Just as Girls season 4 starts on both sides of the Atlantic, The Complete Third Season is being released on Blu-ray and DVD here in the UK. Fans can catch-up on, or re-watch, the adventures of Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) and her friends before diving in to the new season. The third season is slightly expanded featuring 12 episodes rather than the usual 10.
At the end of season 2 Hannah and Adam (Adam Driver) reunited as Hannah faced a potential lawsuit from her publisher if she didn’t finish writing the book she was contracted to write. Marnie (Alison Williams) and Charlie (Christopher Abbott) tried to make another go of their relationship , and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) called time of her relationship with Ray (Alex Karpovsky). Jessa (Jemima Kirke) remained absent after disappearing during a visit to see her father with Hannah earlier in the season.
Season 3 opens up in a more positive place for some of the girls. Hannah and Adam are finally in a healthy and positive relationship with Hannah nearing the completion of her book. She also takes a job at a top magazine and has to weigh up the perks of the job with her own integrity. Jessa is secretly in rehab and initially it looks like things might improve for her but her self-destructive nature takes over leading her to be thrown out. Shoshanna decides to concentrate on studying rather than relationships and partying but the demise of her relationship with Ray takes its toll.
Of the four main characters it is Marnie (Allison Williams) that is the biggest mess at the start of the season. Reeling from her break-up with Charlie, she feels cut off from the other girls and draws closer to someone completely unexpected. In true Marnie fashion though she goes control freak over everything and widens the gap between her and her friends. She also has to deal with an embarrassing music video she made with Charlie appearing on YouTube.
Over the course of the Girls’ third season the dynamics between the four girls are explored. They have drifted apart as they each deal with their own lives and their issues with one another come to the fore in episode Beach House when Marnie’s controlling nature makes the other girls snap and take shots at each other. Honestly it’s hard to feel much sympathy for any of them as none of the girls are particularly likeable characters.
Elsewhere in the season Adam’s wayward sister Caroline (Gaby Hoffman) arrives and causes a lot of problems, Jessa reconnects with her drug-addict rehab friend Jasper (Richard E. Grant), Elijah (Andrew Rannells) makes peace with Hannah after his indiscretion with Marnie in season 2, and Adam gets an incredible opportunity without really trying leading to issues in his relationship with Hannah.
Extras on the DVD release include a season 2 recap, Inside the Episodes featurettes and 6 audio commentaries across the season.
Girls: The Complete Third Season rights some of the wrongs of the second season. The season is funnier and the four actresses continue to deliver fantastic performances. Alex Karopvsky really steps up this season too as he gets more interaction with the different characters and his own storylines prove to be quite surprising. The problem remains with Girls though that none of the four main characters are likeable at all. Hannah is slightly more tolerable this season and Jessa is under-used but Shoshanna and Marnie are elevated to a whole new level of intolerable. It’s hard to really love a show when you dislike its central characters.