After getting pretty dark last year (never say the word Q-Tip to us again), Girls' third season, which premieres Sunday at 10/9c on HBO is refreshingly light. Maybe it's because for once when the girls are faced with obstacles, such as death and depression, they don't sit around whining like victims of circumstance. Instead, Season 3 finds the girls taking charge of their lives. Or at least trying to.
"Because it's Girls, I wouldn't say they're necessarily doing it in the smartest, most strategic way or being that successful at it. But they're all trying really hard in a way we haven't seen before," executive producer Jenni Konner told TVGuide.com at the Season 3 premiere.
So what exactly does it look like when the girls try and grow up? We break it down for you below.
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Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham)
Where we left her: In the arms of Adam (Adam Driver) yet again and facing a lawsuit from her publishers over her unwritten e-book.
What's next: Hannah has since overcome the worst of her OCD and is making serious headway on her e-book. And for once, it's not self-sabotage but outside forces that threaten her mission to become "the voice of a generation." "She's really trying to push forward, and that leads her into a lot of zones, like she starts working an office job," Dunham says of Hannah's career path this season. "She's expanding, but it's not always easy."
Unfortunately, Adam isn't exactly inspired by his girlfriend's newfound desire for financial security. The woodworker-turned-actor continues his big f--- you to society, living happily unemployed and considering selling dream catchers on Etsy. But for now, Hannah doesn't seem to mind Adam's unconventional lifestyle too much. It seems that, against all odds, last season's rom-com finale has translated into a real happily ever after for the dysfunctional couple. "I hope that despite all the insane nonsense they've both done, people are in some way rooting for this relationship while also recognizing that it's insane," Dunham says. This might work because Adam doesn't have a job at the moment, and therefore doesn't have anything distracting him from taking care of Hannah, which really is a full-time commitment.
Girls also gives a rare insight into Adam's psyche and how he puts up with Hannah when his sister Caroline (Gaby Hoffman) decides to crash. Caroline's presence in Hannah and Adam's home certainly shakes up the apartment dynamic, resulting in Hannah hilariously having to play Dr. Phil to the dysfunctional siblings.
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Jessa (Jemima Kirke)
Where we left her: Who knows? She abandoned Hannah at her father's country home after her father abandoned her at a grocery store.
What's next: While we don't know where Jessa went, we can tell you where she ended up: rehab. Not by her own volition, of course. Jessa's grandmother bribed her with a plane ticket, rent and a pair of Uggs to complete a three-month stint.
Unsurprisingly, the offensively honest vagrant doesn't adapt too well to the facility. However, she is able to make one small, but earnest connection with a fellow patient Laura, played by Orange is the New Black's Danielle Brooks. "[Laura's] trying to figure out her sexuality, and I think their relationship starts out rough, but in the end it becomes a very sweet moment that they share together," Brooks teases.
But before Jessa can get too close with Laura, she's back crashing with Shoshanna. And while she never took rehab seriously, once she's out, Jessa claims she truly does want to improve her life. "I think she has good intentions, but she's going about it all the wrong ways. Just because she makes these big moves — getting married, going to rehab — doesn't mean she's serious necessarily. She just does things big," Kirke says. Jessa will make a small step forward at least, getting a job at a baby boutique where she terrorizes expectant mothers.
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Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet)
Where we left her: At the beginning of a sexual walkabout after dumping Ray (Alex Karpovsky).
What's next: Shosh continues to explore her wilder side to a degree (she alternates party days with homework days in order to stick to her 15-year plan). And after a series of brief flings, Shosh is ready to settle down again. Enter Parker (Evan Jonigkeit), an idiotic classmate who's more than willing to go along with whatever over-analyzed relationship nonsense Shoshanna dictates. "It's sort of one-sided, but I'm the happy recipient of the nature of the relationship," Jonigkeit says of the unconventional romance.
Fans of Shosh and Ray, don't fret. Not only do the pair spend much of the first season giving each other awkward puppy dog eyes, but Alex Karpovsky says there's hope for a reunion down the line. "In a weird way they have so much in common ... and I think that similarity will never go away," the actor teases. "So I think the possibility of them getting back together is always within reach because of that." Especially since Ray has taken Shosh's parting words to heart and is slowly becoming the man she always wanted him to be. But if Shoshanna wastes too much time on Parker, she might just miss her chance at Ray.
Marnie (Allison Williams)
Where we left her: Back in love with music and back with Charlie (Christopher Abbott).
What's next: For some reason or another (read: Abbott quitting the show), Charlie broke up with Marnie in between seasons. Totally devastated and utterly confused, Marnie dives headfirst into a mission to prove she's OK. Workout obsessively: Check. Move into a sh---y Manhattan apartment: Check. Try to re-create happy memories from your past, much to the chagrin of your friends: Check, check, check.
But her determination to focus on the future hits a slight bump when her past comes back to haunt her in the form of a YouTube music video she made covering "What I Am" by Edie Brickell. While it may not be "Stronger" bad, it's pretty hard to watch in all the right ways. "We're not trying to be jokey about it. We want to believe she would have made it, but that it would still make her cringe. But not out of this world silly shame," Konner says of the video (which must be released in full. We demand it!).
At what feels rock bottom, Marnie finds a surprising source of support in Ray. "It's very complicated," Karpovsky says of the relationship. "It's very misguided at times. It's very co-dependent at times. And I think ultimately it's quite illuminating for both of them."
"There's such blatant dislike on the table that I think that opens up the possibility for honesty very quickly," he adds.
What do you think of Marnie and Ray getting close? Are you excited to meet Adam's sister?
Girls premieres Sunday at 10/9c on HBO.