11th Jan2015

‘Girls: The Complete Third Season’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf


I am a Girls fan and proud of it, though with Girls: The Complete Third Season I have become somewhat annoyed, but I still remain a fan.  The characters are reliably flaky and pretentious, but there is a strange reliability in that for the audience and more importantly there are some episodes in this season that are good enough to keep me hooked, with a few smaller moments reminding me just how good Girls can be.

Following the expected structure of the show Girls: The Complete Third Season starts again after it seems friendships had been weakened and nothing could be resolved.  The slate has been cleaned though and Hannah (Lena Dunham) is recovering and finding the stability she needs, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) has had a stint of rehab, Marnie (Allison Williams) starts the season living with her mother who seems like an older version of herself and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is living through her life as she decided to and being herself…whatever that actually is (only she would know).

I’ve come to realise that each season of Girls is probably going to be a start with positivity leading to a complete breakdown setting up for a cliffhanger climax which leads into the next season where everything will hopefully be fixed, it’s a structure that works.  Hannah goes through changes that are shaping her future, though her main weakness is not being able to realise that the world does not revolve around her.  We see many awkward scenes that emphasises this in very uncomfortable ways.  I do tend to get the feeling though that the main message of Girls: The Complete Third Season is that all the characters are still young and believe everything is about them, the world is their oyster and they will grab it and make it theirs.  This season is about the realisation that in many ways it is time to grow up and face the real world, they have to in some ways make the best of what they’ve got, even if you don’t want to.

The moment this realisation is made is the Beach House episode, the highlight of the season.  In typical fashion Marnie has created the trip so that the Girls can all sit down and discuss their feelings and everything will be perfect just as she planned (yes, a total control freak).  This doesn’t work out of course, but it does lead to the best scene of this season where Shoshanna becomes an “angry drunk” and finally tells them all just what she thinks about them.  Zosia Mamet steals this episode for me as we finally see Shoshanna’s dreamy little façade slip and she gives them all a wakeup call leading to them all letting each other know exactly what they feel (finally).  This episode is about them all finally letting everything go and is perfect, but it is definitely one that Shoshanna fans will love the most.

What I like about the characters created for Girls is that none of them are truly strong.  They are all insecure and are all looking to find that little space in life that makes them happy.  This is shown very well by Lena Dunham herself who has that ability to make Hannah seem so confident at times (though somewhat delusional), but when insecurity is needed she is able to play the character with such fragility that she appears to be a frightened little child who just needs saving.  That is the thing about all of the characters though, part of who they are is still clinging to that youth that doesn’t understand the world and is learning about life.  Sometimes the strength they have falls away and the insecurity comes flooding out and they are truly lost in the chaos.

Whether its Adam (Adam Driver) with his budding acting career, Shoshanna finally growing up or Ray (Alex Karpovsky) actually making an effort not to be pretentious Girls: The Complete Third Season is about taking steps in life to become more mature and forming a future, whether the characters like it or not.  There are plenty of stories looking for endings right now, and that is where the fourth season will hopefully start strong…the fans need answers as to many of the plot strands that were left floating around waiting for somewhere to go.

This release of Girls: The Complete Third Season is the perfect chance to catch up with the show, or finally get the season watched if you’ve missed it.  I’m not sure that the third season was as good as previous seasons but it was important for the growth of the characters.  Life lessons are learnt, truths are revealed and life changing events took place, so now it’s time to see where the characters will go from here…and although I do think Richard E. Grant’s character probably won’t show up again, I would love to see him return.

**** 4/5

Girls: The Complete Third Season is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from January 12th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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