TV review: “Girls” still vapid, yet entertaining

By Columbus Alive
From the January 9, 2014 edition

“Girls” (and ostensibly its star/creator Lena Dunham) is the most divisive thing on television, and it’s easy to understand why. The fans usually feel “Girls” is funny and well-written, but has characters that are mostly grating. Haters say “Girls” is neither characters are grating.

No matter what, nearly everyone who watches (or hate-watches) will agree Hannah (Dunham) and her cohorts aren’t likable. They’re narcissistic, aimless twenty-somethings. And that’s the point. How many of us know someone who’s a less exaggerated version of one of the characters on “Girls”?

Season 3 is basically the same as previous seasons. These are still unlikable characters — especially Marnie (Allison Williams) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) — but they offer insight (and doses of awkward comedy) through their words or actions.

When one of the four lead “girls” does or says something ridiculous or offensive, there’s subtext at play; a commentary on the millennial generation specifically or human nature as a whole.

Jemima is a great example, as she’s pretty terrible but also presents some tough truths. Marnie is completely annoying, but to quote “Drinking Buddies,” she represents the sentiment, “That’s the problem with heartbreak. To you it’s an atomic bomb, but to the world it’s just really cliché.”

The main difference from previous seasons involves Hannah and Adam (Adam Driver). With Adam wholly dedicated to Hannah, her mental health and pushing her to become his version of a “good person,” Hannah is actually the most grounded character, despite still being a hot mess.

“Girls” doesn’t quite impress me the way it has in the past with its intelligence, humor and commentary. Yet despite the terrible characters, it has enough of those moments to keep it entertaining.

Photo courtesy of HBO