Girls Season 2 Review: Characters Made No Progress Toward Adulthood in Second Season
Girls season 2 isn't brave, enlightening, or riveting. Girls is depraved, maddening, and exploitative. But it doesn't just exploit a person's body, it also exploits her mind. In watching Girls, I can't help but wonder why society accepts this garbage as art and genius. Why do we applaud blatant narcissism and vile behavior?
The characters on the show act more like animals than people. I hesitate to solely blame Lena Dunham for this because the program is a collective collaboration. But I had hoped that in season 2, the characters would show more depth and start functioning as adults.
Instead the show crossed a serious line in episode three when Dunham's character, Hannah, and her roommate, Elijah, use cocaine purely for Hannah to have something creative to write about. Let me be clear and say I am not advocating censorship on TV. HBO's programming has always pushed the boundaries. But there are limits in terms of general decency.
Advocating the use of cocaine or any drugs for the sake of creative inspiration is dangerous and reprehensible. Of course, trying drugs "for the experience" isn't exactly an unrealistic experience for a 20-something New Yorker to make. Maybe it's not unrealistic, but it's completely irresponsible.
In this episode, Hannah and Elijah do multiple lines of cocaine and it was portrayed in such a way as if they are ingesting powdered sugar, not an illegal narcotic. This is how people die. Never once was there any hesitation on the part of the characters, or outward thought of how serious flirting with cocaine can be. What about all the impressionable people watching this? The characters in this show have no common sense. At some point, it's time to grow up.
Honestly, the sex and nudity depicted on Girls is continual and constant, mind-numbing in its repetition. But in episode nine, it turned sinister, crossing a dangerous line. The episode is entitled "On All Fours." Adam's girlfriend is seen at the end of the episode, "lying prostrate at the end of exceedingly uncomfortable sex, the evidence of her boyfriend's self-pleasuring draped sadly and unpleasantly upon her, as he loomed above, his face looking more than ever like an old timey criminal." This description paints a more than accurate picture.
The scene was brutal and exploitative. Viewers witness a man having his way with his "girlfriend" in a manner bordering rape. If it was to shock and nauseate the audience it worked. But it revealed more, showing a pattern of pathological narcissism in the form of degrading sex. The characters don't care about consequences, only satisfying their momentary whims and desires.
Girls is a cultural tragedy in its brazen display of immoral and depraved acts. But while many may think it's cutting edge entertainment in its unrelenting openness, it's really just depressing and empty. What looks shiny on the outside is severely broken on the inside. Girls symbolizes lost youth, heartbreaking sadness, and overall cultural decay.