The naked, intertwined limbs of a young couple in love. The indignity of Rainbow Brite bedding on your mom’s couch. An uncomfortable extraction from beneath a one-night stand. And the scraping of disgusting dinner plates.
Girls‘ four leading ladies kicked off Season 3 in very different places, but unlike last year’s fractured story arcs, Lena Dunham’s HBO dramedy seems to be setting a course that will give its protagonists more leeway to kvetch, insult and support one another in the weeks to come.
“Females Only” and “Truth or Dare,” presented in back-to-back fashion, found Adam running into his ex Natalia — and getting a brutal smackdown; Hannah throwing a dinner party to allow Shoshanna and Marnie to get to know Adam; Marnie moving into a new apartment while reeling from a sudden breakup with Charlie; Jessa wreaking havoc at — and eventually getting ejected from — an upstate New York rehab facility; and Hannah, Adam and Shosh embarking on a road trip to bring Jessa back to NYC.
Here’s how it all played out:
NATALIA HAS HER SAY | Adam came to greet Hannah at work, but got more than he bargained for when he ran into jilted ex Natalia and her brash pal Angie (Inside Amy Schumer‘s Amy Schumer), who began an epic verbal assault by telling Adam he was a “big, tall, dumb slice of dogs**t” for professing his love for Natalia, then abandoning her without so much as a phone call. (In a moment of sublimely casual bitchery, she sized up Hannah upon first glance, then quickly asked, “Did you leave in a rush?”) Eventually, Natalia found the courage to unload, too, calling Adam an “off-the-wagon, neanderthal, sex addict, sociopath” and predicting he and Hannah would have a child together that neither one would be prepared to keep alive. Yikes. But also, probably justified, given the circumstances, no?
ADAM HANGS WITH THE GALS | Adam railed against the idea of breaking bread with Hannah’s pals — “I don’t hate your friends. I’m just not interested in anything they have to say.” But Hannah countered in a way that left her man no comeback: “I’m not interested in anything they have to say. That’s the point of friendship.” Ummm… is there anyone alive who feels this way? Probably not, but that isn’t the point of Girls, is it? Things went better than expected, though, as Adam used a rather graphic tale of a past romance to enchant Shosh (“He’s telling an incredibly beautiful and romantic story!”) and to help Marnie realize that maybe she and Charlie didn’t know each other as well as she’d fantasized.
JESSA’S REHAB ADVENTURES | Jessa acted dreadfully in group therapy, and took a cup of coffee to the face for it. (Side Note No. 1: Can Girls please stop with the flip sexual-abuse punch lines, pretty please?) But eventually, she managed to get the fellow recovering addict she’d taunted to come out as a lesbian, then promptly seduced her as an act of pity/mischief/nothing better to do. (Side Note No. 2: I know Jessa’s supposed to be this deeply wounded bird, but damnit, she puts the “tall” in “intolerable.”) Her dalliance proved the final straw, and she was asked to leave the program — but not before a confrontation with an older British gent (Richard E. Grant, Doctor Who) whom she’d viewed as a father figure/confidante but who’d merely been looking to seduce her. Jessa wound up getting Hannah to retrieve her, but not before the latter pal demanded that Jessa never again abandon her so casually and carelessly. Reuinted… we’ll have to wait and see if it feels so good, though.
MARNIE’S NEW “S**TBOX” | Marnie kicked things off living with her toxic mama (returning guest star Rita Wilson), but surprisingly, it was Adam who offered the soundest advice as she attempted to adjust to life without Charlie — and life in a new apartment all her own. Did anyone expect the former art-gallery assistant would wind up working at Cafe Grumpy? Although I’ve got to say, anything that keeps Marnie’s woe-is-me brain occupied is probably for the best.
THE DAYS AND NIGHS OF SHOSHANNA SHAPIRO | Shosh admitted at dinner that she’s “alternating nights of freedom with nights of academic focus.” Which basically means she’s meeting guys and hooking up now that she’s broken up with Ray, but also hurtling toward graduation and a potential career with prospects not as bleak (she hopes) as Hannah’s.
ROAD TRIPPIN’! | Adam drove Hannah and Shosh to pick up Jessa — though why a trip from Brooklyn to Woodstock (estimated time: two hours) required an overnight hotel stay is beyond me. Nevertheless, we got amusing forays into hiking (not for Hannah); truth or dare (never played by Adam); uncomfortable third-wheelism (Shosh had to evacuate the room so Adam could have sex with Hannah, then be able to sleep); and road-trip sing-alongs (again, not Adam’s bag).
Best Zingers from the Season 3 Premiere
“Are you a sociopath? Are you a Method actress researching a role?” –Jessa’s therapist, prepping to kick her out of the program
“Oh my God, that’s so true. They totally lie. My friend Rachel is fully addicted to Blueberry Red Bull, and she always tells me that she hasn’t had one, she tells me with like a blue tongue.” –Shoshanna, responding to Adam’s statement that addicts often lie
“Adam was there for you when you went totally batshit insane and like decided to cut your hair like a little boy on a fancy cookie box.” –Shosh, sticking up for Hannah’s boyfriend
“I read his autobiography, so I think I would know.” –Shosh, weighing in on the pronunciation of Ryan Phillippe
“It’s really liberating to say no to s**t you hate.” –Hannah, taking a stand against hiking
“Honestly, the only people I ever hear say that are people who don’t make any money.” –Shosh, responding to Hannah saying that college is the best part of a person’s life, and that she wants to go back to grad school
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