Girls series 4, Sky Atlantic - review: Will these self-obsessed Brooklynite brats ever grow up?

Half of the pleasure of Girls is the hate-watching

Ellen E. Jones
Tuesday 13 January 2015 00:00
Making a meal of it: Lena Dunham, Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari in 'Girls'
Making a meal of it: Lena Dunham, Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari in 'Girls'

Oh, Marnie. In season four of Girls, which began last night, this uptight, practically perfect character has become so heinous a human being it tested the limits of plausibility. She’s still having a secret affair with her spoken-for guitarist, still bursting into tears over nothing and still making terrible, terrible music. The gang gathered to hear her perform at a "jazz brunch". Can it get any worse? Yes: "If you guys are really lucky maybe I’ll scat for you, do a little rap."

Half of the pleasure of Girls is the hate-watching. We love to see these self-indulgent Brooklynite brats stumble over obstacles of their own making. But is Marnie perhaps in danger of become a parody of herself? Even Hannah, the alter ego of the show’s writer-star Lena Dunham, is moving forward with her life. She's accepted the offer of a place at graduate school in Iowa and is about to leave behind the security blanket of her long-suffering parents and her relationship with boyfriend Adam (Adam Driver).

In this episode there also wasn't enough of saving grace Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet). She was drowned out by the incessant bickering of her parents, Melanie and Melvin (played by ER's Dr Greene). Now we know where "Shosh" gets her gabbiness from, and, apparently some other neuroses to boot: "Both my parents are named Mel. It’s the worst thing that ever happened to me. And also, like, the first thing that ever happened to me."

Luckily, guest star Natasha Lyonne was on hand to dish out some much-needed real-talk to Jessa. Lyonne played Rickey, the daughter of the elderly woman that Jessa almost-but-not-quite euthanised in season three's cliffhanger. From Rickey’s fury emerged one of the show’s defining lines: "Every time I meet someone five or more years younger than me, they’re an asshole."

That's it, isn't it. On the one hand, these twentysomethings really, really should have grown up by now. On the other, if they ever do stop acting like total nitwits, where will we get our Monday night lolz?

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