Girls Season Premiere Recap: Back, and Naked as Ever

Golden Globe winner Lena Dunham bares body and soul once again in the season premiere

By Becky Lang Jan 14, 2013 4:20 AMTags

The return of HBO's Girls is bookended by Lena Dunham's naked body. This should come as a surprise to pretty much no one. After all, half of season one felt like an R-rated body-pride parade from Dunham, who has no qualms about getting naked, physically or emotionally. She's proud of not being a cookie-cutter Hollywood female, and that's one reason why the show became an immediate success—and earned a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Comedy, go along with Dunham's Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy.

Season two begins with Hannah (Dunham) having sex with her new flame Sandy, played by Donald Glover of Community. We find out that she's kicking things off with Sandy while strategizing a way to leave her current boyfriend Adam, who's still sore from getting hit by a car. Sandy appears uncomplicated throughout the episode, fascinated by how weird and quirky Hannah is.

The presence of Glover is presumably the show's olive branch after receiving waves of criticism for presenting a virtually all-white cast in season one. So, does it suffice? We're sure the blogosphere will have plenty to say, but it does seem kind of odd that the first not-white character is portrayed as someone completely in awe of Hannah, and possibly the homogenous culture she represents. Maybe that will become deconstructed in an interesting way as the season goes on.

After establishing Hannah's romantic quandary, we quickly catch up with her buddies, Marnie (Allison Williams) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), who are both having rough times of it. Marnie has been "downsized" by her art gallery boss, who explains that she couldn't fire the other guy because she slept with him, and he might sue her if she did. Over in mumbling-pointless-character-land, Shoshanna is still feeling awkward about losing her virginity to Ray (Alex Karpovsky) at the end of season one. As for Jessa (Jemima Kirke), well, we only see her for a hot minute at the end. Let's consider her fate still TBD for now.

Everything in this episode culminates around a party that Hannah is throwing with her new roommate Elijah (Andrew Rannells), her college boyfriend (who once gave her HPV), who is now openly gay. The party brings together all the regular characters on the show, who imbibe beer and wine aggressively and approach the karaoke machine with different levels of comfort.

Watching how the Girls crew parties, you have to wonder just how small their world is. Is their friend group really just those eight or nine people? Is that why they are all so interested in their own microcosm and unsure how to befriend anyone mildly different? And why are their parties so relatively tame for such "unruly" and sensational New York twentysomethings? We just saw beer and wine being consumed, like it went down at a bar without a hard liquor license. The substances on this show sometimes feel like a glamorous prop more than anything revealing or complicated in the long term. 

But it gets a lot weirder than that. We see that Marnie's ex, Charlie (Christopher Abbott), is so whipped by his new girlfriend that he waits outside the door while she pees. She busts out of the bathroom, holding a can of Tecate almost as big as her tiny thigh, wearing a jumper and yelling at him. After deciding the party doesn't have enough weed, she takes off, presumably to a normal party containing more than nine people. 

The party dwindles, leaving Marnie and Elijah alone to flatter one another's karaoke skills. This turns into flirtation unbelievably quickly, and the two try to have sex. He can't get aroused because she's "rolling her eyes," but more likely because he just isn't into women as much as he'd like to think he is, even hot girls who rock H&M's most work-appropriate wear on the reg.

Hannah has ditched the party for boy-related reasons. At first we think it's because she wants to dote on Adam, but it turns out she's got her own agenda. After leaving the increasingly gargoyle-like Adam some painkillers and a granola bar that she apathetically drops on his cast, she takes off and heads straight to Sandy's house. She takes off her dress, shows the camera her be-thonged behind, and, well, the episode is over.

Looks like season two is going to be a lot like season one.


"I'm sorry I have a boner. It's not for you."—Elijah to Hannah 

"I thank the high powers for all the gifts I've received, like a mathematical mind and fast-growing hair."—Shoshanna 

"Don't say 'love' to me."—Hannah

"It was a joke 'love.'"—Sandy

"Don't even say a joke 'love.'"—Hannah

"I came. You came hard. We all laughed."—Adam

"That's why my parents look so old and decrepit: They never have anybody over!"—Hannah

"Do you miss your hymen?"—Elijah to Shoshanna

"Miss would be the wrong word. I wouldn't say I miss it, like miss would be the wrong word."—Shoshanna

"I realized the other day that I could go like eight months without sex and I'd be absolutely fine."—Marnie to Charlie 

"When you just send me a text full of emojis I'm forced to dismiss you." - Ray to Shoshanna

"You said I made you feel like your whole body was a clit." - Adam

"Our lives are so entwined." - Elijah

"What, like you've met his whole family?" - Marnie

"No like he pays for everything." - Elijah

"People are so prejudiced against bisexuals. They're the only people you can still make fun of, like bisexuals and Germans." - Elijah