On the surface, Girls has been more of the same. Four Brooklyn hipsters negotiate the rites of passage into adulthood. There have been lolz along the way. The funeral episode of Hannah’s ePublisher was sublime, vintage Girls. Hannah and Adam’s role-play episode was cringe for exactly the wrong reasons. Here in light of the season finale, Grazia TV Columnist, Paul Flynn, asks the unaskable: is Girls season three a Triumph or a Turkey?
The tone’s changed. For whatever reason, and it’s hard not to see it as a commercial one, Girls has stopped trying to be one of the cool kids, looking at hipsterism wryly from the inside and started sneering. Before, one of the Girls would’ve worn a beanie hat. That would be enough. Now, a subsidiary character will point out ‘Nice Beanie hat.’ I think the technical term for this is ‘signposting’. It’s an inch away from turning Girls into the female Nathan Barley.
What of the Girls themselves?
This is complicated. By S3 of Sex and the City the central foursome had been outlined with such acute precision that the writers could take them anywhere. The new HBO Girls acquire and lose central characteristics so fast you can almost see the Post-it notes on the writer’s room wall. Jessa’s addiction came out of nowhere. Hannah’s actual mental health problems, which made S2 such an uncomfortable but rewarding watch have been all but forgotten. Ray and Shoshanna have turned into a Ross/Rachel situation, US TV’s default position for building sitcom empathy. Marnie has become both sociopathic and vengeful. For a show called Girls, that’s problematic.
Has good old Shoshanna saved the day?
Quite the contrary. Shosh has had a sum total of zero storylines this season. She’s turned into an oracle chorus figure to drop in finger-snapping barbs on the most unpleasant characteristics of the others. Zosia Mamet seems to still be playing her as the amphetamine Mean Girl of old, doubling the confusion of Shoshanna’s radical character u-turn, one that very much did need signposting.
Anything else to get off your chest while you’re here?
Seriously? The wrong sex thing has become a schtick. It’s now that thing that Lena Dunham does. Girls needs to take a long look at itself before prepping S4. No sitcom really wants to turn into the New Girl with a clitoris.
It’s still the best show on telly, right?
It’s not even the best show on telly this week...
So what say you? Are you still watching Girls? Let us know whether you think the latest series is a triumph or a turkey by voting below...