Girls Season Two: Review


Girls – Season Two

Mondays on Sky Atlantic at 10pm

For someone who proclaimed that “I think that I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice. Of a generation.â€? it remains abundantly clear in the second season of Girls that despite the title’s implied plurality, this will and always will be the Hannah Horvath story.

As a series that carried its critically acclaimed assumption of the cultural Zeitgeist so brazenly, it seemed almost self-mockingly naïve to exclusively follow the personal ups and parentally stabilised downs of the offspring of, at worst, ten percenters.

Act II, enter stage right: minority representative Donald Glover as Dunham’s black boyfriend Sandy. Who also has to bear the burden of being a Republican AND an Ayn Rand enthusiast – providing Hanna with at least three excuses to revert back to the Series One monochromatic should her life prove uninteresting enough to require more drama.

2012 might have been hailed as the beginning of the end for the Caucasian voter in the USA, but 2013 continues to show that it remains the pre-eminent Nielsen demographic.

Girls is successful because it allows its audience to favourably compare the consequences of their own immaturity to characters who resemble them and their non-fictional (un)happiness; even though the glamour of the show masks character arcs that if played out logically for the next decade would be pitied.

At ‘The Box’ in Soho, the audience for the Season Two première is overwhelmingly young, white, female and entitled. As with any other neurotic demographic, it is looking for validation: from the eponymous celebrities in attendance, their haute-bourgeois peers and the reality certifying credibility of an HBO drama. The stridulatory white noise of four hundred hands humblebragging on social media was a constant throughout the performance – because what could be more life affirming than all your friends knowing about your presence at the première of the fiction depicting your present tense?

It’s a biological truism that girls physically and mentally aspire to and do grow into women faster than boys do into men, yet it is observably true that the few men in attendance seem far more contented.

Despite modern advances, women are still held back from being as comparably carefree for as long as men by a maturity that is undesirably imposed by ancient reproductive necessity; the nervously enthusiastic laughter at Girls’ stunted inter-gender relations betrayed an uncomfortable familiarity for many female attendees.

In one very authentic, and generationally damning way Girls is outstanding: That despite the legal benefits of adulthood, increasing financial independence and conscience altering romance, twenty-something character development is almost non-existent.

Season Two of Girls is no more interesting than the morning after ‘OMG!’conversations that litter your news feed on a Saturday morning, but at least it’s better written.

Nick Arthur