Girls: “Females Only” Season 3 Episode 1 Review

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So Girls is back, along with it a renewed sense of humor and the deep character interactions that make Lena Dunham the voice of her generation (Or a voice. Of a generation.).

Females Only resets the tone after the off-puttingly dark second half of season two. The loose ends of the finale are quickly dealt with. Hannah seems to have conquered her OCD and is getting pages in for her publisher. She’s with Adam now, with the pair running into his ex who tears them a new one calling them feral animals who are going to have a baby they don’t want and accidentally kill. Ray has his own coffee shop, no longer together with Shoshanna who we see sleeping with a college guy in a dorm room. Jessa, as it turns out, is in rehab.

Meanwhile, the off-screen drama of Christopher Abbott, who played Charlie, abruptly leaving progresses Marnie’s story incredibly well. She’s living with her parents, working at Ray’s coffee shop, and searching for a new apartment. “I’ve already fixed everything!” she shouts at her mother, trying desperately to maintain an ounce of control over her life.

Dunham works through these between season hurdles wonderfully, bringing the humor back that was lost in last season’s darker moments. Amazingly, the main four seem more narcissistic than ever, which means the show is funnier than ever.

Hannah and Adam, now living together, host a dinner party with Marnie and Shoshanna. Adam says, “I’m just not interested in anything your friends have to say.” Hannah comes back with, “I’m not interested in anything they have to say! That’s not the point of friendship.”

But despite Adam’s reluctance, he has the most inspiring words for the broken-hearted Marnie. These are the types of moments that made Girls what it is. Many problems from season two stemmed from a lack of interaction between the main cast, a problem quickly fixed here.

Besides Jessa, of course. But she just may be the best character on the show right now. This episode accomplishes what last season’s Video Games came so close to doing, growing Jessa before our eyes. In group therapy, Jessa is a terror. She upsets another member by accusing her of being a lesbian in front of everyone (special guest appearance by Orange is the New Black‘s Danielle Brooks!). But Jessa’s act of kindness in helping this girl discover herself was incredibly touching.

These characters can be terrible people, but when they aren’t this show finds its humanity within the cynicism to create the most real world on television. This premiere feels like a return to form after some of the weaker stuff from last season. If more of this follows, season three could be the best yet. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

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