harsh reality that women often fail to support one another. The four girls eventually do part ways, after many betrayals, breakdowns, and squabbles, but there was always the thin line of comfort that they all shared in one another's presence. That ending had almost left everyone contemplating if any relation ever gets easy, but with 'Camping' Dunham has only revealed that the older you get, the more complicated things get.
As Garner revealed, there will be some episodes about certain girl-on-girl crime, but if the magnitude will be as massive as 'Girls', is hard to say yet. However, Kathryn will encounter a stranger at the camp and the two women will immediately develop an extremely toxic relationship. Garner explained, "These are two strangers who meet [on Camping], and what happens when you have opposite personalities? So, there’s toxicity in that relationship. And also, the betrayal that Nina-Joy (Janicza Bravo) has had with Kathryn and just the darkness and ugliness that can be in an adult, female relationships. I don't think that's around that much in television."
However, while 'Girls' had shown some extremely sinister sides to pretentious friendships and being in abusive relations, at the same time, it had managed to bring about comic relief through its witty dialogues and Dunham's whimsical acting.
Probably the same will apply for 'Camping', in which everyone will see a bit of themselves in the obsessively compulsive Kathryn, and yet manage to laugh at her dubious nature. As Garner said, "I want everyone to see some of themselves in Kathryn...I love that she is so un-self-aware. I really adore her. And I think she's hilarious."