February 22, 2016

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Premiere Review: “Girls”


GIRLS:  Sunday 10PM on HBO

We now know that the 6th and next season of Lena Dunham’s GIRLS will be its last, and the Season 5 premiere made clear that Dunham has little intention of making the show less polarizing than it’s been from the start.

The episode, written and directed by Dunham, used the reliable device of a wedding to bring all the characters together.  The nuptials were for Marnie (Allison Williams) and Desi (Elon Moss-Bachrach), and in some ways the half-hour was as network sitcom-y as Girls ever gets, as the wedding day disasters included such standbys as pouring rain, cold feet from the groom, and ludicrous clown-like make-up for Marnie courtesy of her rock & roll cosmetics expert.  It was also unlike most Girls episodes in that there was hardly any mention of what the protagonists were doing for work these days, aside from some quick dialogue about the months Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) had been spending in Japan.

The dysfunctional relationships among Marnie, Desi and their guests, though, were from the familiar Girls brew, as Marnie control-freaked and bickered with her mother (Rita Wilson), Hannah (Dunham) was inappropriate and passive-aggressive (until a last-minute moment of sisterhood with Marnie), and Shosh delivered her dialogue at light-speed.  The major new development was that Jessa (Jemima Kirke), who we’d last seen getting sober and considering a career in therapy, had gone full Earth Mother, tending to the other women and beginning a romance with Hannah’s ex Adam (Adam Driver, suddenly the biggest star on the show courtesy of Star Wars).  Other romantic news included the fact that the lukewarm relationship between Hannah and nice-guy Fran (Jake Lacy) was still going on, and that Ray (Alex Karpovsky) was still depressed over losing Marnie to Desi, although he was mensch enough to get Desi back to the altar.

Those who find the Girls characters off-putting, especially lightning rod Hannah, will feel no differently about them now, and the series as a whole seems likely to continue its pattern of interspersing the tiresome with genuine insights and wit.  The series has always garnered more attention than viewers, and that seems unlikely to change as well.  As watchable as Girls remains, with no signs of meaningful variation ahead, it feels like a good decision to have the end of its road in sight.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."