‘Girls’ season 3, episode 3 review: Ray is the best character on this show

Was Sunday night’s “Girls” episode really entertaining, or just really cringe-worthy? At the moment, we still find ourselves teetering between one and the other. There are moments where we laughed a ton on Sunday night, and then there were moments where we just felt really, really uncomfortable.

Take, for example, the fact that Marnie did exactly what Hannah told her not to do as a favor for her on her 25th birthday: She tried to force her to sing karaoke to some song from “Rent” to relive a great memory from the past. It was a real moment, at least in that Marnie was trying to hide from the fact that she was suffering through a breakup and wanted to make the party all about her. She wanted a moment that would help her to forget. Was it funny? Not really so much as just “wow.”

We still hold the belief that the best episodes of the show are the ones that tell smaller stories, and this giant party just didn’t do much for us. It all felt too much like a random assembly of wacky people doing wacky things. We also feel like it was a waste of some of the show’s best guest stars, who could have been used better in some other capacities.

We’ll start with the biggest positive here in Ray. Alex Karpovsky mines so much great material from this guy, who is both funny, grumpy, and more relatable than almost anyone. He’s cool at first at the party, at least before finding out that Shoshanna brought a guy there that she literally just met on the street. That led to him melting down, fighting with a DJ, and then ultimately getting punched in the face. All of this was played perfectly, and done in such a way that we could see it happen.

Then, we had the arrival of Adam’s sister, who felt way too much like a cartoon for us. It was almost like they needed to give Adam a Cousin Oliver sort of character now that he is in a relationship; that way, there is still someone around who is so crazy that we don’t understand her. It would have been far more interesting were she slightly more normal, or had Adam been proven to be more of a d-bag when he tried to throw her out immediately after she arrived.

Marnie and Ray as a whole were the night’s standouts, but this didn’t hold a candle at all to the stellar road trip from last week, which taught us a whole lot more about the relationships that are there. This was more of “Girls” trying a bit too hard, and losing a little sight of what made season 2 so great. Grade: C+.

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