Sarah and I are thrilled to resume our Girls TV Talk from last season, and you can read those write-ups here. Season Two opens with a scene that indicates that while the girls have done some changing - some growing, some regressing - over the hiatus, their Brooklyn is, by nature, a place of stasis. The premiere of this season opens much like the pilot of last season - Hannah cozily spooned by a platonic roomie. This time, however, Marnie's out in the cold while Elijah gets to enjoy the comfy warmth of Hannah's little spoon.
Hannah seems to be in a good place. She's hung on to her job at the coffee shop, she's writing and she's happily playing house with Elijah, decorating with wine corks and Christmas lights and planning the most amazing sounding future theme parties. A sample: a fondue night, a French salon night (meaning two different things to Hannah and Elijah), a craft night, a Japanese snack night, a lesbian night. Hannah and Elijah love living together, and who wouldn't? Nesting in a pressure-free, mutually dependent, party-centric environment is just what those two needy commitment-phobes can handle. Their first joint hosting event goes swimmingly, with drunk karaoke and hors d'œuvre provided by Hannah in the form of cheese melted on pretzels. We see Elijah's boyfriend George get gross drunk, but since he pays for everything, Elijah simply asks Hannah to remove him from the party so he doesn't have to face the idea of unraveling their entwined lives and pocketbooks.
Hannah's also dating again, managing to move forward and backward at once like no one but a mid-20s woman can. She's sleeping with Donald Glover, who loves how weird she is but doesn't entirely love how weirded out she gets when he uses the word "love." We don't know much about Sandy yet, but he seems like a nice guy who's very much into Hannah, and for the time being, Hannah's not blowing it. She has a lot of rules with Sandy, but these seem like they're mostly for a good reason. She wants to do this right. She wants to treat their relationship with responsibility and care. Hannah's version of responsible doesn't quite resemble most real adulthood, but it's progress. Of course, not much progress can be made when she's spending every free minute tending to an injured Adam. She's mired in guilt for sort-of-kind-of getting Adam hit by a truck in the season one finale, so she spends a solid portion of the episode tending to his bed bucket and delivering granola bars.
But while Adam is growing clingier to his main hang Hannah, he's also growing meaner, treating her fairly unpleasantly even when he's telling her how much he needs her and misses their relationship. ("I came. You came hard. We all laughed.") So when Hannah tells him, "I changed my mind," I applauded her candor. Hannah's tried being selfless, but dammit, she's not good at it! "I'm an individual, and I feel how I feel when I feel it, and right now I feel like I don't ever want to see you again. Is that okay?" In her newly rediscovered journey of self-indulgence, she heads straight back to Sandy's apartment to borrow, of all things, The Fountainhead. Which is totally code for selfish boning, and good for her. Hannah is 24. 24 was made for selfish boning.
While Hannah is making some small but crucial steps toward self-actualization, it seems that Girls isn't finished breaking Marnie apart so she can, hopefully, rebuild herself into something stronger. I liked old Marnie - Type A, hyper-critical, perfect Marnie - but every newly revealed aspect only serves to make me love her more. Marnie's in a vulnerable place, still single and now without a job, and we learn a little more about her by virtue of a painful lunch with her mother, played by Rita Wilson. While I appreciate most of the choices made by Hannah this week, I still think she's proving to be a pretty shitty friend when the chips are down, and I hope she learns to treat this new Marnie dynamic with care. I think both girls are used to Marnie being in control and gently chastising the wacky Hannah, but now that Hannah's got her stuff somewhat together and Marnie's at a loss, Hannah's nowhere to be found.
Marnie makes a series of bad decisions in "It's About Time," two of which take the cake. She and Elijah have drunk barely-sex lasting just moments until they both remember he's gay (well, bisexual. And German), in one of the most deliciously awkward sex scenes in a show that makes its living off deliciously awkward sex scenes. Marnie can live eight months without sex, but it seems like it's been a bit longer than that. And then she treats her bruised ego to a nighttime cuddle with Charlie, who's still totally dating Tiny Navajo. I'm hoping we won't be subject to many more Marnie cringe moments this year. Girlfriend had a whole season's worth of them in season one, and I'm ready for Marnie to be more like the Marnie from last season's finale - fun and carefree and, most of all, confident. And making out with Bobby Moynihan over cake.
Shosh and Jessa seem to have changed the least since last season, although it's hard to tell with Jessa as we're treated to only one minute of her return from her honeymoon with Thomas-John. Shosh is bristling because, after being deflowered by Ray, he doesn't want to date her. She cleanses her apartment with sage, fake deejays with a plastic cup to her ear and wears a fascinator, so she's doing just fine. But Ray acknowledges that while her love of emojis drives him crazy when they're apart ("What is wrong with emojis?!" Shosh and I ask with simultaneous indignance), it only takes a few moments with her to remember how much he's missed her "beautiful, fresh, vibrant sincerity," and I swoon, I swoon for days. Ray gets Shoshanna, and I love him for that.
"It's About Time" is a fun, thoughtful episode that reminds me how much I don't miss my 20s, but how much I have missed these ladies. Welcome back, Girls.
Sarah, I can't wait to hear your take on the new season next week. Hopefully we'll get to see a glimpse of Jessa's home life with Thomas-John, which should make for some serious entertainment. What are your hopes for Marnie this season? Do you think Hannah should leave Adam to his own devices, or is she wrong to abandon him? And what are your feelings on emojis?