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Monday, 20 January 2014

Television

Girls
American television show Girls is back with its third season. It was inevitable really that it was going to come back, after women everywhere talked about the first and second with such enthusiasm and passion. The show took over the comedy category at the Golden Globes last year, picking up Best Comedy Series and the shows creator and star Lena Dunham also took home Best Actress in a TV Comedy series - nothing this year though. Odd.
So what makes Girls such a big hit? Why are women, myself included, raving about it and can’t wait for the next episode to pop up on their TV planner? There are many factors that make it such a great show, mainly the girls (funnily enough) and their individual stories.
The show – set in Manhattan, New York – gives you four main women, four very different women with very different backgrounds. Dunham plays the main character Hannah Horvath (all the girls have alliterative names, magic!) who is a college graduate trying to earn money doing what she think she loves, writing. In the second season we saw her slowly spiral out of control with her OCD but she saved in fairytale style by on/ off boyfriend Adam. I know what you’re thinking…how very Sex and the City but the difference is you don’t want to punch Hannah in the face like you do Carrie Bradshaw (sorry SATC fans).
Alison Williams plays the tall, skinny and flawlessly beautiful Marnie Michaels, Hannah’s best friend and ex-roommate. In the first season she was seen as prim and proper Marnie who worked as an art gallery assistant but come the end of season two she worked in a Gentleman's Club and was back with her now suddenly very successful ex Charlie. She’s the girl who makes mistakes and doesn’t really know who she is yet.
The gorgeous blonde that is Jemima Kirke plays unpredictable bohemian beauty Jessa Johansson. We see the world-traveller arrive back in New York City and move in with her cousin Shoshanna in season one. At the end of the season she married a wealthy, boring man played by loveable Irish man Chris O’Dowd, and in season two we see it fall apart. Where will she be now? Well the first few episodes are all about getting her out of rehab.
Zosia Mamet plays Shoshanna Shapiro, the bubbly and incredibly innocent cousin of Jessa. Shoshanna’s story is probably the most significant, though you don’t really hear much about her. The 21 year old loses her virginity in the first season and we see her trying to learn about her sexuality with her boyfriend in season two, though that soon ends when she realises she wants to explore her sexuality more - cue epic slutiness.
We’ve had too many ‘frilly’ and ‘everything’s perfect’ comedy series recently, New Girl – whilst being a great show – is the sickeningly upbeat one that springs to mind. Girls doesn’t hold anything back, the storylines are raw and real, everyday things that women will go through and the things that we would all share like these girls do with our friends.
There is love and romance involved but the stories have more depth, more meaning to them. A failed marriage, psychopathic ex and that guy you lose your virginity to are all a refreshing spin on normal love storylines. The somehow still forbidden topic of sex is also a recurring theme in these girls’ lives – girls have casual sex? Good Lord! – it just makes the show even more relatable with young women in their early/ mid 20s.
I see Girls as a breath of fresh air. It’s not just my female friends who enjoy it, it’s become popular with guys too. Not an easy thing to accomplish. If you haven’t started watching it already, I highly recommend you start now. Season one and two are available as a box set and season three is back on Sky Atlantic on mondays. 

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