HBO’s Real ‘Girls’

When HBO’s “Girls” premiered in April 2012, the show took a look inside the lives of four 20-something New York women trying to navigate their way through crazy relationships, financial troubles, identity crises and everything else in between.

After two bizarre yet enthralling seasons that tackled issues such as OCD, abusive relationships and drug problems, season 3 returned on Jan. 12 in similar fashion. Although the show has received several criticisms for creating selfish, somewhat sociopathic characters dealing with their pampered “problems” of post-graduate life, the creators seem to have taken this backlash and run with it.

The characters are not supposed to be likeable — but that doesn’t mean they aren’t watchable. Despite the moments that make you want to scream at Hannah (Lena Dunham) for not taking control of her problems, or have you questioning how a character like Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) could even exist in the real world, “Girls” will pull you in with its dark humor, strange storylines and acting that pulls at your heartstrings when you least expect it.

Season 3 starts off with Hannah and Adam figuring out how to live together and exploring the depths of a budding serious relationship. After being on and off again for the past two seasons, the couple has finally become somewhat stable since Adam rescued Hannah from her obsessive-compulsive episode in which she shoved a Q-tip in her ear. While Adam started off as a strange and somewhat aloof character, he has proven himself to be a smart match for Hannah. Although it might be hard to consider Adam sensible, he is the voice of reason during the absurd moments of the season (such as when Hannah goes to pick Jessa up from rehab early, even though she clearly needs to stay there longer). It is refreshing to see the character development and improvement of Adam across the seasons.

Shoshanna is still the ditsy valley girl, Jessa is still the mysterious bohemian with a host of problems, and Marnie is still trying to figure out where to go next after a failed relationship and start-up singing career. The storylines of these girls may seem strange and unbelievable at times, but they are delivered with humor and cause the viewer to really analyze the underlying message of each situation. While “Girls” certainly does not exist without its flaws, this season’s simple moments such as the awkwardly hilarious rendition of “Take Me or Leave Me” from “Rent” between Hannah and Marnie, are enough to keep watching.

“Girls” has come a long way since its inception — and still has room to grow — but it continues to be entertaining with its unique take on women in their 20s.

 

ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: You can look past the messy characters and plotlines, and appreciate the humor and honesty buried inside.