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

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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

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.