Our favorite band of perpetually confused 20-somethings is back. HBO’s Girls debuted on Sunday (Jan. 12) with a special double episode (“Females Only” and “Truth or Dare”) that allowed us to catch back up with the cast and remember their lives are completely stagnant. Marnie and Shoshanna are still spinning in circles as they wait for something better. Adam is still weird and uncomfortable around, well, everyone. Jessa has left rehab by the end of episode two, but seems completely unchanged.
The only progress forward is shown by struggling writer Hannah, played by Girls star and creative force Lena Durham. Hannah has recovered sufficiently from last season’s mental breakdown and is writing again even as she struggles to make enough money to eat.
There’s a certain comfort in watching likable characters continue their lives unchangingly, but that repetitiveness is beginning to get a little irritating on Girls. It probably has something to do with the fact that the show’s thematic center – 20-somethings trying to figure out their life – is so familiar to us.
These characters once held grandiose expectations of their lives, but time and a lack of success and a lack of money have beaten them down. They haven’t given up (not for long periods of time anyway), but they’re beginning to realize life doesn’t always unfold the way they expect. Marnie spent the first season working in an art gallery and wondering how she could move forward with her career. Now she’s working at a coffee shop and simply grateful to have an income.
The best part about Girls has always been the perfectly relatable characters and situations. Most people spent/are spending their 20s stretching their legs and learning how to live. But therein lies the problem.
We’ve spent the past few years watching these clumsy Brooklynites and identifying with their confusion, but at the same time we’re growing older and (hopefully) wiser. So it’s a little depressing when we return to Girls and find the cast in the same situations and problems as two years ago. —Dominick Grillo
At least HBO is trying to stay current. New episodes of Girls will be available on YouTube after premiering on HBO. Check out the first two episodes of Girls below.