girls the finale. my 2p.
There’s no denying it. The finale episode of the second series of GIRLS was different, much different. It didn’t stray from Lena Dunham’s utterly candid, bordering on inappropriate displays of twenty-somethings having bizarre relationships and LOLworthy one-liners, but it just had a completely different tone.
My mind was torn: was this Lena expressing a darker side to her bubbly characters (as we know she likes to delve very deep) or was she breaking her own tradition and adhering to the conventional “happy ending” that perhaps she knows we all secretly want to see?
TV shows that represent a strong group of female friends normally leave us in a mournful state of mind when it ends. And I hate to directly compare the two, but shows such as Sex and the City are proof points for how we can be left seriously bereft once our on-screen pals leave us to face the real world alone. We actually grow quite attached to these characters. That gutted feeling when a season ends is because you get used to hearing about these people’s lives and it seems a bit sad to suddenly be cut off from it.
Lena’s script-writing is brave and the way she holds herself in interviews is interesting because intentionally or unintentionally as mere viewers we can’t see a massive difference right now between Lena and Hannah.
In GIRLS-world we invest a lot of our own emotional energy in Hannah. I guess she was the one of the first uber modern female protagonists to really give a lot of young girls that extra bit of inspiration that they were missing. Magazines definitely weren’t filling that void. “Oh YAY,” we cried, “we don’t have to fit inside a perfect equilateral triangle, we can be the oddest shape in the box and people will still like us for our brain and wit.”
She paved the way for non-stick-thin girls to wear short floral romper suits in the middle of Winter and for that I personally want to thank her.
So, I wonder, WHY did Lena decided to turn Hannah into a shivering wreck at the end of the final episode? As much as I swooned and oohed and aahed at the final romance scene of a shirtless Adam dodging speeding taxis and perspiring enough to give a little shine on camera, it was all a bit too Fairy tale for me. Lena’s storyline’s were hard to watch due to it’s awkward realism and ultimate cringe-factor. We LIKED it being weird, and we are just starting to get used to it. “Life’s not fair but let’s just ride life like a pony” was the key message from GIRLS HBO HQ.
So why, when Adam ran to Hannah’s flat was it like watching the last 5 minutes of a Hollywood Rom-Com with Channing Tatum?
Her character, for me, was centred around the fact that she was hilarious, weird and doing cool stuff like writing books with no money. That was realistic and inspiring and plus she had cool friends and like to go out to dance to cringe 90’s R&B. I’m not saying Lena was wrong to have shown a weaker, darker side of Hannah, but it did seem a bit text book.
Was this an empowering message? Ringing her Dad to ask for money before then making her boyfriend run all the way to her apartment whilst giving puppy dog eyes into her FaceTime app?
It doesn’t scream independent woman to me? Or is that the point: that sometimes we don’t face up to our own insecurities. What all the “GIRLS” do in this final episode is exactly that: they stare their most prominent insecurities right square in the eye. Marni admits she wants to grow old with Charlie whilst always trying to be the one ‘on top’, Shoshanna actually raises her voice for the first time and admits she’s unhappy with Ray and Hannah finally admits she is far from OK and cannot do it alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I still respect Lena Dunham’s creativity and thank the lord she wrote the show.
But my only remaining question is a selfish one: who am I going to look up to as a strong fearless female now, if it’s not Hannah Horvath?
How I Grew Up Online
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic