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Lena Dunham talks 'Girls' controversies

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Girls is one of those series that seems designed to provoke conversation — about whether its characters are flawed-yet-sympathetic or just deplorable, about the way it treats (or ignores) race, about whether it can even be considered a comedy anymore.

But no single episode of the show’s second season spurred more discussion than “One Man’s Trash,” a dreamy diversion that ditched most of the ensemble to focus on Hannah (series creator/writer Lena Dunham) and her surprise, two-day-long tryst with a handsome, older doctor played by Patrick Wilson. EW’s recapper Lindsey Bahr called the half-hour “the most beautiful episode of Girls that I’ve ever seen and also the most infuriating”; scads of viewers agreed, griping that a man like Wilson would never be attracted to a woman like Dunham and that the whole story played more like self-indulgent wish fulfillment than compelling TV.

Dunham herself, though, just doesn’t understand where her critics are coming from.

“It’s such a funny response, the idea that a handsome, 42-year-old man would never sleep with an awkward, 24-year-old girl,” she tells the Los Angeles Times in a new interview. “It felt so oddly mathematical, like it was a bunch of scientists who had done a calculation rather than people who had a real grasp on the realities of being alone in the city.”

And while the Golden Globe winner is “so tired of having to cry out ‘misogyny,’ ” she still thinks that word is the most accurate way to describe the vitriol. “People questioning the idea that a woman could sleep with a man who defied her lot in the looks bracket hews so closely to these really outdated ideas about what makes a woman worth spending time with,” she tells the Times.

It’s a solid point — and one that Patrick Wilson’s own wife also made shortly after the episode aired:

Clearly, we all know what this means: More Patrick Wilson in season 3! Maybe he can replace Charlie?

Follow Hillary on Twitter.

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