SPOILER ALERT: THIS POST WILL BE ABOUT ALL GIRLS SEASONS, INCLUDING THE LAST ONE SO IF YOU ARE NOT UP TO DATE AND WANT TO KEEP THE SURPRISE, PLEASE DO NOT READ
Last Monday was aired the last episode of Girls, Lena Dunham’s show produced by Judd Apatow for HBO channel. It was not only the last episode of the season but also the last of the show, as the sixth season being the ultimate. This situation is making me both sad and happy: sad because it is always hard to say good bye to a show you love, especially when as me you are following it from the very beginning. Happy to see than the creators decided to stop now, resisting the temptation to pull from the rope over and over again until everybody gets too disgusted for watching. Yes How I met your mother, I am talking to you. Among others.
I can figure this is probably the great advantage of a show enjoying more esteem success than audience one, you may have less producers behind your back urging you either to continue or to stop and it might really set you free creatively speaking.
I never watched Sex and the City, the show to which Girls was always compared to at first. The first episode is even making an explicit reference to it, Dunham probably knowing she will have to face the comparison. And actually yes, it is also about four girls in New York City (or more accurately Brooklyn), their professional, amicable and sentimental struggles, who were facing very harshly sexual issues we all have been experiencing but never seen on a show before. Ok. But is enough to watch a few of Girls episodes to notice that this is all. It seems to me, for the few I have seen and what I have heard about the 90’s show, that the point of Sex and the City was to present role models characters that we would enjoy to look like. If it was the project of Girls, let me tell you it turned out pretty bad. I think I have never met before fictional characters that I got so attached to while they had obviously nothing even remotely attaching in them. It was even the opposite. There was no flaws they didn’t have and there was absolutely no indulgence for them. There was narcissism, light psychopathy, lack of empathy, no ability to listen whatsoever, the girls were using others, getting revenge on them for their own failures, were awful at every level.
In comparison, male characters beside their obvious problems were role models of self-respect and finally way more understanding and human, no matter how many troubles they were carrying on.
And still, we couldn’t help it: no matter how awful these girls were, we got them under the skin. We wanted to know what would follow, what they were about to do for making their lives even more complicated that there already were. Every occasion was good and God knows there were a lot: among the female characters, there were the ones that would get married out of the blue and divorced as fast, the one that would decide to keep the child from a one night stand man, the one that would decide to dump her boyfriend in the middle of the countryside while he was the one driving then would give a blowjob to her coming to the rescue buddy while him driving to the point of crashing the car and would decide to hitch-hike back to the city with a potential psychopath (even if it turns out well) (watching this episode, all my body hairs were up, it is how uncomfortable I was), the one that would get arrested by the police while peeing in between two cars. And many others. We could have asked ourselves sometimes how possible it can be to take so many bad decisions with a normally functioning brain and so elevated ideas about friendship, love or respect. But it was exactly what I loved about Girls, it was not so much about being a smart representation of a generation at the end, no matter what Hannah was telling to her parents in the first episode (the famous “I think I may be the voice of my generation! Or at least a voice. Of a generation” that we talked so much about), but a way to show a state, youth for instance, this state when we think we know everything while trying to figure out who we are and the sometimes explosive cocktails of them combined.
But hopefully, we have seen a real evolution about characters behaviors, in the good way. As a character is saying in one of the last episodes, when Hannah is voicing her concerns about her ability to raise a child on her own: “Don’t worry, kids are super easy. It’s being an adult that is hard”. I am not necessarily talking about adult-like understood evolutions here, such as finding a “real-job” or being in a long-term relationship but an evolution tending to more mutual understanding and a better perception of our own needs. Girls and boys from Girls spend 5 seasons saying they didn’t care about what others were thinking about their lives and choices. But at the sixth season it actually became true and it made them stronger and nicer. As if the characters were finally allowing themselves to be happy, accepting and appreciating themselves as they are, starting to give a fuck about what matters and forgetting the rest. Penultimate episode is showing the four girls together and there is very few doubts that it will be the last time, both in the show and in their lives. Shoshanna, quite weirdly the most sane and honest one, is about to get married and is announcing quite elegantly to her friends that she cannot continue to think about them this way, which is understandable considering their very chaotic relationships. It is sad and normal at the same time, as every friendship ending for good reasons. But Hannah and Jessa, who were not talking with each other since Jessa started dating Adam, Hannah’s ex-partner, are enjoying the moment in order to talk openly and forgive each other, even if it is obvious they will keep their distance. But at least everything is said and nobody will remain with hard feelings, which is a beautiful proof of maturity. As Jessa said, they were doing their best, even if their “best was awful”.
One episode was particularly important for me, more than others, the one in the fifth season when Hannah is meeting randomly with her typical Nemesis, the girl from the same university promotion than her who became in the meantime a successful writer, making Hannah full of jealousy and envy. They end up spending the whole day together, talking about their problems, running around the city riding stolen bicycles and smoking pot. And Hannah discovers than, far from this glamorous image her own jealousy is making her having, this girl burdened by her own success is unhappy and feeling she hasn’t lived enough. This is a miraculous episode for anyone who doesn’t feel legitimate for accessing the pleasure of a creative life even without the certainty of working it out. At some point, her now friend says:
“- Look at you : you had all these jobs and boyfriends and moments… You lived all this truth!
– I don’t really think it is much when it is happening…
– But it is much! And you have so much to say!”
I loved this show with all my heart, despite justified controversies (all-white casting for example), evident flaws (the title, lack of realism or the famous “how does a young free-lance-waitress-unemployed without any family support can afford such an apartment in Brooklyn?”) and deeply awkward moments (I still cannot watch at ease many sex scenes and this is why they are so good). Even if there were some low moments in the third and partly fourth seasons, it was only to come back even better in fifth and even more sixth seasons, with each episode better than the one before. I probably wouldn’t have enjoy meeting them in real life but Gosh, I am going to miss these Girls like crazy…