‘Girls’ returns to HBO: a character by character breakdown

At the end of the first season, “Girls” creator/actor/director/producer Lena Dunham said she wanted the audience to feel that if we never saw Hannah, Jessa, Shoshanna and Marnie again, we would know they would be all right.

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Courtesy of HBO

Hannah

Hannah Horvath is the character I oscillate between love and hate in each episode. As Dunham says, “She’s spent so much time focusing on the goal that she hasn’t thought about the reality.” At the end of season one, Hannah might arguably be in the most pathetic position after Jessa’s surprise wedding. Adam broke up with her, she has no job and no way to pay for the most realistically swanky apartment of a 20-something on television. But, it’s her need to talk about every single feeling that keeps me rooting for her. I believe it’s a quality that Dunham shares with her character, and it’s why I will probably buy her memoir.

Hannah doesn’t know what she wants out of life. While this is out of the ordinary for a television character, it’s not out of the ordinary for young people today. Between the ages of 20-25, can we really know what we want? I always end up loving Hannah because she understands that it’s OK to not have all the answers.

Plus, Hannah and Elijah look like they’re back to being besties. Only good things can come of his sass and her woe.

Jessa

I wish I could be more like Jessa. British accent, cool clothes, not a care for how much she smokes or drinks; she’s the cooler older sister that we secretly aspire to be. Then, the finale happened … and Jessa got even cooler. She married a guy no one expected her to, and she looks freakin’ happy in all the trailers.

Shoshanna

Ep. 10 Clip: A Very Strange Frequency

My heart be still whenever Shoshanna is on the screen. She is cute, and Zosia Mamet has the best comedic timing of anyone on the show. I’m glad Ray has seen past Shoshanna’s ridiculous (and insecure) exterior. I just hope there are more “crack spirit guide” moments in her future.

Marnie

I saved Marnie for last because I have a very special place in my heart for her. As a fellow type A personality who prefers when everything goes right, I feel for her at the end of season one. She doesn’t have a job, a place of her own, a boyfriend, a best friend — Marnie is broken. I’m not saying I place my personal worth in Marnie’s ability to pick herself up in season two, but it would make me feel better if she was able to.

One of my friends told me this summer that because Marnie is the most attractive, she should be able to figure everything out. I bet Marnie will remain lost for most of the 10-episode season. It’s that exact sentiment that makes me love “Girls.” Looks do not discount hardship.

Being young and on your own is difficult; Dunham takes these mundane problems and makes them interesting.

The second season of “Girls” premieres on HBO on Sunday, Jan. 13.

 

Reach the reporter at crcruz1@asu.edu