I feel like Girls is getting to that stage where it needs to make serious decisions about its characters. Lena Dunham has got Season 1 under her belt, won a few awards, but now has the opportunity to transform Girls into a meaningful comedy. In the first episode of this season, I mentioned that Hannah started to explore her own selfishness a little more and has, as a result, implicated her relationships in her general sociopathic nature. These are the kinds of decisions that Dunham now has to make about the rest of the cast.
Elijah and George potentially separate after they discuss the fact that Elijah had sex with Marnie (but seriously, it was like 3 pumps); Hannah is stalked by a creepily serenading Adam who has spiralled into heartbreak after the pair broke up; after losing her job, Marnie discovers she might not be suited to the world of art curatorship (maybe she should ‘cash in on her sexuality’, as Hannah puts it) and becomes a hostess; and Jessa features more prominently after she and new hubby Thomas-John (I forgot how shoddy Chris O’Dowd’s American accent is) return from their honeymoon.
Once again however, Shoshanna and Ray get the best of it, as they discuss what it would be like to wash a pig while dreamily staring into each other’s eyes. Their quirky, individual styles work beautifully together and the couple seem to have an on-screen chemistry unlike many of the other actors. Ray is slightly unsettling as the older boyfriend while Shoshanna’s dewy-eyed OMG innocence is cutesy and hilarious – but the pairing is quite inspired. These scenes show how clumsy and unnecessary the scenes between Jessa and Thomas-John are; Dunham should make these characters more integral to the show, but preferably just cut them altogether.
What’s a little jarring in this episode is its awkwardly political tone. It’s revealed that Donald Glover’s character (Hannah’s “boyfriend”) is a Republican and he gets sucked into this weirdly out-of-place left-field commentary. Hannah and Elijah accuse him of being pro-guns, anti-gay and anti-women, while Hannah gets involved in an argument about black men in the US. The decision to make this episode semi-political is actually a bit of a disaster. It looks like Dunham is responding to criticisms about the casting of Glover and also getting all issue-based during Obama’s re-election. It’s actually somewhat immature in a show which is easy to watch because of its neutral editorial stance. It’s positive to see an extra level of depth to the show, but Dunham needs to be wary she doesn’t start preaching. And this might sound crude but what I like most about Girls is that it’s light-hearted, energetic, full of gags and isn’t afraid to show a gratuitous amount of sex – I felt that this episode had hardly any of those things.