Throwdown: Jury’s still out for HBO’s Girls Season 2

By CW and NT

HBO Girls

The second season of HBO’s Girls is slated to premiere on January 13th, 2013.

The first season of HBO’s Girls was met with very mixed reviews. I mean even the TNW staff couldn’t agree after Season 1. But, like it or not, the show will be back in 2013. We’ve got both sides of the debate covered in this Throwdown, but you should also watch the trailer below and decide for yourself.

Throwdown: Are you looking forward to Girls Season 2? 

CW: Not at all. The first season had some moments, but mostly I was bored and disengaged throughout. The characters just didn’t appeal to me and I couldn’t relate to their issues. Now that HBO released the Season 2 trailer, Girls looks headed for a repeat bust.

I mean do I really want to subject myself to another season of Marnie’s non-stop complaining and Hannah’s excessive self-righteousness? Unlikely. Plus, at some point in the season Hannah wears a yellow see-through fish-net “shirt” (loosely defined) with, it seems, no bra. To quote one Andy Bernard: “Steer clear Big Tuna, head for open waters.”

On the positive side, Shoshanna seems to be getting more lovin’ in Season 2 so at least we have that to look forward to.

NT: In spite of being a 20-something post grad living in Brooklyn, I didn’t find myself relating to the girls’ issues very much either — mainly because their parties are much cooler than anything I’ve been invited to and also I rarely hold introspective conversations with friends in bathrooms. But that didn’t distract me from what I found to be a fresh, crisp series surrounding a strong core four of intriguingly (and often hilariously) self-aware characters in what they consider to be dire times.

And although the girls are meant to be the main focus, you can’t ignore their male counterparts — who are among the most dynamic aspects of the show. Beyond the polarizing and maniacally emotional Adam, I’ve always rooted for Charlie and now that he’s got a badass beard maybe he’ll get some more on-screen play. Not to mention the expected surge of newlywed Thomas-John into the picture and from what I can tell from the trailer, a few guest appearances—namely from Donald Glover and Patrick Wilson.

But most of all, as a slave to style, Girls provides one of the prettiest shows on television–from Jody Lee Lipes’ cinematography (any Martha Marcy May Marlene fans?) to the gorgeous set and costume design (fish-net shirt and all), the visuals of Girls span from superficially dazzling to poignantly lush — not to mention a kick-ass soundtrack. I just wish they gave Bushwick a little more love.

CW: I’ll give you the stylistic success of the show, but I can’t sign off on the male counterparts. I simply can’t get behind any of them. Charlie is as much a Girl as the girls themselves. Adam is way over the top, pretty much all the time. Thomas-John intrigues me a little, but his meltdown in Season 1 was more than off-putting and I can’t comprehend how he’s even still in the picture. Ray is the closest thing to a normal guy the show has produced, but his role has been minimal.

To boil down just about everything I said during Season 1: If dislike most of the characters, and can’t relate to their shenanigans, what’s keeping me watching the show? The best answer I can come up with now is that it doesn’t look like it’ll be slated against much on Sunday night. But the “what else do I have to do?” line of thought won’t take me very far if Season 2 doesn’t turn it around.

NT: You should watch it because it’s funny as hell. Not like Veep funny, but it has the ability to be candid and raw with emotion, which makes it often really uncomfortable and hilarious. The writing and delivery are fantastically cringe worthy, but it’s honest–the same reason The Office is funny. It’s Hollywood dreams smacked with blunt reality, plus it’s unpredictable and for that reason appointment television.

There’s an authenticity to it and one of the few shows on television that’s truly tapped into the pulse of a population. If, as Lena Dunham puts it (as Hannah in the pilot episode), it isn’t the voice of the generation, it’s a voice of a generation. And with all that riding on it, maybe just watch it to see it fail. Nothing like seeing a promising show that takes risks fall flat on its face. But I’ve got my money on it doing the opposite.

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