HBO's 'Girls' Is Back… And As Refreshingly Unlikable As Ever
That's all episode one. Episode two centers on Hannah, Adam and Shoshanna's trek to Woodstock to retrieve Jessa (who gets kicked out of rehab for performing oral sex on the aforementioned closeted lesbian). It's a lesser episode than the premiere, in that it's really just resurfacing character beats with which we're already familiar. Adam can't really stand Shoshanna's material obsessions, Adam and Hannah like to have inappropriate sex (with Shoshanna in the room this time), Hannah uses her need for creative expression as an excuse to be claustrophobic and insufferable, which is even worse on long car rides. Pretty standard. (Although we are treated to several great Shoshannisms, like her assessment of Hannah and Adam's relationship: "I mean Adam was there for you when you went totally batshit insane and decided to cut your hair like a little boy on a fancy cookie box." Or, on boredom: "I will never be bored as long as there's Halloween.") Oh, Adam has never played Truth or Dare. He doesn't even know what it is.
They rescue Jessa eventually, from the facility and a creepy fellow addict who tries to have sex with her last minute. Hannah has the opportunity to call Jessa out on her selfish antics, like disappearing without a word and only calling when she needed help. But Hannah recedes after Jessa compliments her new haircut, because Hannah is forever obsessed with Jessa's whimsical and delicious mythology, and they're back to Brooklyn, to the tune of a great new Jenny Lewis anthem.
I have a lot of hopes for this season. Mostly, that the girls start learning more about themselves from a perspective of self-realization instead of through the ponderings of some sageish man. Adam and even creepy rehab guy get prolific monologues about the nature of life and love, bestowing advice that's meant to better or at least evoke a personal reaction out of their listeners. This is good and all, but for once I'd love to see Marnie work things out for herself, or for Jessa to take some initiative without an older other's persuasion. It's an odd trope in a show that's otherwise very female positive. For all the flak it gets, I still think it's revolutionary for positing women in natural circumstances and allowing them to be broken, blundering messes. It may not be fun to watch, it may not delve into every topic it should or appeal to the masses or acknowledge that, you know, not every Millennial is poor and miserable – and those are major issues, certainly. But it's still a show that's examining the complex and meandering minds of women, written for and by women, with women leads and women producers and women in mind. I just hope it'll start letting its own women (I say women instead of girls because they're growing, dammit!) win within the boundaries of their own agency every now and then.