Girls: Season 2 created by Lena Dunham (Apatow Productions)
Starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet.
Spoilers for Season 1 apply.
Are you ok with change?
For many, change is the devil. We all wish for halcyon days, a verdant time where everything exists in a perfected state. When a life altering circumstance occurs, we often long for the days of yore, for a period when things were less stressful or easier.
With the second season of Girls, I am beginning to see changes—ones I’m not certain are good for the show. I don’t think I’m ok with change.
Girls and Their Boys
Season 2 begins shortly after the concluding events of Season 1. Hannah Hovarth (Lena Dunham) hasn’t quite broken up with her serious boyfriend Adam Sackler (Adam Driver) even though she has a new sex buddy in her life, Sandy (Donald Glover), an African American Republican.
Since her relationship with best friend and former roommate Marnie (Allison Williams) has grown tense, Hannah now lives with her gay ex-boyfriend, Elijah Krantz (Andrew Rannells).
Jessa (Jemima Kirke) has returned from her honeymoon with Thomas-John (Chris O’Dowd), her affluent venture capitalist husband.
And lastly, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is finishing college while trying to figure out what is happening to her relationship with Ray (Alex Karpovsky), the man to whom she lost her virginity.
Girls and Their Economic Prospects
As the season unfolds, we learn of the many tensions these friends face in their relationships with men, their friendships with each other, and their attempts to sustain themselves in the most expensive place to live in the world.
Marnie loses her job at an art gallery, causing her to question the plausibility of her dream career as a curator. Hannah continues to work multiple jobs while she tries to pitch her writing to publishers. As Jessa illustrates with her rich husband, the draw to quit trying and find an established man always remains in the back of the mind.
With all of these swirling stresses, the narrative inevitably works toward a breaking point.
Girls and New Character Traits
Without spoiling the second season for you, these breaking points provide the most frustrating part of my Season 2 experience. Girls is at its best when it lets its characters shine, putting them in situations we’ve all experienced and letting out the inner crazy. But the results of the stress from these breaking points take the narrative in an out-of-left-field direction.
Too often, it seemed as if Girls introduced a new trait to an already strong character, pushing the character from a lovable oddball to one slightly more annoying. As a series expands, the expansion of a character tends to move toward the absurd, and Girls hasn’t gotten there yet, but I was hoping for more subtle changes in Season 2—the standard progression through life a typical human being encounters where new experiences offer opportunities for learning.
Despite these changes, Girls is an excellent, quick-witted show. With intelligence and sarcasm, the show still feels real. But I worry about where it’s headed. At this point, I’d rather sit with Season One than to proceed in the direction this show might go. But what do I know? I don’t like change.
Verdict: 3.5 out of 5