Review: ‘Girls’ Season Premiere-Back To What Works

Lena Dunham and her company of twisted friends resumed their misadventures Sunday evening with the season five premiere of Girls on HBO. This episode was a shift from the melodramatic and more towards the character driven comedy that fans have grown to expect.

The episode opens with a stressed bridezilla Marnie Micheals (played by Allison Williams) and her wedding to musician Desi. For those who may have forgotten, the fourth season ended with Desi’s proposal to Marnie.
At first, it seemed that the episode was going to be like last season, full of melodrama and lacking in any comedic spark. It’s hard to forget the listlessness that was the whole Hannah in Iowa as well as the sheer tedium that was the whole long distance relationship storyline between Hannah and Adam.

However, this newest episode reintroduced to each character in all their flawed glory. Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) managed to take one of the biggest days of her friends life and make it about her by refusing to allow the makeup artist to do her job. Jessa Johansson (Jemma Kirke) managed to use some of the wedding prep time to make out with Hannah’s ex-boyfriend Adam Sackler (Adam Driver). Shoshanna Shapiro managed to turn every single topic about the wedding into how great living in Japan is (remember she relocated to Japan last season). Even Ray Ploshansky (Alex Karpovsky) managed to turn the day into his feeling of loss as he still has feelings for Micheals.

It was quite refreshing to see Lena Dunham get back to what has made Girls so acclaimed for so many years. Fans clamor to the show each week not because Hannah wants to be a writer (which was a big storyline in season 3) but to see how she was going to screw it all up. What bridesmaid refuses something the bride wants to occur before the actual ceremony? What bridesmaid goes out into a parked car and hooks up with her boyfriend an hour or so before the big moment? Only Hannah! What bridesmaid makes out with your friends ex-boyfriend outside a window where her friend could see them? Only Jessa! The characters on Girls are delicious trainwrecks just full of bad decisions. This episode was the most entertaining episode that I’ve seen in a year.

Even the wedding itself was in true Girls fashion. It stumbled through cringeworthy drama. One couldn’t escape the idea that perhaps the wedding symbolized change and growing up for the crew. That notion disappeared as we witnessed Marnie getting Shoshannah to tell Hannah that her boyfriend needed to leave. As Hannah said in the episode “It’s like an appalling rom-com that’s really obvious and not funny.” In short, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

So the episode left a ton of unanswered questions. Will Marnie and Desi make it as husband and wife? Will Jessa and Adam let the world know their true feelings? Will Hannah break Fran’s (her new boyfriends) heart? Will Ray and Marnie commit adultery? Will Shoshanna ever stop talking about how great Japan is? Judging by the tone of the first episode, fans will get to see a majority of these questions answered in what promises to be an excellent fifth season of Girls.


Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.