While being stuck in my room thinking I had COVID for the third time, I watched lots of Girls (2012-2017) episodes. I was drawn to the show initially because I love the show New Girl (2011-2018), but have seen the episodes so many times that I wanted to spend some time watching something new. I also knew that Adam Driver was in Girls, and I wanted to see what kind of character he played. I have seen him in Silence (2016) and Paterson (2016), among other movies, but I wanted to see him in action comedically. I was not disappointed.
I already have a post where I talked about the first season of this show and compared it to New Girl. But now that I have watched Season 2 and 3 of Girls, I thought I should write another post to document my new thoughts.
One of my favorite aspects of the show is the songs that play during the end credits. Most of the episodes end with a cliffhanger or blunt dialogue that leaves you thinking about what happens next. The songs during the end credits reinforce the emotions felt in that episode’s final scene and help the show continue even when the screen time is over. Some shows have the same end tune play for every episode, but Girls takes music seriously and carefully selects a song that adds to the end plot of each specific episode. I often sit through all of the end credits just so I can hear the entire song. I wonder if I am the only one who does this. I hope everyone can appreciate the careful music selection.
Another reason I like this show is how it touches on emotional moments and stays on them just long enough without it being overwhelming for a comedy. For instance, when Jessa visits her father and it does not go well, it is not shoved down the audiences throat. Instead, the emotions are seen gradually and through action. This actually makes the plot more impactful because it is left for the audience to piece together what is left unsaid, much like real life. Overall, this comes down to good writing and I applaud that over and over again.
This strategy is used many times in the show. For instance, when Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) grandmother dies in Season 3. We learn this at the end of an episode through a phone call with her cousin, Rebecca (Sarah Steele). In the previous scenes, their grandmother’s health is improving, which makes it even more surprising when suddenly Hannah gets a call informing her that her grandmother has died from a heart attack. After this phone call, the screen cuts to black and the audience is left to deal with their emotions alone. I love how this mimics real life, how situations are thrown at us, no matter how surprising, and we are left to deal with them how we see fit. Some news can feel like a gut punch and the ending to this episode truly delivers that feeling.
Overall, I love the realist tone of the show. Often TV and movies portray people how we “think” or wish they really are, but I feel like Girls portrays people how they really are. With all their intricacies, bad moments and good, anger and sadness, and the ups and downs of growing up, honestly. The show does not set unrealistic expectations, I think it mimics real life. I like shows that do that successfully and I guess that is why I enjoy watching this show so much. So much that I watched 3 Seasons in 3 days. Is that some kind of record?
*Disclaimer: Making a movie/tv show is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.
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