In reference to the series' growth, Willa Paskin of Salon thought that Girls "has matured by leaps and bounds, comedically and structurally, but it has jettisoned some of its ambiguity, its sweetness, its own affection for its characters.It's more coherent, but it's also safer." Rotten Tomatoes reports an 89% "Certified Fresh" approval rating from critics, based on 27 reviews with an average score of 7.8/10.James Poniewozik from Time reserved high praise for the series, calling it "raw, audacious, nuanced and richly, often excruciatingly funny".Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter called Girls "one of the most original, spot-on, no-missed-steps series in recent memory".Writing at The Hairpin, Jenna Wortham rebuked the show for its lack of a main black character."It feels alienating, a party of four engineered to appeal to a very specific subset of the television viewing audience, when the show has the potential to be so much bigger than that.The show's premise and major aspects of the main character—including being cut off financially from her parents, becoming a writer and making unfortunate decisions—were drawn from Dunham's own life.The second season ran on HBO from January 13, 2013 to March 17, 2013.
Some of the struggles facing Dunham's character Hannah—including being cut off financially from her parents, becoming a writer and making unfortunate decisions—are inspired by Dunham's real-life experiences.
Season one was filmed between April and August 2011 and consisted of 10 episodes.
The second season ran on HBO from January 13, 2013, to March 17, 2013, and also consisted of 10 episodes.
Reviewing the first three episodes at the 2012 SXSW Festival, he said the series conveys "real female friendships, the angst of emerging adulthood, nuanced relationships, sexuality, self-esteem, body image, intimacy in a tech-savvy world that promotes distance, the bloodlust of surviving New York on very little money and the modern parenting of entitled children, among many other things—all laced together with humor and poignancy".
The New York Times also applauded the series and said: "Girls may be the millennial generation's rebuttal to Sex and the City, but the first season was at times as cruelly insightful and bleakly funny as Louie on FX or Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO." Despite many positive reviews, several critics criticized the characters themselves.