Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) and her friends Marnie (Allison Williams), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) return for another season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series Girls. The second season has already aired in the UK on Sky Atlantic and was a ratings hit once again in the US. The new season picks up a few weeks after the end of the first and Hannah is now living with Elijah (Andrew Rennells) following her fallout with Marnie. She is also seeing a new guy after breaking up with Adam (Adam Driver).
It’s all change for the other characters too this season. Marnie is still on/off with Charlie (Christopher Abbott), Shoshanna continues her fling with Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Jessa returns as a married woman but her new husband Thomas-John (Chris O’Dowd) may not be the perfect match for her after all. As always with Girls there’s conflict aplenty, some shocking scenes and plenty of laughs across the season’s 10 episodes.
One of the best episodes of the season is Bad Friend where Hannah and Elijah go on a coke-fuelled bender and a few secrets come out causing an almighty fallout. Another standout is One Man’s Trash which is pretty much a two-hander between Hannah and new character Joshua (Patrick Wilson). The two meet by chance and their relationship becomes unusually intense in a very short space of time highlighting Hannah’s desperate need to be loved.
Whilst the majority of Girls’ second season is solid we couldn’t help but feel it lost its way a bit. The absence of Jessa for the second half of the season puts a strain on the show and Hannah and Marnie become incredibly unlikeable by the final episode. The only character to make it out with some likeability is Shoshanna but her behaviour towards Ray makes you sit on the fence about how you feel towards her. It’s clear than Dunham and the crew have tried to deliver different styles in some of the episodes and this gives a welcome change in both pace and feel for the show at times.
Performance wise all four actresses continue to be fearless with Dunham unafraid to appear in various states of undress. The four actresses should be commended for their fantastic performances but next season we want to see the foursome do much more together rather than pursuing their individual storylines. The return of Jorma Taccone’s Booth is a pleasing addition to the cast and he is wonderfully weird as he embarks on a relationship with Marnie.
Whilst Girls lost its footing during its second season there’s still plenty here to enjoy. In the third season the characters need to become more likeable again otherwise it’s going to be hard to relate or sympathise with what any of them are going through. Dunham certainly hasn’t lost her edge but she needs to bring a bit of humanity and normality back to these four girls. Each one is clearly dealing with their own issues, Hannah’s bordering on mental illness, but we want to see them regroup and explore their friendships once again.