Girls has taken us on quite a journey over the past three years, from Season 1 (“The Season That Launched a Thousand Think Pieces”), to a dark and confusing Season 2 (“You’ll Never Want to Use Q-Tips Again”), to, finally, a refreshingly enjoyable Season 3 (“They Might All Be Kind of Starting to Grow Up”). But while the stories have become more interesting and some of Hannah’s outfits have improved, the Flavorwire staff has noticed a disturbing trend: often, Lena Dunham and Co. will plant a particular plot seed, then refuse to water it or even hint at its existence ever again. … Read More
The third season of Girls was, in a lot of ways, much like the show’s two previous offerings. Adam and Hannah face multiple relationship problems. Hannah moves forward with her writing, then moves back, then possibly moves forward again. Marnie continues to be annoying and self-obsessed. Well, all of them continue to be annoying and self-obsessed. The episodes are still frustratingly uneven, and some characters get the shaft, regardless of how interesting their storylines are (in the first season, it was Shoshanna; this time Jessa has the most interesting plot but is often relegated to the background). Yet this is the first season of the show that I actually enjoyed watching. … Read More
Demanding what one needs in a relationship is a tricky business. Is Adam allowed to ask for space, if that’s what he needs? Sure. But is Hannah obligated to suppress how upset that request makes her, or the anxieties it provokes for her about the state of Hannah-and-Adam? Is Adam allowed to say that he needs Hannah not just to let him move out—he needs her to embrace it? Make no mistake: Hannah pulls some grade-A shenanigans this episode that are 100% her fault. The source of that desire to act out, though, is her boyfriend, who’s snapped out of the knight-in-shining-armor phase he entered during last season’s finale and reverted back to the not-so-lovable asshole we knew back in Girls‘s early days. … Read More
Who knew Adam was so in touch with his emotions? For someone who opts to communicate mostly in grunts these days, it turns out he’s actually given some thought to his creepy sexual idiosyncrasies and why they vanished out of thin air this season. The problem is that he’s never opted to share much of this introspection with his girlfriend (that is, not that we’ve seen), and by the time she forces it out of him, it’s too late. Hannah’s relationship finally implodes in “Role-Play,” but for once, it’s not entirely her fault. She’s just making a last-ditch effort to save her and Adam in the only way Hannah knows how: going completely over-the-top. … Read More
I’m not sure what show “Flo” is an episode of, but it certainly doesn’t feel like Girls. For thirty full minutes, we’re introduced to a cast of fully fleshed out characters with personalities and problems entirely independent from Hannah’s. Cousin Rebecca feels like more of a human being than Shoshanna did for the entire first half of the season, and Lorraine’s sibling squabbles flesh out a category of female relationship that’s just as real and complex as that of a post-college clique. It’s a brilliant demonstration that Girls’s emotional range extends far beyond that of its main characters; Hannah might not be able to see beyond her own tiny world, but the people who write her sure can. So we get “Flo,” a one-act family dramedy slipped into a series about twenty-something friends. … Read More
God bless Shoshanna Shapiro.
Girls has kept its sometime MVP on the sidelines for so long, I forgot how good it feels when the show puts her in her rightful place as the foursome’s resident Cassandra. She’s deployed to spectacular effect in “Beach House,” an episode’s that co-written by all three of the show’s heavy hitters. The idea of a vacation that strikes a friend group’s killing blow by ripping the group’s tensions out into the open has been done before, obviously. But Lena Dunham, Jenni Konner, and Judd Apatow combine their talents to render a chick-flick cliché in nightmarish detail. “Beach House” pulls this off by showing the way this particular group would implode, demonstrating such a perfect understanding of its characters and the dynamic between them that it’s easy to forget that Girls has been keeping its protagonists separated for so long. … Read More
It’s an occupational hazard of any writer writing about a writer trying to be a writer. Girls has never been as concerned with being “relatable” or “real” as some expect it to be, but any series has to have conflicts most of its audience can, well…care about. And Hannah’s venture into the world of sponsored content smacks of some serious inside baseball, a dilemma few people outside of a few hundred Manhattan media types even know exists. I kept asking myself just what percentage of this show’s audience even gets jokes about n+1 and advertorials. If it’s any higher than ten, I fear for its ratings.
When did Girls become a CW drama meets Community? Lena Dunham’s been on a meta kick lately, what with last week’s discussion of online snark, and Hannah’s narcissism has turned from something the audience is expected to call out on its own to a running joke on screen. “Only Child” brings the navel-gaze to a whole new level, culminating in Ray’s description of Marnie as a “sympathetic character.” That face-off exemplifies both the self-awareness that’s traditionally the bailiwick of a certain NBC sitcom and the increasing insularity of the show’s universe. The reshuffling of characters is fast approaching the randomness of a seventh-season teen soap, and it risks becoming just as unbelievable. … Read More
Just when Girls has you convinced it’s gone full sitcom, it gives you the nightmare image of a pantsless Gabby Hoffmann shattering a glass with her bare hand. Hoffmann’s great at playing unhinged, but where her character in Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus was ultimately benign, Adam’s sister Caroline is a whole new order of instability. She’s the kind of whirlwind that shows up out of nowhere just to suck all the oxygen out of the room, leaving broken dishware and possibly damaged romantic relationships in her wake. And even though the show wrings some comedic value out of her craziness, no one’s laughing by the end of “She Said OK.” Least of all Adam.