HBO’s hit show Girls returned last night, at the same time that Lena Dunham was witnessing all her dreams come true at the Golden Globes. (Sunday night was just a disaster for my DVR.) I really liked season one, and after watching most of it for the second time recently with a friend, I was even more excited for the show to return.
“It’s About Time” felt like a study in how so much, yet nothing at all, can change for people in their 20s. The second season opened with a shot of Hannah and Elijah, new roommates, in bed sleeping together. It was the same as last season, when we saw Hannah and Marnie sleeping in Hannah’s bed together. Hannah might have a new roommate, but she still needs that kind of codependent friendship to survive.
Hannah has a new boyfriend, played by Donald Glover of Community, but she’s still seeing Adam. Not for sex, she’s seeing him because he got hit by a bus and she’s his at-home nurse. It was a weird, unpleasant situation and one that I could easily envision Hannah getting herself tangled in. (I know a lot of people will point to Glover’s presence on the show as a disingenuous reaction to criticisms of the lack of diversity, but I think they should shut up. He’s amazing, and I think he’s a good fit for the show.)
Marnie is where Hannah was a year ago – jobless, confused and selfish. But as unlikable as Marnie can be, I never hate her. I loved Rita Wilson as her mother, and that lunch sequence with them provided great insight into her character. Marnie puts more pressure on herself to be perfect than anyone else on this show, and that’s a recipe for disaster. She’s always trying to be something that’s not real, which is interesting since she’s the girl who told Elijah not to try and be something he’s not. She tried to have a fling with Elijah, who was trying to deny that he’s gay after realizing what a disaster of a relationship he’s in. She ended up in bed with Charlie, who’s subjecting a new girlfriend to that “smothering kind of love” he’d been trying to give Marnie last season.
We didn’t see much of Jessa in this episode, which was just fine with me. Instead we were treated to Shoshanna’s anxious, frenetic musings on how Ray hurt her but she’s ready to be an adult about it. I really like Shoshanna’s character, and everything about her in this episode worked for me – from her hat, to the awesome cheese plate she brought to the party, to the fact that she still ended up kissing Ray because she’s the most naive of anyone.
I liked this episode, but if we learned anything from Girls last season, it’s that the show needs some time to build. I have a feeling that in two or three episodes, we’ll be saying even better things about it. What did you guys think?