I’ve been a fan of Girls since it aired in the summer of 2012. I remember watching it On Demand at my parents’ house and being simultaneously shocked, repulsed, and awed by how a series could take me through such a range of emotions while making me laugh and keeping me enthralled. Season One really tapped into something real, raw, and organic about the post-grad struggle to find self, find companionship, and find work. I found myself recommending it to friends with the caveat, “It’s weird but good.” I was honestly disappointed by the second season. It seemed indulgent and piecemeal, with an inconsistent storyline and too many ‘field trip’ episodes that (while having some great moments) took away from what felt authentic about the ‘day in the life’ of the characters. Plus, the girls are way funnier when they’re together.
Unfortunately Season Three may be taking the series from what was forgivably bad (S2E1-4 were great) to what may be the demise of what I had considered one of the best and most unique series in recent memory.
The intro shot continuity with the other seasons was a nice touch, making me hopeful. Rita Wilson quickly snatched that hope and stomped it out in her bland and pointless heels as Marnie’s mother. She wasn’t bad per se, but she just wasn’t good. At all. Marnie’s storyline as a whole was weak. It was obvious that little thought had been put into her character’s trajectory without Charlie (who I missed dearly
what a babe and I’m still so curious just what ‘creative differences’ pushed him over the edge…). A little more than “he fucked her over” in the plot department would have been nice after what was a relieving and adorable Season Two finale.
Seeing Taystee from Orange is the New Black at rehab with Jessa also gave me hope. Unfortunately her comedic talent was grossly underused and instead she became an enemy/friend/lover/exit strategy for the increasingly surly, irresponsible, and strange Jessa. The whole rehab storyline seemed half-baked, and while there were scenes that tried to give some insight into her character and motivations (i.e. interactions with pill-popping father figure substitute and the rehab administrator/psychiatrist) they felt insincere and unorganic. The nuanced and subtle exchange between Jessa and her father last season (S2E7) was replaced with a ‘frying pan over the head’ approach for viewers who may have missed the fact that she doesn’t have great parents.
Shoshanna’s character also seemed strangely disconnected. Understandably different, and much more confident, with new-found independence after breaking up with Ray, her lines somehow fell flat for me in these episodes and the convincing neuroticism that was endearing, hilarious, and believable in prior seasons seemed forced. The constant “clueless Shosh” jokes involving mental illness and gender seemed more cheap than clever.
Adam really saved the episodes, showing growth as a character and an actor. He maintained his nonchalant strangeness while showing a deeper level of understanding and responsibility (however non-traditional the ‘Hannah caretaker’ role may be).
Sadly, the only laugh I got was in the opening scene at Grumpy’s with the Natalia blowout: “Did you leave in a rush?” Oh, and the edible cup. Where can I get one of those?
Here’s hoping Lena and team can turn the rest of the season around. I’ll still watch. Worst case scenario I’ll get to see more of Hannah’s accessories (see: glasses hair clip), good music, all 4 girls together (hopefully), and Hannah falling.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch the episodes on YouTube.