Season 2 “assumes a whiff of self-awareness.”
Hannah gets unnerved by Adam’s awkward and ‘murdery’ declaration of ‘undying-love’ music video and she doesn’t take kindly to boyfriend Sandy’s harsh criticism of her recent essay. Marnie meanwhile continues to crash at Shosh’s after moving out of Hannah’s. She is forced to consider a “pretty person job” when her dreams of continuing to work in the art world are crushed. Jessa gets a bizarre gift from her husband and amid her flakiness, she exudes a level of maturity previously unseen pre-marriage. She continues to revel in married life despite the fact that they seem to have nothing in common except their ‘rising star signs’.
Hannah’s new flatmate Elijah hasn’t bought a bed yet so he’s still sharing Hannah’s bed. And while Elijah and Marnie harbour the secret of their sexual tryst, Elijah begins to question his sexuality. He confesses his Marnie transgression to older boyfriend George, jeopardising his financial stability. Shosh and Ray make sweet pillow talk as they nauseatingly gush about how great it would be to experience bathing a pig together.
It’s hard not to get a sense that the wide-eyed innocence of the characters may be overshadowed by the successes of Season 1 as Girls assumes a whiff of self-awareness. With every triumph for the characters the question remains whether the audience’s patience with the self-contradictory and self-obsessed characters and our love affair with the freshness of voice will continue. Of course, neither the audience nor the characters themselves seem to expect Jessa’s and Shosh’s relationships to last. Perhaps we’re even willing these twenty-something relationships to go horribly wrong as we become fascinated by the unravelling of Marnie’s perfect life and the further rejection of the ever-vulnerable Adam who gets rid of his leg cast and goes love-crazed. As Hannah takes offence to everyone and everything in her life, she seems more self-deluded and loses any apparent yet brief sense of empowerment. This leads to a string of peculiar decisions, humiliating admissions and clueless statements, oh my. Given how relateable the characters are, misery it seems loves company.
As true to brand as this episode is, it is catches fans off guard in two parts. First, Hannah isn’t nude in this episode (instead, she mostly wore a series of unflattering ‘shorteralls’) and second, if the Sandy character was introduced in response to criticism over a lack of ethnic diversity, then lack of character development and his two-episode departure seems short-sighted and leaves the audience wondering, well, ‘is that it?’. We hope there’s more, that Ms. Dunham continues to craft stunning dialogue, a unique voice and believable characters in this character-driven masterpiece.