TV Review: Girls Season 3 Premiere – Females Only / Truth or Dare

Girls returns for its third season with a pair of great, complimentary, episodes that gets the show back on track, gets us back up to speed and returns Jessa into the fold.

We last left Girls seemingly enter an unrealistic fantasy land with its fairy tale endings for almost all parties not named Ray, but season 3, thankfully, sobers up with plenty of reality. Marnie is single again, Christopher Abbot (Charlie) quit the show, Shos is sleeping around her campus, Adam & Hannah’s relationship seems as healthy and real as these two characters can have and Ray is Ray. In fact, there wasn’t enough Ray. One scene, that’s all we got, dammit. Still, that is about the only complaint I have for the episodes, as I was laughing from start to finish throughout the hour.

Jessa’s return goes over about as well as one could imagine, as I never realized how much I missed Jemima Kirke until this episode. She gets all the best lines, the funniest moments and Dunham and company make all this happen in the most unlikely places; a rehabilitation clinic. Jessa taking over her groups had me rolling, tearing into these supposedly suffering souls, and her relationship with Jasper, another English accented addict, provides just as many laughs. The scenes of the episodes, though, were Jessa’s progression with closeted lesbian Laura (Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks) and while you see where it’s going it is a blast to watch Jessa manipulate everything in her way. Kirke was just fantastic this week, so happy to have her back.

It’s also great to see that they have dumped the OCD story for Hannah, for now, and the struggles that popped up between her and Adam over their social life seemed perfectly natural for these two. I’m glad we aren’t in some perfect, gooey romance phase. Adam Driver and Dunham have such amazing chemistry together and it’s so fun to see them play off one another as they try and navigate each others’ issues. Seeing Adam want to avoid Hannah’s friends, and then get stuck having to spend every moment of the episodes with them played wonderfully, but it’s Adam’s sweetness that he can’t help but let come through with them that really makes you like him more.

I loved Shiri Appleby’s little comeback with Amy Schumer was also quite the highlight of the premiere as the two tears into the reunited couple of Hannah and Adam. I think Appleby’s words are going to hang over their relationship over the course of the season and I loved the fact that she didn’t want to get into until she realized that Hannah was who she was. An interesting wrinkle that supports Adam’s worldview on girls, for sure.

Shos was also in top form, getting her most screen time in an episode yet?, and her insane babbling has rarely been this hilarious. I don’t know what she is talking about half the time, but Zosia Mamet is so good in the part, and so good at selling it, I will roll with as long as it is as funny as this. It’s also nice to see that Marnie hasn’t stopped being Marnie, bless her delusional little soul, but there seems to be a bit of growth there as well. Plus, more Rita Wilson please.

Season 2 was hit or miss for Girls, but these first two episodes of season 3 have a comedic rhythm and focus that the show has at its absolute sharpest. As someone who borderline hated the season 2 finale, I couldn’t be more happy with what this season premiere gave us. Girls seems to be back on its game and, possibly, ready to reclaim its crown as the best show on HBO.

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