When I talk to people about Girls, one sentiment always seems to come up somewhere in the discussion.
“I was sold once we got to the Robin dance party.”
I think, before that wonderful moment at the end of episode three, a lot of us were unsure what to think of the new series. The characters were flawed and often unlikable and it was a bit hard to tell what the uncomfortable-to-funny ratio of the show would be. Not everyone saw themselves in Hannah or Jessa or Marnie or Shosh, and that made it hard to know if this was a show to get on board with long term.
And then two roommates danced together to Robin, and it was like viewers had a collective moment of “Oh hey. I’ve done that.”
Is she wearing a green belt?
Since then, the show has been steadily improving and peppered with moments of genius. Marnie’s selfish, complicated feelings about Charlie, Hannah realizing that the boyfriend she thought was using her felt exactly the same way about her, Shoshanna accidentally doing crack. And that fight, that big fight between Marnie and Hannah. Sure, the show still has a flaw here and there (I will never care much about what happens to Jessa) but what’s important is that we’ve become invested in these characters and can relate to them, even though they’re all tragically flawed right now. Because they’re in their early twenties.
The season finale was, I think, about how Hannah is making a pretty big mess of her life. She pushed her best friend away, and now they aren’t roommates anymore. Things are awkward and weird between them in that way we all know, when two people fight and still want to be friends, yet things between them will never be the same. Hannah has also pushed her boyfriend away, a guy she begged to love her and now does. She mishandled that situation so much, by letting him think she was into the idea of living together only to go out and find herself a gay roommate two hours later.
Hannah ended up falling asleep on the subway, getting her purse stolen, and wandering through Coney Island only to end up on the beach, alone at dawn, eating the leftover cake she’d brought. You can only go up from there, right? I’m looking forward to seeing what path Hannah is on when we begin season two.
The other big story from the season finale was that Jessa got married, to the guy who’d wanted a threesome with her and Marnie. This was a couple weeks after that and apparently they’d grown close. I had a hard time caring about this because I don’t like Jessa, and this is obviously a bad decision. But it also felt 100% in character, and considering that this has been a short-ish season and Jessa is not a main character, I’m pleased that we know enough about what she’s like to completely believe she’d do this preposterous thing.
My favorite aspect of the surprise wedding storyline was Shoshanna’s reaction – she was horrified. Shosh is the kind of girl who’s probably been planning her wedding since she was a toddler, and I think the idea that her cousin was getting married and hadn’t even told her was devastating. She hadn’t told anyone, but Shosh was too upset to think logically and could only focus on the fact that she’d worn a white dress. Because she couldn’t have known. She finally realized that her relationship to her cousin is completely one-sided, and it reminded me of the moment in the pilot when Marnie told Jessa that Jessa doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a best friend, because she’s never stuck around long enough to be one.
I also liked that Shosh’s virginity storyline came full circle here when she left the wedding with Ray. I like the idea of exploring those two together because they’re such opposites, and because I think Ray is hilarious.
OK y’all, I think there’s a lot to talk about here so head down to the comments and tell me what you thought of “She Did” and the first season of Girls as a whole.