“Girls,” an Emmy award-winning HBO series, focuses on a quartet of women in their early 20s who are trying to — surprise, surprise — figure out what they want to do with their lives. Like its outspoken creator — the intellectual “It Girl” Lena Dunham — “Girls” is polarizing: You either get it or you don’t. But rewards come to those who follow the messy emotional history — the stormy fights, the family problems, the endless search for the perfect career or partner. Ultimately it’s Dunham’s NYC-flavored humor — which mocks timeless issues of singledom and current-day first-world problems — that wins out over the Sturm und Drang.
The series’ fifth season, now being broadcast on Star Channel and streaming on Hulu Japan, shows Dunham hitting her stride. The multiplot approach is still intact, but as the girls drift apart, we get more quality time with each character.
A season highlight is watching Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) travel to Tokyo for a whirlwind dash through all the stages of living (and growing up) abroad. Dunham is skipping in the footsteps of “Lost in Translation” here but — true to the series form — it never dawdles or pouts in one spot for too long. The Tokyo that Shoshanna inhabits is admittedly a construct of a Japanophile’s wildest dreams, but it meshes perfectly with her twitchy personality. While the scenes involving Shoshanna’s love interest — a wooden dreamboat played by Hiro Mizushima — are subpar, her experience, buoyed up by the guest star appearance from Aidy Bryant, is sure to resonate with most expats.
Naturally, in this season no one knows what he or she wants. They are cocksure one moment and completely rudderless the next. But such is life and love.
See Japan Pulse for scene-by-scene breakdown of Shoshanna’s time in Tokyo: jtim.es/II5T3011SIX
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