Now settled in as one of the powerhouses of the HBO elite (rising to the high bars set by Mad Men and of course, their pastiche-muse Sex and the City) Lena Dunham’s Girls is now already in its third series, with more nudity, cutting wit, and Richard E Grant!
We begin the series pretty much where we left off. Post-breakdown Hannah is now at the level of her relationship where Adam has to spend time with her friends, Marnie is slowly trying to move on from her second failed attempt at life-long lovings with Charlie, Jessa is in rehab, and Shoshanna is still happily just being Shoshanna.
The two episodes show Girls on good form, and the return is a very welcome one for Dunham after the show has been generating the star writer press attention in all shapes and sizes over the past few years. It’s nice to return back to the basics – especially as these 20 minute escapades are becoming more reflective as we drift into the third season. Embarking on a semi-road trip to pick up Jessa from rehab, it’s interesting to see a new dynamic with Adam strongly in toe. Whether or not we’re still supposed to like him, remains uncertain, but there is certainly a more tranquil feeling to the series this time around. Of course, with a wonderful coffee shop altercation with an old one-night-stand in episode one, this could all once again turn around.
Elements remain the same, albeit exaggerated. Shoshanna’s witless Sex and the City pastiche, is now teetering on the edge of becoming, well, a pastiche – with an overlay of naïve one-liners that sends warning signals the character could be overplayed into Joey Tribbiani territories of stupidity.
Richard E Grant’s cameo is welcomed, but unusual. Presented initially as an elderly Withnail father-figure for Jessa whilst she is locked in the ever turning wheel of group therapy, the appearance takes a peculiar turn. It is not long before inevitably, Jessa skedaddles from rehab.
Overall though, it is good to see the four girls back, in a more developed atmosphere, everyone in carthatic states, and Hannah’s writing career finally beginning to take off. (She is even invited for lunch with an editor where the tea cups are made of chocolate!) Things seem pretty rosy now for The Girls, but the question is – for how long?