The following is a spoiler-filled review of the final season of HBO’s Girls – Created by Lena Dunham
The sixth and final season of HBO’s Girls had everything a final season of a series like it needed. Well, perhaps except a more satisfying conclusion. From pregnancy to lactation. From friendship to being alone. The final season of Girls was an excellent last look into the lives of four women whose friendships weren’t always as strong as their individual ambition.
I think there is a lot to gush about with the final season of the show, but I want to start with the elements that I was puzzled or disappointed by as the end of this review will essentially be a farewell to a show that I enjoyed but never obsessed about.
I think one of the major problems that a lot of fans are going to have – or have had – with the final season is the focus of it. While the show has always had a solid ensemble cast, Hannah (played by Lena Dunham) has been the obvious focal point of the series.
That doesn’t change in the sixth and final season, but it does impact the way people she has drifted from are shown. In fact, my main gripe with this season of Girls is the surprising lack of Shoshanna (played by Zosia Mamet). Shoshanna started as the fast-talking valley girl-like girl of the group, but she has evolved into a smart young woman.
Maturity has always been one of the main topics of the show and Shoshanna is the one character that really has come out the other side more learned. Yet there is a surprising disinterest in Shoshanna’s life this season.
In one of her episodes this season, she has an argument with Jessa (played by Jemima Kirke), and her character’s next big episode – the penultimate episode of the series – leaves every viewer stunned by new information about her. She is suddenly engaged to be married to someone we’ve never really met.
Although it most likely is an attempt at a commentary on drifting away from your social group, it is a supremely odd choice to have Shoshanna be the one central character that’s missing almost all season.
As fans of the show should know, the final season of Girls had to deal with Jessa, Adam (played by Adam Driver), and Hannah’s relationship. And while the penultimate episode does give us some closure, I don’t know that the way we got there was very successful.
This season, Adam and Jessa are essentially making an independent movie about their relationship and it’s a really baffling way for Hannah to have one last moment with both Adam and Jessa before the series ends.
Of course finality is something you have to discuss with the final season of any show, and while I never expected every character to get a nice conclusion that wraps pretty much everything up, I was disappointed by how a show I’ve been following for a while didn’t care to explore characters other than Marnie (played by Allison Williams) and Hannah in the final episode of the series, which is, indeed, more of an epilogue than an actual series finale.
The penultimate episode of Girls feels much more like a series finale, and while that episode isn’t a standout episode of the series it does provide us with one last look at the four central women and their direction in life. While not many of them matured over the course of these six seasons, life won’t let them wait to mature. And sometimes you have to move ahead when you’d much rather stay in the present.
And that is where my positives for this last season begin — in not providing a neat conclusion with happy goodbyes and plenty mature characters Girls was actually true to both its promise and its nature.
Contrary to popular beliefs of people that have never watched the show, Girls isn’t Sex and the City. Girls was always about the confusing post-college life of four realistic young women facing reality and the harsh truths that come with it. In fact, that’s why I have always preferred Girls, even though I have been a fan of Sex and the City as well.
One of the two standout episodes of the season (the other being American Bitch) deals with both the great opportunity for young men and women in their mid-twenties and the idea of facing reality. In The Bounce, we do get to see an enjoyable audition process for Elijah – one of my favorite characters in the show.
But the much more terrifying scene shows Hannah realizing that, even though she said she didn’t need the free-spirited surf instructor (played by the brilliant Riz Ahmed), who is father of the child she’s carrying to help, her out, he wasn’t really interested in it anyway.
It hurts to be hit with the sad fact that life isn’t going to rescue you, there is no knight in shining armor waiting to protect her and her child. Hannah has to handle this on her own, whether she likes it or not — unless, of course, she’s willing to give it a go with Adam again.
The sixth and final season of Girls abides by its own rules and succeeds in doing so, even if some of the decisions are going to be problems for the majority of fans. I’m glad I got to experience it from beginning to end.
– Jeffrey Rex