Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Girls Season 2: Almost Getting it Kind of Together

The image above is pretty much how I looked every time I watched an episode of HBO's Girls this season. Zoned into my laptop while having distressed emotions about all four of the girls (and the boys too) and yet unable to look away or stop watching. 

Okay, sometimes I also yell at the characters and tell them that they are making poor choices. Skwisgaar can vouch for that, he always watches with me. So after 10 episodes this is my take on the sophomore season of the show and the characters.*

*Just incase you didn't see this coming, I am going to write about the entire season, so there are going to be big spoilers. If you haven't finished watching, bookmark this post now and come back to read it later. Seriously, please come back...

The Girls 

Hannah - We learned a lot about Hannah this season. We learned that she believes her purpose at this point in her life is to have as many crazy/scary/unsuitable experiences (letting Adam treat her badly for so long, sleeping with a random doctor and living with him for 2 days, taking drugs with Elijah and only wearing a mesh shirt, etc.) as she can so she can write about them and act as the "voice of her generation". 

This explains a lot about her character. It explains why she doesn't have the traditional drive to hold down a 9 to 5 job, to keep a saving account, or to build meaningful relationships with her friends and family. She lets bad things happen to her, makes wrong decisions, and consistently drops any semblance of "normal" social interactions by crossing inappropriate lines over and over again in hopes that she will have as many experiences as possible.

Midway through the season in the episode, "One Man's Trash" we watch Hannah as she has a life altering realization and learns that she doesn't want to keep having these "experiences", but that she wants to be truly happy, but she is scared to think about what that means.

We learn that she has a long history with mental illness and OCD, which rears it's head and sticks around for the second half of the season. The last episode seems like it was really rock bottom for Hannah who was living on a diet of Cool Whip straight from the tub, hiding under the bed when Marnie comes to check on her, chopping her hair off in the worst way, and asking her Dad for money to avoid a law suit over a book that she failed to write. At the end she reaches out via FaceTime (is this Face Space?) to Adam, who is the first person other than her parents who she reaches out to signaling that she is broken. 

Will Adam pull Hannah out of her and help set her on the path to recovery? We will find out in season 3! 

Marnie - I think Marnie went through the biggest change this season. She is a very different shade of woman than the put together, career driven, mature gal who we were introduced to in season 1. 

Getting laid off early in the season after leaving Charlie and moving out of the apartment that she shared with Hannah, not to mention a lack of support from her mother, left her feeling like she didn't have anything and that there was nothing in the future for her. 

When the dressed-up put-together version of Marnie fell away, we got to know crazy Marnie who willingly was locked in a TV torture chamber by artist Booth Jonathan, wore a see through plastic dress, decided to stalk her ex boyfriend, randomly decided to pursue a singing career, and went crazy pants every time she encountered Charlie. She didn't seem to find her footing and we won't find out if she did until next season.

Shoshanna - This season Shoshanna learned that being in a committed relationship is hard work and that living in a romantic comedy scenario simply isn't realistic. She and Ray come together for a brief moment, but she quickly discovers how jaded he is and she begins to feel trapped. In the beginning she thinks that she has fallen in love with him, when in truth, she had just let herself get lost in the first man who she was intimate with, even though he wasn't a good match for her. 

I was so happy at the end when she stood up to Ray and told him that he needed therapy and that he was projecting negativity onto her. She was upset, of course, be she learned how to be strong for herself, which is a big lesson when you are 21. I am also a big fan of the writing for Shoshanna, she might be my favorite character... I hope that next season she continues to find her strength and can harness it in a good way.

Jessa - Jessa is my least favorite character on the show. Maybe she is written to be disliked? Maybe I'm not cool enough to understand her? Maybe I just don't connect with her at all?  I don't know, these are all possibilities, but her story wasn't for me. 

When she took off at the end of "Video Games" I was thrilled that there would be more time to focus on the stories of the other three girls. Yes, we learn that Jessa's marriage to Thomas John (adorable Chris O'Dowd) fails almost immediately (big surprise). Yes, we learn that she had a messed up childhood and that she harbors a ton of resentment towards her father, but as a viewer do I care? No. Sorry, that's it.

The Season

As a whole, I really liked this season. I am always left wishing there were more than 10, 30 minute episodes. All 4 girls continued to move along the long road of their journey in life, at times straying from one another and in Hannah's case, away from everyone. The writing aptly showcased real issues that we all face such as not getting along with roomates, feeling distant from friends, mistaking how others feel about us, struggling with self purpose and drive, struggling with economic status, struggling with family relationships, oy, struggling in general. 

Season 2 high points included Hannah's sleepover with the sexy doctor Joshua (Patrick Wilson), Marnie's surprise performance at Charlie's office party, Shoshanna's fling with the handsome door man, Hannah's publisher David's (John Cameron Mitchell aka Hedwig) sassy conversations about Hannah's terrible pending  ebook, and of course, the final scene when Adam returns to Hannah in a moment of pure selflessness and caring. 

The Music

My daily workout playlist is currently 3/4 songs from the Girls Volume 1 Soundtrack. It's so good! Sight of the Sun by Fun., Wishes and Stars by Harper Simon, I Love It (feat. Charlie XCX) by Icona Pop, and Girls by Santigold are my favorite tracks. I can already tell that this will be on my "most played albums of the year" list in my 2014 wrap up. 

Wow - that was long. I didn't realize that I had so much to say about the show until I started writing. Did you watch season 2 of Girls? What did you think?

Next review to come - Season 6 of Mad Men which begins on April 7th!


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