The first season of Girls came at an almost perfect time for both HBO and its audiences. It arrived post-Sex and the City, the films of which may well generate some gratuitous income for studios but are elongated versions of a crappy, quasi-sitcom. It also partitioned the weightier dramas of Treme, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and The Newsroom. Girls creator Lena Dunham wrote, directed, produced and starred in an original, genuinely quirky comedy – not just a faux-hipster rom-com like (500) Days of Summer or Friends with Benefits. More than that however is the fact that she developed a current programme aimed at younger twentysomethings in an environment of alienating social media, constant trendsetting and uncertain job prospects.
The first episode of season 2 doesn’t veer too far from season 1, picking up only a short while after its conclusion. Marnie (Allison Williams) has now moved out of the apartment, Adam’s (Adam Driver) leg is in a cast after he was hit by a truck, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) lost her virginity to Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Hannah (Dunham) is typically embroiled in different relationships and friendly feuds. She throws a housewarming party after moving in with her ex Elijah (Andrew Rannells) and in many ways it’s like a welcome back party for audiences at home too.
Hannah expresses that she feels a certain amount of guilt for Adam’s accident – something which she divulges to a new love interest played by Donald Glover, who many will recognise from his off the wall role in Community. Marnie loses her job and feels even more isolated when she sees ex-boyfriend Charlie (Christopher Abbott) with his new girlfriend. Shoshanna actually gets the best of it in this opening episode, with some hilarious lines on how she feels about her miss-ing hymen and her subsequent break up with Ray.
These details point towards a new depth to Dunham’s script (this episode was co-written by show runner Jenni Konner), as shows like this can always feel deflated if the second season merely copies the first. Inevitably, Dunham’s character is the most complex and conflicted; on the one hand she has no issues getting her kit off in practically every scene but at the same time has tremendous body image issues and is still uncertain over how she feels about Adam. He proclaims his love for her, while she selfishly has a relationship with Glover’s character. She has exchanged her friendships with multiple jobs and distances herself from social situations yet still wants to be involved in numerous social circles. If more of these ideas are explored throughout Season 2 and it doesn’t just turn into a sex-fest, Girls will triumph once more.