The highs and lows of Girls Season 6
WHEN GIRLS PREMIERED in 2012, with Lena Dunham’s Hannah proclaiming herself the voice of a generation (“or at least
a voice of a generation”), TV hadn’t seen anything quite like the super-realistic, brutally honest, skin-tightening depiction of a group of self-centred, narcissistic millennial women trying to make their way in the world (or at least Brooklyn). At the centre of the story, writer Hannah Horvath, and the friends she fights and fumbles her way through with: Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), Marnie (Allison Williams) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke). Plus, the men she tries to plug her gaps with — most notably, Adam Driver’s Adam.
Coming hot on the heels of Sex And The City, it explored friendships, sex, mental illness and the reality of women’s bodies in a completely new, unflinching way. It had a frequently unlikeable female protagonist. Its storylines were often unresolved. It didn’t care much for tropes and convention. And, as would seem fitting, the final season laid this divisive TV show to rest with ten episodes which were the absolute best of times and the absolute worst…
WAIT. WHAT HAPPENED TO SHOSHANNA?
Season 6 was the one where Shoshanna just, well, disappeared. She began life as Jessa’s occasionally appearing cousin and comedic bit-player. By the end of the first season — and in large part due to her amazing performance in episode seven, ‘Welcome To Bushwick Aka The Crackcident’ — she was quickly elevated to main cast player. Shoshanna became our ears, our eyes and then our voice — often articulating our frustration at some of the ugly behaviour seen on screen. “Sometimes I wonder if my social anxiety is holding me back from meeting the people who would actually be right for me instead of a bunch of fucking whiny nothings as friends,” she snapped in series three, giving voice to those of us wondering if we should be hanging out with
House Of Cards instead. But in Season 6, she did little apart from float on and off screen in a Yoda-like capacity. That is until episode nine, when Hannah turned up on her doorstep (after realising she hadn’t spoken to her in several months) and accidentally crashed the engagement party she hadn’t been invited to. Though on the one hand, it seems unrealistic that the character with the most empathy and humanity would suddenly cut her friends out so brutally, you do see her point when she says: “We can’t hang out together anymore because we can’t all be in the same room anymore without one person making it all about themselves.”
ADAM AND HANNAH: THE UNEXPECTED ENDING
The episode title said it all: ‘What Will We Do This Time About Adam?’. The on-off relationship between Hannah and Adam had been plagued by infidelity, mental illness and Adam’s relationship with Hannah’s close friend Jessa. There was frenzied speculation that Hannah and Adam would reunite, given credence when episode eight opened on Adam telling an eerily calm Jessa that he needed to go and explore a future with Hannah (now pregnant with Riz Ahmed’s baby. It’s a longish story). Their reunion, initially sweet, dissolves slowly throughout the half-hour. Their final goodbye — said with bodies, but not words — was one of the most devastating episodes in Girls history.
THAT PENULTIMATE EPISODE
Episode nine (‘The Goodbye Tour’) has been dubbed the finale that should have been. It was the first time this series — and last time ever — that the friends would be in the same room together.
And it became clear that even if they hadn’t quite moved on from each other, they had all moved
apart. Though the episode was characteristically peppered with awkward confrontations and conversations, there was something of a bittersweet resolution in the closing scene — the four of them dancing in isolation, but still under the same sun-drenched roof. THAT FINAL EPISODE In ‘Latching’, the least finale-like finale ever, we join Hannah after the birth of her son. She’s the picture of a chaotic, immature parent, screaming at best friend Marnie and her own mother, who have both put their lives on hold to help. You sense she may in fact be a terrible parent and terrible person, and in that moment, the affection that has quietly bloomed for Hannah since the first episode of Season 6 is cut down. The biggest controversy lies in the very final scene. The episode, which had begun with Hannah struggling to breastfeed her son, ends with her looking ahead, a small smile lifting as he successfully feeds for the first time. The idea: Apatow’s. The messaging: problematic. And if there was one word to sum up six seasons of
Girls, that would be it.
Bezzie if gloomy mates: Marnie (Allison Williams) and Hannah (Lena Dunham).
On/off love birds Hannah and Adam (Adam Driver) face an uncertain future.
Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), Abigail (Aidy Bryant) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) have a doubtless self-absorbed natter.