Thoughts on Girls after its first season (contains spoilers).
By Shoshana Greenberg (bookwriter-lyricist)
Two months ago, I wrote about the new HBO show Girls, a contemporary chronicle of four early-20-somethings in Brooklyn. I had initially been intrigued by the show and dismayed by the backlash surrounding it, even though it brought to the surface television critiques that had been festering for years. At that point, we were all only responding to the pilot episode, but now there is an entire 10-episode first season to critique. Creator Lena Dunham has stated that the diversity issue will be addressed in season two, but if you don't watch Girls because you still think of it as that Sex and the City knock-off about four trust-fund idiots (portrayed by the children of famous people) traipsing around Brooklyn, I hope you'll give the show more of a chance.
Not that the characters aren't idiots sometimes, which is one of the many reasons I love Girls. They can go too far, such as when Hannah (Dunham) confronted her boss about his sexual harrassment by offering to have sex with him, but in general I enjoy seeing people make mistakes because it reassures me that I'm not the only one. I don't relate directly to any of these characters, but they seem like people I might know, which in a way feels comforting. I like that each character has a different relationship to her sexuality that actually reflects ways in which women I know relate to theirs. Ultimately, the show is beautifully shot, bittersweet, funny, and fun to discuss.
The show seems to be more about Hannah than about the four girls as a unit, however, and while Marnie (Allison Williams) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) had interesting characters and storylines this season, they were always in support of Hannah and her story.
The finale, which aired last Sunday, June 17, was not my favorite episode of the season--Jessa's surprise wedding felt a bit contrived and Shoshanna's sex scene did not receive the proper weight--but it ended beautifully, with Hannah waking up on an empty F train at Coney Island, her purse gone. After a strange night filled with an unexpected wedding and a break-up with her boyfriend, she calmly stumbles into the harsh daylight to the beach and sits in the sand eating the only thing she has left, a piece of wedding cake. After all she's lost, she seems ready, in that moment, for a new beginning.
As much as I enjoyed this season, I'm eagerly awaiting that new beginning in season two.