This Sunday, Girls returns to HBO for its second season—with a bit of a warning. “If you loved what we were doing last season, then we’re speaking right to you,” the show’s co-creator and star Lena Dunham told EW in our Winter TV Preview issue. “If you hated it, then I’m afraid things aren’t going to change.”
You’ll have to wait to see how you feel about the cocaine episode, and the episode where Hannah has a pretty awkward discussion about race. But in the meantime, we’ve been chatting with Dunham and Girls co-creator Jenni Konner about what to expect this season. Below, we’ve excerpted sections of two separate conversations with each show runner. They answer our burning questions about the new episodes.
Judging by the trailer, it looks like Hannah gets together with a lot of guys this season. How has the way she views her love life changed?
Lena Dunham: Hannah is desperate for experiences to write about, done with Adam and confident that she understands the mechanics of sex. (Spoiler alert: she doesn’t.) This leads to embracing unwise hookups and ruining wiser ones.
Jenni Konner: Let’s be honest, her love life is never that hot, but it will be very busy.
Donald Glover plays Sandy, one of the guys who hooks up with Hannah. Can you tell us a bit about his character?
Dunham: Sandy is a sweet-faced Brooklyn dude who has taken an unexpected political angle that we cannot yet reveal.
What about Shoshanna? Are she and Ray feeling about hot and cold about each other?
Konner: With every relationship, you go in phases where one person loves the other more and is more invested. Some people get over it, and some don’t. They’re both dealing with that this season.
Can you tell us about any other new characters or guest stars who will appear on the show this season?
Dunham: We had an insane wealth of guest stars: Rosanna Arquette as Jessa’s stepmom, John Cameron Mitchell as a literary type Hannah is desperate to impress and Patrick Wilson as an insanely eligible bachelor. We got so lucky in terms of who came to play with us. All I want to do is relive the day that Carol Kane was on set.
Konner: There are so many wonderful guest stars. Rita Wilson is Marnie’s mother. She’s friends with Allison in real life, so it was perfect. And you know how last year we had the capsule episode where Hannah goes back to Michigan? Well, we’ve been able to do a couple of those with other characters. We definitely get to see an interesting side of Jessa that we haven’t seen before. Having to do with her family. That’s all I’m going to say.
Last season, it looked like Hannah and Marnie weren’t going to be friends anymore. What can you tell us about where their friendship stands in season 2?
Dunham: Their friendship will always be complicated, but they can’t stay away from each other. It has all the trappings of a toxic romantic relationship.
Konner: Remember at [Jessa's] wedding they got a little sweeter to each other? I think that friendship really reflects real friendships at that time and you’re trying to figure out: Is this is a person who’s going to be a friend for my whole life? We have so much connection and we know each other better than anyone, but we’re turning into different people. So I think it will be trying to find that balance between the two of them.
Jessa got married so quickly last season. Is her marriage doomed?
Dunham: I am being such a rude kid about holding back spoilers, but I will ask you this: did that marriage seem like it might work? We are dealing in realism on this show.
Konner: The thing about the Jessas of the world is that every time they think they’ve really reformed, they tend to do something even more extreme, at least in my experience. We spent so much time last season talking about Jessa’s adventures, but not really seeing them. There was a lot of “Remember when Jessa did that or did this?” So part of having her get married was us saying, Jessa is still Jessa.
What’s happening with Hannah’s career this season?
Dunham: Hannah is taking her writing more seriously, aka actually writing, and sometimes rejection is more painful when you’ve made a true effort. She can no longer blame her lack of success on lack of trying. Midway through the season, she gets an amazing opportunity that doesn’t quite feel right.
Konner: She’s getting a little bit of success, definitely. But think about how Hannah generally fares with things that seem to be going her way. Everything is always a struggle for her. So there will be struggles and, as always, mistakes.
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