March 24, 2014

Girls: Season 3 Review



           One of the most controversial series currently on television has to be HBO’s Girls.  Maybe it’s the point-of-view and attitude of the main characters (which the show itself clearly doesn’t endorse) or maybe because the show is almost completely run by females or maybe it’s something else entirely, but Girls seems to constantly be in a state of backlash and counter-backlash.  Oddly, the backlash and counter-backlash seemed to calm down for the show’s third season (which just completed its run last night).  Upon watching the third season it is easy to see why.  Girls season three doesn’t have the consistency that the first season had nor the ambition that season two had.  Despite this Girls remains an interesting and unique voice on television.

            The third season of Girls follows Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver) as they try to endure the normal challenges that couples must face now that they are together on a more permanent basis.  Meanwhile, Marnie (Allison Williams) tries to find a way to bring stability to her social life while Shosh (Zosia Mamet) gets serious with her classes in order to get over her recent breakup with Ray (Alex Karpovsky).  Lena Dunham continued as showrunner (along with Jenni Konner) and as the show’s main director.

            Having written the series’ characters into such different places leading up to season three it is understandable that Lena Dunham and company took a while to get this show back into a groove.  Some characters get too much screen time while others get barely at all.  However, by the midpoint of season three this disparity in character screen time begins to seem necessary and works wonders for the last six or so episodes.  The balance between comedy and character development is also in great form this season.  The one thing that this episode is really missing is a standout episode.  “Flo”, following Hannah’s visit to her dying grandma, comes close, but there isn’t that one episode that seems unlike anything else on television like some past episodes have done.

            The cast is also in fine form this season as the material all-around just seems to suit them better.  Lena Dunham isn’t trying to do anything as over-the-top this season as that ridiculous OCD plotline last year and really functions well in a return to season one form as the glue that holds this entire series together.  Adam Driver seems to have the most screen time after Dunham, and he delivers some of his best work yet.  Zosia Mamet is also asked to do a lot this season and she reveals a range that I didn’t think she had as an actress.  Allison Williams is her usual standout self while Jemima Kirke once again fades away due to a lack of screen time.  The show also gets some great guest work this season (such as June Squibb as Hannah’s grandmother), but it would be great if Gaby Hoffmann (as an obnoxiously crazy sister of Adam) doesn’t appear again.

            The third season of Girls can be a bit lacking in places but it still remains one of the most unique experiences on television.

8/10

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