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Two episodes into its second season, HBO’s ‘Girls’ shows no signs of slowing down or losing its unique ability to broach any young adult subject, no matter how painfully awkward it may be. Writing from a perspective that’s non-‘girl’, it’s plain to see that the show makes significant efforts to draw all kinds of viewers, even though its title is so decidedly gender aware. The first episode of season two had all the hallmarks of a classic first season episode; Marnie is fired over lunch, Hannah has to continue to shake off her immobile dependent lover and more strange pillow talk.
Yet the second episode breaks the calm of the shows normal cycle. Lena…I mean uh…Hannah’s new love interest is Donald Glover, the first major draft pick for Apatow, Dunham and co.’s increased production budget. Glover stars as a slightly hip, republican law student, who severs the chord with Hannah after a nasty fight on politics, race, and whether or not he likes her writing.
Watching an argument in Girls has a special horror to it, because you never know whom the show will reveal as the true villain – and more often than not it’s left perfectly ambiguous. Dunham does an excellent job of keeping the audience’s sympathy for Hannah at bay, by disguising whether or not her writing is any good; from readings, to peer review, Horvath’s writing is always a touchy subject. Like the endless back and forth of the digitalized comment, criticism and advice marketplace (re: Facebook), sometimes it can be hard for a kid to pick out what’s really important over all the noise.
Although Hannah proudly declares that she “ doesn’t live in a world…with divisions”, the episode leaves an unsettling air of characters at odds in topsy-turvy groovy Williamsburg. While some anguish in unemployment and un-fulfilment, others find love for the first time. While Hannah argues about the clear lines between Democrats and Republicans, Jessa is happily married. However underneath all the suspense, drama and gags it feels though Dunham’s trying to teach a lesson about contemporary twenty-something’s; some are lost trying to conform to an existing societal role while others are tired, burnt out and discouraged while forging their own.
By Aaron R