(The Verge) – Thanks to Lena Durnham and Mr. Judd Apatow, the GIRLS crew is back for its second season (premiered on January 13th on HBO). After stealing away 2 Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series (comedy/musical) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (comedy or musical), the series has also renewed for a third season. Currently being five (5) episodes into the second season, many viewers have already been shocked with a bit of change going on for the four primaries: Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and of course, Shoshanna.
At the start of Season 2, we see Hannah playfully involved with an attractive young man … His name is Sandy and is someone a lot different than Adam. The show was criticized in season one for not including enough of a racially diverse cast, and many believe that Lena actively countered the attack by casting Donald Glover as Sandy – a young black actor formerly cast in 30 Rock. She is also enjoying her new roommate Elijah and throws a housewarming party — but Adam, is constantly getting in the way by having her play nurse to his broken leg (he got run over by a car in season one after their fight). Sandy is also portrayed as a Republican, a factor that gets in the way of their love and their brief interlude ends abruptly.
Hannah is hired to do an in-depth reality column on something wild: so she chooses coke (cocaine) and decides that she needs to experiment with it in order to get a good story. So she enlists the help of her gay-roommate, Elijah (who is all too excited for the opportunity). The duo, spiked on a coke-binge, find themselves at an underground club where Hannah sweats it out on the dance floor while switching tops with a fellow clubber (her now new top being slightly see-through, to say the least). Elijah and Hanna meet in a bathroom stall to get another fix, at which point Elijah comes clean about his secret with Marnie (see below). This is all too much for Hannah, who asks Elijah to move out. Adam stops over to confess his love, Hannah wants him and his stalker-ish ways out, so she phones the cops who show up and arrest Adam… on other previous charges.
Fast forward to the latest episode (Episode 5: One Man’s Trash) – this one was all about Hannah. For some, it was an odd episode. Hannah was reeling after her fall-out with Adam, Sandy, and now Elijah.. and although she and Marnie are on slightly better terms, she seems to be feeling a bit disconnected. She is working at Ray’s shop when a neighbor comes in complaining that the store has been dropping their trash in his trash cans. Ray gives him the boot (in his usual Ray fashion) and the man leaves. Hannah follows the man home and rings his doorbell. She makes her confession that she has been the one filling up his trash cans, and he invites her inside (already this is a bit creepy). Being Hannah, she goes in. They share lemonade, she revels in his wonderfully decorated brownstone and they share a few of their vices. In an awkward wave of passion, they get down to business… multiple times. We learn that he is a recent divorcee and a doctor. And as this doctor continues to divulge his inner-workings, we realize that he is enticed by Hannah being their to nurse his own emotional wounds by playing doctor to her’s. Their brief affair ends quickly when Hannah makes a long-winded confession, and he obviously loses interest. She leaves the next morning.
Season Two was just a bad start for Marnie: she gets the pink slip from work and almost immediately has to deal with her headache of a mother (played quite nicely by the famous Rita Wilson). We see in this episode that Marnie is nothing like her mother (who seems more like her friend than a parental unit… this may possible explain her always-mature ways). Marnie is not ready to be unemployed and housed in Shoshanna’s apartment – so she decides to become a hostess so that she will at least have a job. When she and Elijah find themselves on Hannah’s couch later on, they get down to discussing feelings and concerns and things take a change for the weird when Elijah grows attracted to Marnie and they attempt to have sex… unsuccessfully, as Elijah recalls that he is gay and Marnie returns to reality. They decide to keep this a secret from Hannah (which later comes out during the coke-binge in the club).
Meanwhile, Marnie has gotten together with Booth Jonathan (an odd individual with a strategically placed doll in the bedroom) at his apartment, which is ransacked by Hannah and Elijah post-club (Hannah still wearing the hole-y shirt). Their friendship is on the verge of splitting entirely and the whole fight seems very out of place. Marnie shows up at Hannah’s in the next episode for dinner (she was invited, but not wholeheartedly) to find that Charlie and Audrey are there as well (awkward!). She stays for dinner yet gets into a cat-fight with Audrey, who is stung with jealousy (we learn that she knows about Marnie and Charlie cuddling one night) when Charlie chases after a runaway Marnie. They meet on the rooftop (aww!) and Marnie sets things straight that they are not to do this anymore. Charlie gets miffed and leaves. What’s Marnie going to do now?
The free-spirit Jessa has just returned from her honeymoon (somewhere exotic) and she and Thomas-John are getting along quite well … he’s doting on her hand and foot and she appears to be in love. She meets up with Hannah to discuss relationships and gives her some wise advice that one should not concede to another’s wants when it concerns changing yourself to make someone else happy. But this love affair is not as it seems – when Jessa meets up with Thomas-John’s parents and let’s her freak-flag fly (in contrast to their Puritan-like demeanor) and exposes her drug-ridden past and the fact that she is jobless and doesn’t care. Thomas-John has simply had enough: once they return to his apartment, he lets her have it… that he is sick with her carefree ways. She freely admits that he is a boring man with nothing interesting, not good-looking and is someone that she would ordinarily pass by on the street. He calls her a few choice names and she throws an award at him, shattering his figurine and his ego simultaneously. They make a quick splitting of monetary assets (him just paying her off to get out of his life).
In a sad, but heartening scene, Jessa shows up at Hannah’s, strips down and exposes her emotions (and more) as she joins Hannah in a ‘sobfest’ in the bathtub. After making a joke about snot, the two laugh and all’s well that ends well.
Oh, Shosh! The underdog from Season One – well she comes back in season two just as Shoshanna-ish as ever! She is now no longer a virgin after her evening with Ray and we learn that she has taken her new-found womanliness in stride. However, it seems that Ray has not been around that much and Shosh is ticked off. They meet at Hannah & Elijah’s housewarming party and have a talk in Hannah’s bedroom (a makeshift coatroom). After she let’s him have it for avoiding her, and Ray saying that she sent him too many Emoji’s via text, they breakdown their emotional wall and make out… a lot! In the next few episodes we see that they are getting closer and are doing it like rabbits, causing them to be late to a few get-togethers. At Hannah’s dinner with Marnie, Charlie, and Audrey, Shosh and Ray realize that Ray has inadvertently moved in with Shosh without her knowing it. They have a discussion later in the subway that Ray doesn’t really have a home besides her’s and isn’t the guy that she thinks he is (he’s broke!). She loves him all the more for his confession and things are good again, for now.
GIRLS is on HBO every Sunday at 10:30PM – Join in the Discussion