I love HBO's Girls, and subsequently Lena Dunham as a writer, actress, and director. But Season 3 has been quite the roller coaster. There's been a lot of excitement, a lot of irritation, and honestly... a little bit of boredom.
There are so many things that are making this season amazing, but I've recently realized that those same things are also making it my least favorite season of the three. These are a few choice story lines that are simultaneously the best and worst parts of this season so far.
Drama Overtakes Comedy
Best: The show has taken on a very serious tone this season, dealing with things like death, alcohol and drug addiction, and the notion that we may never achieve the things we really want and our lives might actually be meaningless. Yes, I'm counting this heavy subject matter as a positive. They are putting issues on the table that both millennials and baby boomers alike deal with everyday and they're saying "Hey this effing sucks but it's life and I'm going to find a way to trudge through the shit." The show is more authentic and candid than it's ever been.
Worst: It's just not that funny. I laughed out loud often in Seasons 1 and 2 and I've barely been able to manage an audible chuckle even seven episodes into the third. There is still witty dialogue and even the darker subject matter is handled with an air of humor and light-heartedness, especially when coming from Hannah's point of view. But one of the reasons I fell in love with this show in the beginning was because the writing and acting were genuinely hilarious. Is the dullness due to Dunham writing less this season than in others? I have been noticing the appearance of more co-writing credits. Either way, I'm very much missing that witty humor this time around.
Best: I love Adam Driver as an actor, as well as his character Adam Sackler on the show. He's extremely weird, aloof, and quirky in the best way possible and I can't imagine Hannah Horvath being in a seriously relationship with anyone else. He's sincere and loving, and he takes care of her in such a genuine way that's actually really beautiful to watch. Not to mention he's incredibly sexy. I'm glad it was decided that he and Hannah would get back together and that we see Adam in nearly every episode.
Worst: The inclusion of Adam as Hannah's serious boyfriend seems to have withdrawn her from seriously engaging in her other friendships, which is a huge part of why I began watching the show in the first place.The ongoing issue between Hannah and Marnie rooted in Marnie's sexual escapade with Elijah (Hannah's now gay ex) last season, coupled with the inclusion of Hannah and Adam shacking up together, has taken a toll on the amount of time Hannah is spending with the other characters.
Best: Any of us who have dabbled in a creative career know the push and pull of chasing your dreams while still needing normal human things like money and health insurance. Hannah is confronted with this upon being hired at GQ magazine and realizing that she will have little to no time to spend on her writing, but not being able to quit the job because of financial necessity. This episode does a great job of showing that having a "real" job (read: full time) can be fun and also fulfilling to a certain extent, but then there are those days when you have to put your head down on your desk and sob, or run your head under the faucet because you're working tirelessly on everything but your own art.
Worst: Having a well-paying, fun job, with awesome (for the most part) co-workers, is actually pretty damn great. It might not always be creatively fulfilling but, as Hannah's boss mentions, there are thousands of people that would kill for a job like that. This episode doesn't focus enough on that. After having a not so subtle freak out, Hannah resolves that she will just devote her nights and weekends to writing, before promptly falling asleep on the couch the moment she walks in the door. This is something I constantly struggle with. It's incredibly hard to dedicate time to work outside of work. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. It's a balancing act. I think this storyline ends on a unnecessarily depressing note... But I'm willing to admit that might be because it hits a little too close to home.
Best: This past Sunday's episode was the most real these four girls have ever gotten with each other. I love that Shoshanna is a cruel drunk because she says out loud what everyone is thinking and it couldn't be more true. We finally get to see the not totally ditzy side of her. All the girl are brutally honest with each other, which is both hilarious and thrilling to watch.
Worst: Because these friendships have all been silently suffering, they've wasted more than a whole season not hanging out together. The third season seems to be the Hannah show and all the other girls have side stories. Hannah might be the unofficial main character but I loved that the first season seemed to be much more of an ensemble cast. I miss storylines like Jessa as a nanny or the four of them going to a Brooklyn warehouse party together. This season has been made up of side stories thrown in to accompany Hannah's main narrative, and barely any of the plots overlap. I enjoy that they've gone deeper into each girl's individual psyche, but you don't get the experience of witnessing the human connection between them and seeing them relate to one another through their life experiences.
There are amazing things about this season, like there have been every season, but the one thing I'm really hoping for in the remaining 3 episodes is more female friendship scenes. I'm over the sex (I mean, sort of) - bring on the platonic, meaningful relationships!