Girls: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Girls: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews season four of this eclectic and contemporary adult comedy from HBO that revolves around four twenty something friends living life in The Big Apple.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

83



Details:

Studio and Year: HBO - 2015
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 300 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Starring: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky
Directed by: Various
Music by: Michael Penn
Created by: Lena Dunham
Region Code: A


Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 16, 2016


"Nowhere to grow but up"


My Take:

This season finds the girls tentatively edging towards maturity as they take on new personas in new worlds. As the season begins, Hannah (Dunham) 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 (Adam Driver). Meanwhile, back in New York, Marnie (Allison Williams) pursues a music career while balancing her professional and romantic relationship with Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach); Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) graduates and begins interviewing for jobs, while sorting out her relationship with Ray (Alex Karpovsky); and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is trying out sobriety through AA, though her ability to stir up drama remains undiminished. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this season's 10 episodes offer up some unexpected twists, as the girls of Girls continue to hunt for success – creatively, professionally and romantically – in New York City and beyond.

Girls hit my radar after its first season. It’s an eclectic and contemporary adult comedy that plays sort of like a series of episodic vignettes that revolve around main character Hannah and her small inner circle of friends. Its urban NY City setting is apt for their spiraling misadventures and thematic situations that in any other location might just seem inordinate.

Truth be told this probably isn’t a show for everyone. The “problems” facing these young people, many of which are self-generated, won’t resonate with those from a generation removed. Having said that I will admit that it can be entertaining sitting by watching as some of the toxic relationships, interstitial reliance, and perpetual neediness twists, turns and fuels the sometimes barbed interplay among the shows principles. Each of the girls is somehow broken and struggling to attain solace whether it is Hannah’s innate feelings of insecurity, Marnie’s incessant need to fulfill her twofold dream, Jessa’s inability to finish anything, which seems to stem from a dysfunctional childhood, and Shoshanna, the youngest of the bunch who clearly hasn’t figured things out yet. Co-mingled are the men in their lives who quite frankly only serve to exacerbate their respective problems.

Season four has its share of acidic exchanges and awkward moments which are essentially spread between between Jessa, Marnie and Hannah with a sprinkling of subplots that involve Shoshanna, Hannah's parents, Ray deciding to run for public office, and Adam's new romance. As you might expect from a cable based TV program Girls pulls no punches in its depiction of “adult” behavior featuring graphic nudity, explicit language, sexuality and drug content. I would say that in most respects it coincided well enough without seeming in your face solely for the sake of gratuitousness although I will admit that seeing Lena Dunham’s partially clothed form probably occurred more often than I cared for.

If you're familiar with the show you need to have a fair threshold for the whining, pining, and needy trappings of their principles but the writing is spot on and fresh which kept my wife and I interested and wanting to see where things would go. This is aided by a solid crop of young actors that breathe credible life into their characters. I really enjoyed this season as a whole and look forward to what lies in store for Season Five. I suspect fans can look forward to another rewarding blend of twenty something life forged by angst, relationship melodrama and the quirky comedy that can quite often accompany those moments.

Season Four's 10 episodes is evenly divided over two BD-50 dual layer Blu-ray discs with the bonus material divided between them. It comes housed in a standard amaray keep case/slipcover with each of the discs secured in their own pushbutton cutout.



Parental Guide:

This show contains mature themes, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug content and language.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Girls: The Complete Fourth Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation offers clear, refined images that boast a noticeably de-saturated level of color. This is intentional and conveys he show’s thematic underpinnings. The rendering of fine detail can range from exquisite to moderate. This leaves certain long range and mid level shots with less dimensionality but not to the point of appearing soft. Black levels fluctuate similarly however with the stable contrast and subdued chroma this wasn’t problematic and worked well with the visual style of the series. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts/anomalies.

The multi-channel lossless audio won’t test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in the show’s soundtrack. Dialogue is tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamic range and bass response is appropriate in support of the track’s recorded elements. The front channels handle the bulk of the audio and presents an open two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambient detail. I think the mix mates perfectly with the source material and sounds great.



Bonus Features:
  • Seven Audio Commentaries
  • Episode Recaps
  • Inside the Episodes
  • (HD) 2 Gag Reels – 12 minutes
  • (HD) The Making of Girls – 20 minute featurette
  • (HD) Marnie's solo “Riverside”
  • (HD) Marnie & Desi's “Breathless” performance
  • (HD) Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Girls is an eclectic and contemporary adult comedy that comes from the mind of writer/star Lena Dunham. While it may not be the type of TV series that has broad appeal it hits the mark for its target audience and perhaps beyond. I find it to be well written, enacted and entertaining. [i]Girls The Complete Fourth Season comes to Blu-ray from HBO featuring gratifying high definition audio/video mated with a decent supplemental package that provides lots of material for fans to explore. I enjoy the show and look forward to what lies in store for Season Five.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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Ralph C. Potts
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-15-2016, 12:05 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph, I found a two line to be exceptionally humorous. One make me want to see this series, the other makes me glad that you've already seen it for me, thus saving me.
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-15-2016, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woobieizer View Post
Thanks for the review Ralph, I found a two line to be exceptionally humorous. One make me want to see this series, the other makes me glad that you've already seen it for me, thus saving me.


Sure thing Bill. Thanks!

Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
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