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Offbeat humor in the big apple

By Kathleen McWilliams
On February 3, 2013

 

 

Much like a good piece of sushi, HBO's "Girls" is an acquired taste but never fails to disappoint. The show features offbeat humor, realistic portrayals of twenty-something life in New York City and the complex and relatable situations the main characters often find themselves in. Writer and creator Lena Dunham's frankness concerning sex and drugs have shocked many viewers, but those who stick through the realistic portrayal of young adult culture have been rewarded with a stellar beginning to the second season. The first season, only ten episodes and only five hours long in total, earned itself a devoted following and two Golden Globes, which set a high standard for the second season. However, Dunham and her team avoided the sophomore slump thus far and have produced four episodes of noteworthy caliber.

The season opened with Hannah trapped in a toxic relationship, taking care of invalid Adam after the dramatic events of the season finale where his leg was broken. He's obviously still hung up on her and we quickly find out Hannah has moved on to Donald Glover's character, Sandy. If this season had a title, it would be "Hannah on the Verge." She seems to have everything together when the season opens, living with Elijiah, her ex-boyfriend, and has patched up her argument with her best friend Marnie. But Hannah still lacks a job and any direction in anything that she does. Hannah has come far from the beginning of the series, as she's more independent and grown up than ever, but then something happens in each episode that reminds viewers why the show is called "Girls" and not "Women."

In the reverse, Shoshanna, with the help of new boyfriend Ray, has become a little more womanly after the "21-year-old virgin" debacle of season one. Shoshanna is still ridiculously annoying in a very "middle school girl" kind of way, but at least this season her innocence and idiocy is hysterically funny. Jessa is, as usual, enjoying her life to the fullest, and is especially making the most of her married life with her husband Thomas John. Marnie is the most disappointing character this season; after a series of mishaps, she seems to give up on everything she's ever stood for and becomes a hostess at an upscale club.

  In terms of plot, each of the four episodes has been original and quirky, per expectation. The comical 

 

and depressing situations the characters find themselves in are both unexpected and real. The dynamic of the show hasn't changed a bit with rapid-fire dialogue and subtle pop culture references. Despite the show's stellar return to prime time, I wouldn't advise people to tune in right away. Take the time to watch the five hour long first season, because the past four episodes will make little sense, or at least not be nearly as beautiful, without the context provided from the last season. 

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