Girls, TV review: 'Here come the Girls and, OMG, they're like as funny as ever'
Sky Atlantic, 10pm
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 21 January 2014
With a programme as of its moment as Girls was back in 2012, the worry is it will quickly date, become irrelevant and be replaced by the next new "voice of a generation". That day may still come for Girls, but as we enter the show's third season on Sky Atlantic, it's clear that creator/star Lena Dunham has hit a groove. The characters still interact in ways that feel true, but the comedy is now sharp enough to entertain viewers who don't happen to be affluent twentysomething white women. You may not have 10 "OMG, that is, like, so my life!" moments per episode; you will still find it funny.
The opening scene of this double bill used the characters' sleeping arrangements to catch us up on their emotional states. Hannah (Lena Dunham) was embraced in the muscular arms of her on-again boyfriend Adam (Adam Driver); Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) was irritated to be sharing a bed with gay BFF Elijah; Marnie (Allison Williams) was sleeping on someone else's sofa under a child's novelty duvet and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) was on the top bunk in a rehab dorm.
Rehab might sound like the worst situation of all, but top-bunker Jessa had found plenty of ways to assert her dominance and avoid her own recovery. She'd made friends with exactly the guy you'd want as your rehab buddy, a world-weary Englishman played by Richard E Grant. Yes, kids, that's where "the finest wines available to humanity" will land you in the end. There was also a cameo from Danielle Brooks (Taystee in Orange is the New Black) as one of the unfortunate victims of Jessa's eye-rolling put-downs in group therapy. "Let's talk about Mindy Meth-Face. Mindy enjoys wearing scrunchies. No one has addressed that."
Girls is now acknowledged master of the comedy of the un-self-aware. Every character is perfectly oblivious of their own shortcomings, but ever-willing to diagnose other people's. And that's where the best lines in these very funny two episodes came from: Adam was described as an "off-the-wagon, Neanderthal sex addict", Marnie questioned why Hannah would need to pick hippie chick Jessa up from rehab: "Doesn't she have a magic carpet, or something?" Keep a dictionary of Gen-Y slang on hand for next episode.
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