Anyway, the explicit and awkward sex scenes and the bearing of untoned flesh have always drawn attention away from the most radical aspect of "Girls," which is how it allows its characters to act like actual aimless young people, which sometimes means behaving in thoughtlessly self-involved and often ill-advised fashions. The main way in which "Girls" is misunderstood is in the assumption that the audience is supposed to approve of everything that Hannah and her friends Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) do, from Hannah's tantrum after being cut off by her parents in the pilot onward. They are the heroines of the story, but they're hardly heroic, except in the way that everyone is as they flounder toward adulthood.
Season two picks up two months after season one ended, with Marnie staying with Shoshanna and still working, at least at the start, as a gallery assistant, and Jessa just returning from her honeymoon with finance guy Thomas-John (Chris O'Dowd), whom she impulsively married in the season finale. Shoshanna is trying to figure out how to treat Ray (Alex Karpovsky) after he took her virginity, while Hannah is now living with Elijah (Andrew Rannells), her ex-boyfriend from college and now her new gay bestie.
The characters are all still making ferocious messes of their lives, but it's Hannah and Marnie who dominate the first two episodes. The prim Marnie has to deal with the fact that her seemingly perfect life isn't at all on track and that her attempts at spontaneity seem to always backfire terribly, as happens in a wincingly funny scene at the end of the season premiere. Hannah, meanwhile, turns ambivalence into cruelty when she dithers between Adam (Adam Driver), who broke up with her in the finale only to get hit by a truck, and a new black Republican boyfriend named Sandy (Donald Glover).
It's something I'll address more after the second episode airs, but the series' lack of a protagonist of color has never really bothered me, because it's not a show that strives to present a general overview of life in Brooklyn, life as a young person in New York or as, god forbid, a hipster. It's about four characters who have big ideas about what their lives should be like, ones that aren't reflected in the fairly narrow ones they're leading. They should have friends of color, and they'd probably insist they do, but just, you know, don't see them that often -- because, in the end, their immediate circle is small and comfortably self-reflecting. Like a lot of what's put on screen in "Girls," it's neither a positive nor unheard of, and that it becomes an explicitly raised point in this season makes it clear the show's aware of it.
Later, she gets the kind of gushingly romantic confession that she yearned for in the first season, and it's completely unappealing to her. Between Adam, Elijah and Sandy she almost has one whole boyfriend, as she tries to manage the relationships in her life without having any idea what she actually wants from them. It's through Hannah that we see the most achingly awful angles on being young that "Girls" has to offer, which makes her occasional triumphs, when they occur, so very hard-won.