*** [Spoilers] ***
The first season of Girls was criticized largely for over dramatizing the inane problems of several unlikable, whiny white chicks. The show was created by Lena Dunham (who also plays Hannah) based on actual events from her own life, like being cut off financially by her parents.
The writing in season two showed obvious attempts to appease its critics. Donald Glover (from Community) was brought in to be a sexual partner for Hannah for a couple episodes (the show's one attempt to bring some diversity in the mix.)
Unfortunately, the writers decided to make their whiny white female characters more interesting by making them crazier--a specious interpretation at best. Jessa destroyed her marriage and disappeared, and Marnie became Hannah Light, losing all her confidence and embarking on a series of ill-advised sexual encounters, not to mention her gross, uncomfortable obsession with Booth.
Hannah's narcissism is too pronounced and unpleasant to redeem her in the least as a sympathetic character, and it seems that the writers understand that any attempt to make the audience root for Hannah cannot rely on likability (since there is none), so they have gone with pity instead. Hannah's OCD has reemerged (awkwardly, as if the viewer was already aware that she'd battled OCD in the past) and for once, the audience thinks that her parents should help her instead of the tough love approach.
This leaves Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet). Not only is she the only funny character, but she is the most likable of the Girls. On the surface, Shosh seems the most immature, with her nervous babbling and childish hairstyles and clothing choices. (The season finale even made mention of her clutch purses). In the first season, Shosh was depicted as innocent and sexually naive, but in the second season, she embraces her sexuality and her value, even learning how to articulate what she wants and needs. More importantly, though, Shosh is looking to the future. In her comical, but yet insightful breakup speech with Ray in the season finale, she acknowledges that she is young and not jaded by the world, and therefore Ray is not a good match for her since he hates everything, from the laughter of children to pillows. She displays the most insight of any character.
But for every Ray, there are two knights (in the finale, one is shirtless, the other is rich), who save the damsels. Marnie somehow wins a now successful Charlie back, and when she tells him the reason she wants him back isn't his money, we aren't sure we believe her. And Adam, arguably the most broken character on the show, is a hero as he (literally) runs to help Hannah whens she calls him in the midst of her meltdown, not even taking the time to put on a shirt. When he arrives at her apartment, Adam (literally) breaks down the door to get to her. It was a bit much.
The show's premise is in itself a challenge: How do you make a realistic show about twenty-something women who don't have their stuff together, but without upsetting critics? Hopefully, season three will find a new approach to meeting this challenge than the troubling tropes they've relied on so far that tie promiscuity to craziness, neediness to being female. We have enough crazy female characters on TV.
Hopefully in season three, Jessa, Hannah, and Marnie will find ways to rescue themselves and Shoshanna continues her path of self-awareness.
Girls Season Two: B-