“OMG Shoshanna!” Peals of laughter fill the entryway of The Plaza Theatre as ladies and gents alike pose to be photoshopped into a picture with the GIRLS cast. One young woman has chosen the token open-mouthed stare of her favorite overly-talkative coed, much to her friends’ delight.
It’s the Atlanta premiere of HBO’s GIRLS season 3, where fans gather to watch the first two episodes of what should be an interesting season indeed. We left the girls—Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna – with a strange sense of tidiness last year.
Hannah was a mess for most of season 2. Her OCD returned full-force, causing her to puncture her eardrum, and she had all but ruined an advance book deal. But her animalistic sex-loving ex, Adam, rushed in at the last moment to save the day. Mopey Marnie fell back into the arms of her newly rich and confident college sweetheart, Charlie, and Shoshanna broke out from her spiraling, one-sided relationship with pessimistic Ray. Even Jessa, by leaving her family—and Hannah—without a word created a tone of familiarity. After all, it was always out in the world where Jessa found peace, or at least where she searched for it.
Season 3 of GIRLS begins with a burst of hilarious invective, the insults flying forward at full force, tying up a loose end with a character you probably thought we’d never see again. But other loose ends are not tied up quite so nicely, and I will admit I had hoped for a better transition to the girls’ new lives. Pieces of their world are the same: Ray is running Grumpy’s, the coffee shop. Hannah is stable and writing again. Marnie is back to moping. But other things have changed, though potentially for the better.
Rita Wilson returns as Marnie’s overly-interested mother, pushing Marnie forward in her seemingly directionless life. Shoshanna plans out her somewhat adventurous final year of school. Jessa finds her sharp tongue again, in more ways than one. And Hannah is… well, Hannah. Adam Driver packs quite the punch as Hannah’s devoted boyfriend. His stark honestly and simple wisdom provide the girls with some measure of reality to contrast the over-privileged hilarity that we have come to know and love in GIRLS.
This season of GIRLS has a lot to live up to, and much to make up for. While the laughter was constant throughout the viewing, I do wonder if the season will hit its mark. The girls are still figuring themselves out, and the momentum seems to have slowed. Regardless, I look forward to Hannah’s ridiculous ramblings, to Adam’s mind-zingers, and to seeing what wild antics they will face this year. Mark your calendars for the first episode this Sunday, January 12. GIRLS nights are back!