There has been a lull. Talk of “Girls” settled down after its bombshell first season as fans took the opportunity to catch their breath.
That ends now. “Girls” is returning for its second season, at 9 tonight. HBO’s saga of four young women living in New York will then resume, with their struggles almost certain to inspire another round of amused if pained recognition on the part of the show’s devotees.
“Girls” was created by Lena Dunham, now 26, who also stars as Hannah, a would-be but unsuccessful writer living in Brooklyn. Hannah’s circle of highly verbal, overanalytical chums includes Marnie, a gallery assistant played by Allison Williams; sexy self-absorbed bohemian Jessa (Jemima Kirke); and Jessa’s cousin, the naive Shoshanna, played by Zosia Mamet, whose coming-of-age in the first season included losing her virginity and accidentally smoking crack.
Mamet is game to help account for what makes “Girls” a show people talk about so passionately.
The trial-and-error lifestyle portrayed on “Girls” resonates for Mamet and people she knows as they reach the expiration date for their precociousness.
In this way, among many, does the tone of “Girls” strike a perfectly unsettling balance.
“Comedy arises out of necessity, because some things are so dark that you have to laugh about it,” says Mamet. “In this show there are very uncomfortable, very real situations that can make me cry and laugh at the same time.”
Even the characters’ well-intentioned efforts at good times are often stressful and humiliating.