If you thought you knew the characters of “Girls,” then guess again.
In Season Two, you’ll be learning a whole lot more about some of the show’s characters who were on the periphery last season but will now receive a lot more attention in the 10 new episodes of “Girls” that get under way Sunday night (Jan. 13) at 9/8c on HBO.
That’s the word from several principals on the show — including at least two cast members and one producer. They let us in on what’s in store when Xfinity met up with them in New York for a series of interviews.
As a result, here are five things you should know about “Girls” as Season Two begins:
1) Characters in development: If there’s one thing that will differentiate this new season from last season, it’s this: Now that viewers are well-acquainted with the show’s four principal characters — Hannah (series star and creator Lena Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) — the show now has an opportunity delve more deeply into the lives of some of the show’s other characters, particularly the men (or do we call them “boys”?).
“One of the things that’s different about the season is that we get to spend time with characters who in the past have been peripheral characters, and really spend time with them,” said executive producer Jenni Konner (a role she shares with Dunham).
For example, she said, “We have an episode where Ray [Alex Karpovsky] spends the day with [actor] Adam Driver [who plays Adam Sackler], which is really fun because we’ve hardly seen them anywhere together.”
And, Konner added, “We go home with another girl’s family the way we went home with Hannah last year.”
Karpovsky revealed that his character of Ray will be seen in eight of the 10 episodes (all of which have been produced). “Now that there’s some basic familiarity with the main characters, we now have a little more liberty, I feel, to go into a zany place with the characters without losing or disorienting the audience.”
2) Hey, Jessa, how’s that marriage working out? The answer is: It isn’t. The free-wheeling character played by Jemima Kirke had a surprise wedding in last season’s finale — marrying Thomas-John (Chris O’Dowd). This week, Kirke told us the marriage doesn’t work out — which, truth be told, is not a huge surprise.
“I think it’s fairly obvious how it’s gonna go,” she said when we asked her about Jessa’s marriage. “It’s not gonna pan out. It wasn’t for life,” she revealed. “I think people know that she [wouldn’t] get married and live happily ever after.”
3) Hey, Hannah, how’s that roommate thing working out? The answer to that: It isn’t either, or at least that’s what Hannah’s “roommate,” actor Andrew Rannells, indicated when we asked him about it. On “Girls,” he plays Elijah, who dated Hannah for a time last season, but then came out. Yep, he’s gay. But in the season finale last year, Hannah needed a roommate and he agreed to move in. In the upcoming season, Rannells is seen in just four episodes (mainly because he’s also starring in “The New Normal” on NBC and the shows’ production schedules clashed).
“Elijah [does] indeed move in with Hannah,” Rannells said, “which I think initially seems like a great idea. They’re going to try to be friends [but] it becomes a more complicated friendship than I think they think it will be — that they could maybe just fall into a friendship, but it doesn’t really work that way.”
4) How on earth does Lena Dunham do all of those naked sex scenes? The 26-year-old “Girls” wunderkind (she produces, writes, directs and acts in “Girls,” which she also created) didn’t blush at all when we asked her about how she gets through the scenes in which Hannah is seen in various compromising positions with Adam.
“You kind of just get into the zone,” she said. “For me, when I have to do those scenes, it’s not like I’m not embarrassed. It’s not like I’m like, ‘Guys, I can’t wait to be naked in front of you.’ But I just sort of do this play-acting thing where [it’s] like I’m in the room alone. I’m in the room with my boyfriend — and the boom operator and the second camera’s assistant, none of these people are here because I’m ‘alone.’ I guess my particular acting approach involves pretending super-hard! Also, for me, you know, I direct myself. I cast my own co-stars [so I’m] never put in a situation I didn’t create.”
5) Hey, Lena, what on earth can a 53-year-old man like me get out of watching “Girls”: When I asked her this, she gave a very thoughtful answer. “I like to believe there are two angles,” she said. “Some people who are not 24 come at the show from the angle of trying to understand how the younger generation lives. Hopefully, it’s helpful in that respect.
“But my feeling is what people can get out of the show is that, no matter what age you are, you know what it feels like to be in transition, you know what it feels like to not be totally sure what your role and place in society is, you know what it feels like to grow apart from people and grow closer to others. I think there is a relatable internal struggle that is pretty ageless if we’re doing our jobs correctly.”
Well said, Lena.
Season Two of “Girls” premieres Sunday night (Jan. 13) at 9/8c on HBO.