Review: Season 2 of HBO's "Girls" continues to stay true to its core themes

HBO's show "Girls" began its second season on Jan. 13 and continues to speak to its 20-something year old audience (Photo courtesy of HBO).
HBO's show "Girls" began its second season on Jan. 13 and continues to speak to its 20-something year old audience (Photo courtesy of HBO).
“And all the roads we have to walk are winding… and all the lights that lead us there are blinding… There are many things I would like to say to you but I don’t know how…” The lyrics to “Wonder Wall” by Oasis, which closed this week's fourth episode of HBO's "Girls" could not speak any truer to its main themes. Four episodes into the second season that began on Sunday Jan. 13, 2013, “Girls” appears to still speak true to its original theme: the trials and tribulations of being a 20-something year old with a college education but  still having no idea on which turn down the winding road they should take next. All the while, as these characters pretend to act like the adults they try to aspire to.

For readers not familiar with the show, “Girls” centers on four girls in their mid-twenties living in New York City facing the challenge that every undergraduate student has nightmares about: the real world.


The show’s four leads include, the uptight Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams), free-spirited Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke), and quirky Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet), and the unmotivated Hannah Horvath, played by the show’s writer, director, and creator Lena Dunham.

To be honest, season one of “Girls” had me wondering whether I would even stick with its second season. The show’s pilot began as Hannah’s parents broke the news that they were going to cut her off financially and no longer invest in her “groovy lifestyle.”

Hannah Horvath (played by "Girls" creator, writer, and director Lena Dunham), reacts to her parents cutting her off financially during the show's pilot episode (Photo couresty of HBO).

While relatable, Hannah herself acts incredibly self-centered and seems more focused on her kind-of-almost boyfriend Adam (played by Adam Driver) than her desire to be a writer. Aside from the various off-putting sex scenes, my main frustration with the show came from Hannah’s lack of motivation. Hannah spends more time whining about her life than doing anything about it and it becomes annoying to watch.

“Girls,” doesn’t just focus on Hannah’s journey. Hannah’s best friend Marnie, although assertive and grounded, can’t seem to make a decision about whether to leave her long-term boyfriend or not.

Spastic Shoshanna, on the other hand, talks more than she thinks but yearns to experience having a boyfriend for the first time. Yet she becomes uncomfortable the minute she’s around a boy.

Jessa, with her relaxed personality, is the wild card of the bunch. She is less focused on having a career and more focused on how to make her life more interesting. Each girl brings a unique perspective to the table which is its redeeming quality since Hannah’s story isn’t always very enticing.

Season two, however, has surprised me. Not only because the number of sex scenes were cut down but because the content seemed more relatable than the last. We see that while a lot of the girls have decided to finally make decisions about their lives, they’re also learning the painful but unavoidable lesson of making mistakes. The show’s audience, primarily girls in their twenties, is challenged in season two to think about the constant battle of whether to pursue their dream job, or settle down for a practical one that makes money. Ultimately, the characters are struggling to answer: Where do I go next?  

“Girls” is not just a show for girls, it’s a show for every 20-something that fears the world after college. It’s interesting, compelling, and is definitely worth a glance if you find yourself on a journey of self-discovery.

"Girls" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.


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