HBO has always been on the cusp of cutting edge television creating some of the most memorable and talked about series in history. It seems that the cable net is always taking a chance on a series, whether it’s a swing and a miss ala Vinyl or a home run ala Game of Thrones, HBO has always taken big risks. One of the those risks has been the polarizing series Girls.
Starring Lena Dunham, Girls is about four over privileged friends finding their way though life in New York City. It’s characters were never instantly likable like the women of Sex and the City or Desperate Housewives. The Girls of… “Girls” are very hard to take, frustrating and challenging at the same time. This is what makes fans of the show tune in every week and people who are turned off by the vain and narcissistic actions of the lead characters, tune out.
Girls: The Complete Fifth Season is out now on Blu-ray and as the series gets ready to enter it’s sixth and final season, it’s the perfect time to catch up. What I love about Girls is the fact that it’s completely unflinching, it just lets it’s warts not only hang out, but the warts are out there at the forefront of the series. It’s a bold thing to do and very risky.
The past few seasons Girls has been riding under the radar a bit, this is the television renaissance after all. It’s unfortunate to some extent because this season of Girls has been one of its best. Girls excels when it focuses on the minute details of life and how those details grow and grow to basically suffocate everyone.
This season Hannah (Lena Dunham) has put her writing ambitions aside and is holding down a real job as a teacher with her new boyfriend Fran (Jake Lacy), who is actually a really nice guy. Of course as with everything, Hannah does what she can to destroy the relationship including picking fights, causing scenes, etc… Because Hannah is at her best when she’d being self destructive.
Marnie (Allison Williams) is now married and dealing with all the drama that comes with living with someone like Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Their relationship quickly starts to unravel and Marnie soon realizes that she needs more space, she gets it literally and figuratively. She also gets her own episode that brings back Charlie (Christopher Abbott) for a hot fling. Very well the best episode of the season, it’s the end of her marriage and the start of the new adventure.
Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is working at becoming a therapist and trying to be good while thwarting the advances of Adam (Adam Driver). It doesn’t work and the two start a whirlwind relationship that drives a wedge into both of their relationships with Hannah.
Finally, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is in Japan and adapts to the culture perfectly. She fits right in and loves it. Sadly, that love affair doesn’t last long as there are cutbacks in the company, also not lasting is her relationship with Scott (Jason Ritter), who has waited for her all this time and eventually realizes that Shoshanna doesn’t love him, like he loves her.
It’s an interesting season, one where each of the Girls from Girls drift apart but eventually start to come back together again. It’s a season where they start to get their act together, but encounter a lot of bumps along the way, mostly of their own doing.
Girls: The Complete Fifth Season arrives on Blu-ray in a fine transfer thanks to HBO Home Video. The series isn’t necessary viewing on high definition, but it’s a nice change of pace from the normal DVD. The fine details are really enhanced and the colors look great, especially in the Japan sequences. In close up, the high definition transfer does allow the actresses to really express themselves in subtle ways that normally one wouldn’t catch on a standard release.
The Bonus Features are sadly rather limited. There are some extended episodes as well as deleted scenes. Inside the Episode featurettes are also included.
Overall, I really enjoy Girls. It’s a series that is fresh, ballsy and has a unique voice. I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and in todays crowded television landscape it’s hard to keep up with every series. However, if you give the series a chance and embrace the characters flaws and quirks, you just might find yourself sucked into this crazy over privileged world.
Girls: The Complete Fifth Season is out now on Blu-ray!