A Look at HBO’s GIRLS
After a second season that experienced some critical fallout due to overly dark and awkward topics and material, Lena Dunham’s brilliantly ridiculous dramedy Girls is finally back and it is better than ever.
It becomes very obvious from early on in the third season’s premiere that the show noted all of the blowback from last year and is changing things up and moving forward in a funnier and, so far, better way. With the additions of such stars as Amy Schumer, Danielle Brooks, Rita Wilson and Gaby Hoffman, each episode has been fresher and easier to watch than say last year’s episode “On All Fours” where the show decided to go from darkly comedic and humorously awkward to purely dark and almost too awkward to handle (remember the Q-Tip part *shudder*). Obviously the new season still has its moments of cringe inducing writing (Marnie’s birthday Rent duet with Hannah) but it also has regained a lot of raucous excitement (Jessa’s apology turned hook up with her fellow rehab patient and Hannah’s book editor at her birthday party) that fans of the show are looking for and love.
I had the great opportunity to attend the Boston premiere of season three a week before the show came on HBO, and it was a night I will not soon forget. The vibe of the premiere was fun, higher end and posh. Open bar, gourmet food, photographers and a live feed of the red carter premiere in NYC. After about an hour of the reception, we were ushered into a theater and got to enjoy the first two episodes of the season. The fun energy continued throughout both episodes with the audience filling the room with laughter and tears of joy. My friends and I looked at each other after the screening was over and simply said, “It’s Back”. Just as easily as Dunham took over pop culture with the premiere of the first season, she got us all back this season just as passionately as the first, and were not going anywhere.
Big changes seem to be coming on the horizon for our fab four struggling NYC frenemies. Hannah and Adam’s relationship is being tested by the emergence of Adam’s emotionally unstable sister Caroline (Gaby Hoffman), Shoshanna is trying to find something, or someone, more after a tough breakup with Ray. Jessa, emerging back from rehab almost as quickly as when she left to join, is trying to find her way in life. Marnie, reeling from another breakup with Charlie, is lost in all meanings of the word, and I fear if she doesn’t regain her footing soon, fans will be done with her (unless they are already; personally I think she still has potential). And there are always other possibilities and directions for the show to take as that’s what Lena seems to love to do. She can’t seem to settle on one theme or topic for too long, but as long as her writing remains this well done, I’m not complaining.
Although if one was to make a case for a theme of this season one could say the tone this year is that of black comedy or dark comedy. Whether it’s Jessa in rehab, Adam’s sister breaking a glass in her hand, Hannah’s publisher’s death and subsequent awkward funeral or just the usual trials and tribulations of the four protagonists that we all love to feel uncomfortable watching. Stay tuned for the rest of the season Sunday nights at 10 pm EST on HBO (and if you haven’t watched the show yet, clear a days worth of plans and just binge watch the whole series on HBOGO). I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever had an awkward confrontation with your parents, friends, gynecologist, an ex significant other, your drugged up and emotional land lord or even just your uncle’s girlfriend who is a stewardess named Elodie.