GONE GIRLS

Empire (UK) - - RE.VIEW - TERRI WHITE WORDS GIRLS sea­son 6 Is Out ON 24 JULY ON DVD AND BLU-RAY

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.

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