Lena Dunham's rookie hit from last season returns on HBO

By Melissa Maerz
Updated January 04, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST
  • TV Show
  • HBO

Premieres: January 13, 9PM, HBO

Will Girls keep pushing us outside of our comfort zone this season? Well, here’s a hint: When Lena Dunham shows up on set in Brooklyn, she launches into a conversation about hard drugs and threesomes. Of course, she’s just running through lines from a scene where her character, Hannah, applies for a writing gig at the hipster website JazzHate. The site’s editor, Jame (Angela Featherstone), suggests Hannah write a first-person essay about doing something crazy, but Hannah isn’t eager to snort coke or plan a ménage à trois just for the sake of a writing assignment. Frustrated, Jame sighs, ”Did you see my sign?” And there on the wall is a golden rectangle that reads ”THIS IS YOUR COMFORT ZONE,” and a smaller circle outside of it with the words ”where the magic happens.”

You might say that all of season 2 exists outside of that rectangle. ”If you loved what we were doing last season, then we’re speaking right to you,” says Dunham, who exec-produces the show with Jenni Konner and Judd Apatow. ”If you hated it, then I’m afraid things aren’t going to change.”

So brace yourselves: In what seems to be a nod to the season 1 criticism that Girls‘ Brooklyn world was too white, Hannah will have an awkward conversation about race with her new fling, Sandy (Community‘s Donald Glover); Adam (Adam Driver), who’s confined to his house after last season’s car accident, will start stalking Hannah; Hannah’s gay ex-boyfriend-turned-roommate, Elijah (Andrew Rannells), will question his sexuality; and Marnie (Allison Williams) will rediscover hers, particularly when she runs into her cocky crush, Booth (Jorma Taccone). And after falling into bed in the finale, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) keep flip-flopping on which of them is more in love with the other.

Yes, everyone’s being forced to grow up. ”This is the year that they have to get a little more serious,” explains Konner. ”They can no longer say, ‘We just got out of college!’ That was two years earlier. Now they’re slightly more desperate to figure out who they’re going to be.” And that means making peace with their families. The season premiere will introduce us to Marnie’s mother (Rita Wilson), the kind of woman who’d rather be a best friend than a parent to her kid. Some of Jessa’s (Jemima Kirke) background will get filled in, including her relationship with her father (Ben Mendelsohn) and stepmother (Rosanna Arquette). Promises Konner: ”We definitely get to see an interesting side of Jessa that we haven’t seen.”

Mostly, though, all four women are just trying to stay employed, make rent, and get over that dreaded period known as their 20s. But no one can tell Hannah that she’s not thriving every step of the way. ”Hannah is desperate for experiences to write about, done with Adam, and confident that she understands the mechanics of sex,” says Dunham. ”Spoiler alert: She doesn’t.”

Episode Recaps


Four young ladies live in New York City, and it’s SO hard.
  • TV Show
  • 6
  • TV-MA
  • In Season
  • HBO
stream service