Season 2 of Girls picks up not long after the end of Season 1. Hannah (Lena Dunham) has moved on with a new boyfriend (Donald Glover) but is still nursing her ex, Adam (Adam Driver) from his car accident related injuries. Marnie (Allison Williams) has lost her job and is having an existential crisis. Soshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) are trying to figure out their burgeoning relationship. And Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is settling into married life with Thomas John (Chris O’Dowd).
It’s not long before things all start to go very wrong. Hannah and Adam’s lack of closure on their relationship leads to an explosion of unhealthy behaviour from both of them and Hannah’s attempts to progress her career lead to a relapse in her mental health issues. Marnie is adrift without her job and relationship give her a sense of self worth and she finds herself drawn into some troublesome sexual encounters. Soshanna finds Ray’s negativity a challenge and Jessa and Thomas John realise that they don’t know each other at all.
This series once again has great comedic moments. Hannah and Elijah’s (Andrew Rannells) night out on coke stands out because it is so accurate and so funny.
There are also some excellent cameos. Ben Mendelsohn and Trudie Styler show up as Jessa’s estranged and somewhat unhinged father and his partner, and give some insight into why Jessa is such a whirlwind. Patrick Wilson also appears as a man Hannah ends up spending a day and night with after he finds her dumping her trash in his trashcans.
Again this is not going to be for everyone but I love seeing the layers of the characters being peeled away and more of them being revealed as you get to know them and their past experiences. It’s a show that really looks at the duality of humanity. While Hannah is completely self-obsessed watching her slide into mental illness is heartbreaking. Adam and Ray are both miserable bastards to take themselves too seriously but watching them try to return a stolen dog together is really sweet and the more Ray’s insecurities are revealed the more his depth and kindness are shown.
For me season two is just as good as season one and a great continuation into getting to know the characters and what drives them. Of course it’s still a study in pure privilege and the problems that the almost entirely white, upper middle class, entitled cast face are may or may not even be considered real problems and could very well wind a lot of viewers up.
I loved it.