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Girls: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)

Girls-Season-FourJust in time to catch up before Season 5, Emmy® nominee and Golden Globe winner Lena Dunham returns for the fourth season of the Emmy®– and Golden Globe-winning comedy series Girls. Starring and created by Dunham and executive produced by Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, the series follows the misadventures of a group of twenty-something friends in and out of NYC. Girls: The Complete Fourth Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD February 16, 2016. The Blu-ray set features a free Digital HD copy of all 10 episodes, plus exclusive bonus content including gag reels, deleted scenes, music features and more.

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This season finds the girls tentatively edging towards maturity as they take on new personas in new worlds. As the season begins, Hannah leaves New York to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the hopes of becoming a more serious writer, while confronting uncertainty in her relationship with Adam. Meanwhile, back in New York, Marnie pursues a music career while balancing her professional and romantic relationship with Desi; Shoshanna graduates and begins interviewing for jobs, while sorting out her relationship with Ray; and Jessa is trying out sobriety through AA, though her ability to stir up drama remains undiminished.

In its fourth season, Girls continues to keep steamrolling forward, keeping the momentum and quality that was brought on in its bounce back third season.  The show continues to be unpredictable, hilarious and full of characters and their action that will baffle and frustrate you.  Sounds odd, but that’s part of the enjoyment of this show.  People don’t make the right decisions, and if you look at it, they make dumb decisions like most young people in their 20s do (I’m just as guilty).

Powering this seasons is a roster of quality guest stars and some supporting players getting involved much more than before.  Hannah’s parents get much more to do and more relevant conflict in the season.  Most welcome, is the bumped up to main cast turn of Hannah’s former boyfriend Elijah.  Andrew Rannells brings a whole new element of comedy to the proceedings.  Does it make sense that he’s in Iowa with Hannah?  Not really, but with the amount of fun and all-timer for Girls comedic sequences he brings to the table, I’ll take it.

I mentioned guest stars and they bring a lot this time around.  Headlined by Gillian Jacobs (Love her!), we get a roadblock in the Adam-Hannah relationship.  She’s a character that you love to hate, and that’s because of the remarkable level of realness Jacobs brings to the table.  Scene stealing every moments he gets is Zachary Quinto, who is friggin’ funny as hell as Ace.  Speaking of loving to hate people…EVERYBODY f***ing hates Desi right?  Ebon Moss-Bachrach does a tremendous job of being that complete musician douche that EVERYONE has crossed paths with in their lives.  Whenever I think about the guy or just see him I’m like “Ugh”.  But that’s the power of the performer.  My highlight of the ENTIRE season is when Ray tells him off.  Its gold.  Just check it out.

All in all, the season does what a good show should do; it progresses its characters forward, takes things into brand new places and still maintains the feel and vibe of what you love about the show.  The fourth season was one of new adventures for all of the cast, with all of them living it, finding it or starting their new lives at some point in the season.  Its a sort of nice and smooth restructuring.  Oh and it must be said one more time before the review comes to an end; “F*** Desi”, seriously!

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Episode Listing

“Iowa”

“Triggering”

“Female Author”

“Cubbies”

“Sit-In”

“Close Up”

“Ask Me My Name”

“Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz”

“Daddy Issues”

“Home Birth”

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Girls has the appearance it does when it airs on HBO, but with a bit more crispness to the touch on this Blu-ray.  Colors and sharpening come on with a rustic, real approach to them.  Detail on things like clothing fabric, surfaces and objects throughout the episodes of the series comes across really well.  

Depth:  Movements are very smooth with plenty of space between environment and characters.  Background imagery is as crisp as the focus will allow.

Black Levels:  Blacks are nice and inky and enhance the image’s outlining and definition.

Color Reproduction:  As mentioned above, the show has a very natural approach to its aesthetic.  Colors come on as bold and rich but not overly vibrant unless what we’re looking at is intentionally flashy.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones come in with a more natural look erring on the side of a hint of cool.  Whether it be stubble, moles, make-up, lip texture or a scar, you can make out every facial detail from any given distance.

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, Spanish 2.0 DTS Digital Surround

SubtitlesEnglish SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics:  This show isn’t one to be exhaustive in the audio mix department, but the mix replicates and displays every interior and exterior a scene takes place in with a brilliant accuracy.  There are some nice acoustic performances from Marnie and Desi (Ugh, that guy) that really sound crisp, quiet and beautiful when they happen.

Low Frequency Extension:  When it comes to the subwoofer and Girls, things have to taken in a more natural light to appreciate them.  Cars, doors closing, club music and such are all brought on with a stilting accuracy that makes you feel like you’re out on the street or in a restaurant.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Voice to screen placement is completely accurate and movement is well documented in the track.  The rear is mainly for ambiance, but really does some good work in creating a feel and lived in experience for all environments.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Crisp, loud and clear.  Volume and pitches are displayed with perfection.

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Extras Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Girls: The Complete Fourth Season comes with a Digital Copy of the entire season.

Each episode features a short recap.

Disc 1

Season 3 Recap (HD, 1:01)

Audio Commentary

  • Iowa – With Creator/Executive Producers/Director Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet & Jemma Kirke
  • TriggeringWith Creator/Executive Producer/Director Lena Dunham, Executive Producer Jenni Konner & Andrew Rannells
  • Female Author – With Creator/Executive Producer Lena Dunham & Writer Sarah Heyward
  • Sit-In – With Director Richard Shepard, Writer Paul Simms & Writer Max Brockman

Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 12:44)

Inside The Episodes (HD, 14:54)

Disc 2

Audio Commentary

  • Close Up – With Writer Murray Miller & Alex Karpovsky
  • Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz – With Creator/Executive Producer Lena Dunham, Executive Producer Jenni Konner & Becky Ann Baker
  • Daddy Issues – With Creator/Executive Producer Lena Dunham & Peter Scolari

Deleted & Extended Scenes (HD, 13:50)

Inside The Episodes (HD, 18:40)

Marnie & Desi “Breathless” (HD, 3:30)

Marnie Solo “Riverside” (HD, 1:59)

The Making Of Girls S4 (HD, 20:15) – A nice in depth look back at the season with many different Lena Dunham interviews as well as many other cast members.  There are plenty of outtakes, behind the scenes looks and the first part of this is centered around a table read.

Gag Reel 1 (HD, 6:12)

Gag Reel 2 (HD, 6:26)

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

I continue to enjoy the 20 some minute 10 Sunday nights a year I get to spend with Lena Dunham and company on Girls.  The show continues to engage you with dramatics, be they enjoyable or headscratching, and it knows how to get great earned belly laughs out of you too.  Its a very unique take on a concept always see in every generation, but its one of the best.  While the packaging gets cheaper and more boring, the content of the discs remains high quality in the presentation and extras.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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