Some Thoughts on Season 3 of HBO’s ‘Girls’; Worth All the Fuss?

Posted on: January 17th, 2014 at 11:22 am by
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Girls is a volatile subject around town, carrying all the weight of discussing politics or religion in the workplace. Love or loathe, it’s a media force that doesn’t appear to be disappearing any time soon. Over the past year, Lena Dunham and Co. spent a great deal of time on the Lower East Side, so, with wine bottle in hand, we thought to see if a third season of self-entitled “struggling” females would be worth the fuss.

HBO stacked two episodes on top of each other, presumably because the opening episode was like going over a Communications 101 syllabus on the first day of class: a slow, but necessary evil.

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It starts out with all the main characters in some manner of sleep, be it on their mother’s couch, a library desk, a dorm room top bunk, or Adam. The opening sequence was set to an orchestrated rendition of what could only be The Beta Band’s “Dry The Rain,” which aligned perfectly with the song’s refrain. Right out of the gate, we learn that each of the girls is dealing with something in their lives; Charlie left Marnie without rhyme or reason, Shoshanna is juggling school and sleeping around, Jessa is being intellectually tortured at rehab, and Hannah, the one who has it the most together, is working on introducing Adam to social niceties, like not being miserable when you’re hanging out with your girlfriend’s friends.

The second episode leaves rehashing by the wayside and gets right into it. The increasingly likeable Adam rents a car for Hannah and Shosh, and the three of them road trip upstate to pick up Jessa, who, unsurprisingly in just one episode, got herself kicked out of voluntary rehab. The road trip is packed with great bits: explaining the rules and repercussions of truth or dare, car dancing to Maroon 5, and the hotly debated pronunciation of Ryan Phillippe’s surname. Also, Shoshona’s self-assured idiocy is laugh-out-loud funny.

One reason to tune in this season is because it seems as though these self-absorbed characters who everybody loves to hate, are sort of humanizing. The world is still very much about them, but there’s an air of awareness for other people and their feelings, which hasn’t been all too present in the prior two seasons.

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But arguably, what makes Girls successful in its first two episodes (and series as a whole) is the dialogue. It’s delivered in a perfectly imperative, intellectual New York manner. It’s full of nuances, vocal inflections and fidgety body language – all of which nail this very specific demographic at this point in time. From diagnosing complicated relationships to wrestling philosophical questions like “What is your favorite utensil?”, the delivery is spot on.

On the flip side, though, the dialogue is also most likely the culprit for the haters. The show isn’t for every New Yorker; when you get to the juice of the matter, we see and hear this shit on a daily basis, and it’s annoying. On any given night, minding your own business, you can be sitting down to eat at your favorite dumpling joint, and the table next to you (without the ability to control the volume of their voices) starts spewing this type of intellectual valley-girl verbal diarrhea all over your dinner.

Yet to be fair, Lena Dunham has turned this grating characteristic into something that ultimately comes off as pretty smart and funny. Not easily detected on the surface, but through these absurd conversations and character traits, Dunham acknowledges and makes light of this group’s self-entitled martyrdom. Polarizing, yes; but it’s hard to deny that it’s clever. We are nonetheless intrigued to see where this season takes us (spoiler alert: Orchard Street).

So, do you love to hate or hate that you love Girls?

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