I’m not sure what the production of Girls was like, but I have to imagine the episodes were written mostly in sequence. I say this because the season quite remarkably got better as it went. Now, I still think the best episode was ‘The Return’ from right around the middle of the series, but in terms of the series’ arcs, it really did find a footing over time. When the show first premiered there were a lot of online discussions as to what Girls was actually about. Was it supposed to be some New Age feminist tract, or a representation of the modern young female? Was it just a new version of Sex and the City, or was Lena Dunham trying to do something completely different? By the end of the finale, none of these things are true (though in a way they all are). Girls, instead, is a show about its characters, plain and simple. It goes where the characters need to go, and where that is is anyone’s guess.
The season finale also confirmed the tone Dunham has crafted. Very much influenced by producer Judd Apatow, the series takes wild swings at small emotional moments. This isn’t Mad Men, where a single shot can be filled with meaning and mystery and allusion. But it is the kind of show where a shot of a girl sitting alone on a beach eating a slice of wedding can breathe emotion and wisdom. It’s also the kind of show where ending a season on such a shot, sad as it is, feels completely appropriate and satisfying.
I’d say the biggest deal in the final episode was Adam, but let’s jump back a bit first. Surprise wedding! Jessa and the douchey Chris O’Dowd guy getting married? Whaaaaaaa? Crazy. I don’t know what to make of it. I would chalk to up to Jessa Being Jessa, but I have to wonder if this was her childish response to the lecturing she got in the last episode about growing up. Either way, I have no clue where this is going. I don’t think it’ll work out, but I secretly hope the show will pull another Adam because the more Chris O’Dowd I see on my TV, the happier I am. Fact.
Contrasting the wedding festivities was Marnie, clearly drowning her sorrows about her failed relationship in a barrel of wine. I get it. Marnie, responsible in life as she is, has never really stepped out of her shell. She had a long term relationship that died horribly, and now her friend is randomly getting married. Letting loose is atop the list of things she needs to do, and stat. Plus, making out with Bobby Moynihan is a surprising and kind of awesome move. (So was NOT going off to fuck Charlie in the bathroom.)
I don’t have that much to say about Shoshanna and her relationship with Ray, except that I like Ray and I like the pairing, and I am curious to see where it goes.
But let’s talk about Adam. Of all the great characters on TV the last few months, Adam has easily been the most interesting. It’s so hard to pin him down, but it’s become clearer with every episode that what makes Adam special is that he’s totally direct. He may do weird things, but he means what he does and he means what he says. On the one hand he’s a bit of an ongoing mystery. What is this guy’s deal? What is he about? But as the layers are peeled back we find a guy who’s extremely genuine and surprisingly affectionate.
Hannah is caught off guard by this. She may not fully know who Adam is, but he sure as hell knows who he is. When Adam flips out at Hannah over inviting Elijah to live with her instead of him, it pulled back the curtain in a big way. It’s not just that Adam loves Hannah, but that he has chosen to commit to her. That she cannot do the same is crushing. More crushing is his response to her when she says she’s the most scared person in the world. He says she has no right to be. At once he’s completely right, but also completely wrong. Life is a scary thing for a lot of people, and Hannah’s feelings nay not be rational, but they are understandable. Not everybody can be Jessa, and not everybody is as sure and confident as Adam. At the same time, though, it’s sad to see Hannah misjudge Adam. It’s sad to see her alone on that beach eating that slice of cake. It’s no wonder I want the first episode of Season 2 to reunite her with Adam. Hell, at this point, after this episode, I practically want them to get married. Who’d have ever thought that would make any sense after our introduction to Adam in the premiere? A testament to the strengths of the show and the brilliance of Lena Dunham’s vision for it.