TV Review: Welcome Back, ‘Girls’ – Season 4 Premiere (“Iowa”)


10676134_743411669069768_532944553956537050_nCole Clay // Film Critic

Girls | 30 min. | TV-MA
Creator: Lena Dunham
Stars: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky and Andrew Rannells

The trajectory of the first three seasons of Girls has changed very little. The four main protagonists have not made much progress, which is strange since the show relies on the evolution of creator Lena Dunham’s characters. I have been crazy about this show since it first aired back in January 2012, and it has since gone on to become one of HBO’s most vexing programs. The comedy doesn’t have the best plot lines, or really any likable character characters for that matter, but it somehow has expertly captured the struggles of being young and the negative effects of moderately privileged. Some (most) people I have spoken with had all but given up on the show saying that seeing debt ridden millennials wincing about their failed creative endeavors was far too much to endure. Point taken, but give season four a chance, it gets better.

Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Marnie (Allison Williams) play a gig. Photo courtesy of HBO.

Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Marnie (Allison Williams) play a gig. Photo courtesy of HBO.

Luckily, I have gotten the chance to see the first few episodes of the season, and finally we see Hannah (Lena Dunham) and company are showing signs of progress from escaping their inherent vapidness. This is set in motion by Hannah’s “big” move to Iowa, which let’s her character breathe outside of the big city. Marnie (Allison Williams) is still basic as a pumpkin spice latte, but she has a (sort-of) singing career in the works. Jessa (Jemima Kirke) has successfully finished rehab, but still manages to land herself in jail. And finally, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) has graduated from NYU, but still has that grating “Pop Sugar,” “E! News” manner of speaking that made her so much fun to hang out with through the first three seasons.

I think this season has a lot of great story lines in store for fans. Remember some of the best episodes of the series came from Hannah’s wild tangents away from the city, like her trip back home to Michigan in “The Return” and the trip upstate to see Jessa’s estranged father in “Video Games.”

The subsequent episodes of the season get better and better because season four of Girls called an audible and hit the reset button.

Girls airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.