Goodbye, Girls: What to look out for in the season finale of HBO's quirky show
In an interview with Vogue magazine, Girls creator and protagonist (I use this term loosely) Lena Dunham is asked a rather interesting question.
"[Hypothetically] What is the plot line of Women? The 2025 reboot of Girls?"
She responds, "Everyone will be like at an auction bar complaining about their newly adopted robot children."
That's not surprising, given how the series has panned out in the last five seasons. It has yo-yo-ed between being a show about four friends, grappling with post-college life in New York City and a part dramatic, part humorous take on female friendships in a world that is slowly breaking down, one piece at a time.
The end of season five saw Dunham's character, Hannah, realise that her best friend Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and her ex-boyfriend Adam (Driver) are now seeing each other, as Jessa and her subsequently stop talking. Marnie (Allison Williams) gets a divorce from Desi, who is a singer, as she realises she was in a dangerous rut in her love life (of using the opposite sex as an escape from her self-issues).
Meanwhile, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) returns from Japan after being fired and coming back to a depressing NYC life with no job, inspite of having a marketing degree. Jessa and Adam are seen to be in a destructive relationship because neither can forgive the other for their fallout with Hannah.
Here's the Girls season six trailer:
In true Girls style, the trailer is quirky, has no structure and gives you an insight into what you can expect to see about the four girls' lives in funny anecdotes. Like how we know Dunham's character is finally going to get back to writing, after two seasons of trying to teach, wait at a coffee shop and countless other things she's done to basically survive in NYC.
She says, in the trailer, "I don't give a shit about anything, yet I simultaneously have opinions about everything."
And just like that, the sassy tone of the show (in which you can't decide if it's a deep, educational reading of the modern, urbane woman or a fun show about four girls and their eccentricities) is back. Fitting, given this is the season finale.
Narrative arcs to watch out for in season six
The biggest question that any viewer is bound to have after the end of season five — where Hannah is shown to have taken up running to deal with the realities of her life, including her parents choosing to stay together despite knowing her father is gay — is whether or not Hannah and Jessa will becomes friends again. The trailer doesn't tell us anything about what Jessa and Adam are upto, which is a smart move.
Jessa, Adam and Hannah
Season five ends with both of them having a massive physical fight in which their apartment is completely torn apart. Things have been broken in anger, threats have been made and ironically, while all this happens, Hannah leaves a fruit basket outside their house, happy with the fact that she has truly left them behind.
It remains to be seen how Adam and Jessa come to terms with their fight. Fans will hope Jessa and Hannah can find some reason to make peace (they're my favourites), and even though it is naive to expect some sort of happy reunion where all four women walk down Manhattan a la Sex And The City, Jessa and Hannah are truly the heroes of the show. They are an example of a real friendship (just like Jessa tells Adam in season five), one where they don't necessarily talk to each other and fight like crazy, but they're still friends. Cracks are natural, in every relationship, and trust Girls to portray that in such a heart-warming manner.
Marnie, Ray and Shoshanna
Marnie is a tricky character. She defies pretty much everything she sets out for herself but Williams' portrayal of her character makes you want to sympathise with her. She continues to tour and work with Desi, her ex-husband, with whom she has formed a music unit. Meanwhile, she sleeps with Ray, the girls' friend who owns a coffee shop. Ray used to date Shoshanna in the first few seasons, but is in love with Marnie, and has no idea about her double-crossing him with Desi.
Shoshanna helps out the owner of Ray's coffee shop by using her experience in marketing to lure more customers, and in season six, she finally seems to have found the success she has been looking for. What I'm hoping to see is whether Shoshanna has more scenes with the other girls, since the last few seasons have focused more on her individual journey. While we're at it, let's just state for the record: #TeamRayAndShoshanna
Hannah and Marnie
Hannah and Marnie are like Tom and Jerry, also the most traditional friendship — one that lasts no matter what the weather. Secretly, you're rooting for (atleast) these two to finally find peace with one another. The season finale's trailer certainly points in that direction when they're both seen sitting on the floor of an empty apartment as Hannah tells Marnie, "You think I'm going leave you now after all we've been through?"
And somewhere, you're not even surprised.
The Girls family reveals more about season 6, and the show's popularity
Over the seasons, Girls has been known to break quite a few rules: normalising nudity and female friendships, the ability to laugh at your own trademark character, a gnawingly introspective depiction of life after education, and its ability to be consistently indulgent for a TV show (I mean, they really don't seem to care about ratings).
Like Dunham says in season one, I'm the voice of my generation … or at least a voice of a generation".
In this news.com.au interview, she further elaborates on this, "“I hope that viewers come away feeling like we’ve really honoured the characters that they’ve become attached to. That we’ve let the characters grow, that we haven’t done it in a way that isn’t realistic, haven’t given them too tidier an ending, and that they recognise that they have choices.”
Casey Bloys, an HBO employee who has worked on the show, reveals in this Hollywood Reporter interview, that there was definitely something about the show the resonated with so many viewers despite being such a personal take about four women.
"We knew we were doing something that was provocative, but I was still surprised [by the criticism]. There was the diversity stuff, the charges of nepotism [all four lead actresses have famous parents in the arts and media world, including Dunham, whose mom is a renowned photographer], which never made sense. … I think some of it had to do with the fact that Lena represented a new generation breaking through, and that can be unsettling for people, especially because she was a woman and she was someone who was comfortable not being a rail-thin actress," he reveals.
Slate calls season six shiny and sharp in their review.
On Girls, Dunham skewers exactly the kind of blind privilege she is accused of having and makes the case for exactly the sort of stumbling learning she is constantly doing, all contained within a funny, self-aware, prickly television show that has—over its six seasons—proven Dunham’s talent, not her knack for sticking her foot in her mouth.
Looks like it's going to be one heck of a goodbye.
Girls season six premieres on 12 February on HBO.