Could this third season of Girls (10 p.m. Sundays, HBO) be the strongest yet? We’re only two weeks and three episodes in, but it’s obvious the show is evolving — along with the Girls themselves.
Right off the bat, it’s refreshing to find Hannah relatively stable and happy. She’s certainly not the worst-off character (Adam’s visiting sister Caroline — in a fantastic performance by Gaby Hoffmann — takes the cake on that one). Sure, another breakdown could be just a breakup/job loss/Q-tip away, but Hannah’s no longer the spiraling mess we left in season two. We see Jessa, for the first time, actually confronting her problems (albeit in her very own naughty way). While she may have been coerced into getting treatment with the promise of money and then subsequently expelled from treatment, it seems something along the way has clicked. Shoshanna, a character possibly plucked from my all-girls high school, is a favorite of many though she always felt the most scripted to me. Well, as all good girls do, Shosh has lost a bit of her innocent sheen, which is a payoff for viewers. Single-again Marnie comes off a bit pathetic, in need of a maturity kick, as she continues to whine about Charlie (a character I’ll truly miss) and a certain embarrassing but non-sexual video of her floating around the Internet.
Girls has become this monster of a show one either must adore or bash, but I find it to be a pretty simple concept, rife with humor and plenty of characters to relate to — sometimes begrudgingly. The Girls are growing up, but they’ve got a lot to work on. Don’t let the latest Lena Dunham media scandal du jour deter you from watching it unfold.
WEDNESDAY JAN. 22
Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – When Cam and Mitch try to have dinner conversation without mentioning Lily or the wedding, the two discover they don’t have much to talk about.
Phil and Claire try to talk to Haley about her future but she ends up turning the conversation on them. Jay’s buddy Shorty and his wife visit the Pritchetts, bringing some surprising news.
Workaholics (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., Comedy Central) -– Adam, Anders and Blake are back, and they’re planning a baby shower for Montez’s wife.
Wahlburgers (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m., A&E) -– In addition to being Wahlbergs, brothers Donnie, Paul and Mark own a Boston burger joint where they don’t serve beer, they serve Wahlbrewskis.
Broad City (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) -– What started as comedians Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s web series is now a semi-autobiographical sketch comedy show about lady life in NYC.
THURSDAY JAN. 23
Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m., NBC) -– Leslie witnesses some questionable business practices happening at the local farmers market. April gives Andy her full support as he pursues a new musical calling.
Rake (Series Premiere, 9 p.m., Fox) – Greg Kinnear stars as Keegan Deane, a slimy attorney who defends those only slightly more criminal than himself. This dramedy follows Deane as he balances court cases with his tumultuous personal life (which includes a prostitute-girlfriend, gambling addiction and debts owed to the IRS and his bookie).
Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – Joel and Julia proceed with a separation and tell the kids that their dad is moving out; Sarah and Hank work together on a Surfsport shoot; Crosby and Jasmine discover mold in the house.
Gigolos (Season Premiere, 11 p.m., Showtime) -– Because who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of greased-up STD dispensers get it on for money?
Greatest Event in Television History (Part Four) (Midnight, Adult Swim) – Adam Scott presents his final TV intro recreation masterpiece, this time with Paul Rudd. You know the drill: Jeff Probst hosts a making-of special, followed by the premiere of the shot-for-shot remake of some retro television series’ opening credits. The show at hand is still under wraps, but Bosom Buddies and Perfect Strangers are good bets.
SATURDAY JAN. 25
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Jonah Hill hosts with musical guest Bastille.
SUNDAY JAN. 26
The Grammy Awards (8 p.m., CBS) – More than 30 acts are expected to perform, including Madonna, Lorde, Beyoncé and Jay Z, and Stevie Wonder with Daft Punk. LL Cool J hosts for the third time.
True Detective (9 p.m., HBO) – Cohle dismisses a confession from a suspect, instead turning to old case files, where he finds a possible connection to the Dora Lange murder.
Sherlock (10 p.m., PBS) – Wedding bells for Watson!
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern