Days before the premiere of the fourth season of "Girls," HBO has ordered a fifth.

The order, announced by HBO's Michael Lombardo at tonight's red carpet New York premiere, is essentially a formality, as the "Girls" writing staff has been working on fifth season scripts for a while now.

I've seen the first five episodes of the new season — which deal with Hannah starting her stint at the Iowa Writers' Workshop (and Adam struggling with her absence), Shoshana looking for a post-college job, and Marnie navigating the personal and professional areas of her singer-songwriter partnership with Desi — and liked them a lot. (The fifth episode, set almost entirely in one location, is a standout.) The world doesn't need yet another "Girls" thinkpiece, which is why I hadn't planned on writing anything about the show before my review of the premiere on Sunday night, but the series is in a solid creative place right now, and it remains a show HBO values having in its portfolio, even if the traditional ratings remain modest. I'm glad it's sticking around.

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at