Who could have guessed we'd be here? Who could have guessed that Season 3, which got off to such an ugly and joyless and borderline unwatchable start (if anything ever trumps "Dead Inside" as the worst episode of Girls ever, I'll be legitimately surprised and horrified), would end on such a touching and effective and funny note? If the fairytale Season 2 finale felt like a lame cop-out (which it was), then last night's Season 3 finale "Two Plane Rides" brought the show back down to earth where it belongs. It was bittersweet series of endings, to say the least, for Hannah and Co. But in your 20s, those are far more common than those elusive happy endings, anyway. Certain things about "Two Plane Rides" felt rushed, which is really too bad considering they could have cut the bullshit from earlier this season to make room for compelling story lines like Jessa's complicated request from Beadie to Shoshanna's understandable meltdown. For the first time in a long time, Girls has not only left me wanting more, but put me back in these girls' corners. Well, except for Marnie. Marnie is the worst.
It was only a matter of time. The groundwork has been laid for almost the entirety of Season 3 about how there are too many cracks in Hannah and Adam's foundation for them to sustain a healthy long-term relationship. These two may be crazy for each other (crazy being the operative word here) but their relationship started as such an uneven mess that it's impossible to build it from the ground up. As much as Adam would like to argue that Hannah still associates him with his "older" version, it's a little hard to do that when scorned ex-girlfriends show up at coffee shops or he acts distant and moody on a moment's notice. But Hannah's just as much at fault, too. She is self-absorbed, but also puts Adam on an impossible pedestal even when he doesn't necessarily deserve to be up there. Last week, Adam told her "I'm very committed to you "at this time" and her mother tried to plead with her "You're so special you deserve everything…he's nice, but stay open to possibilities" and it all seemed to fall on deaf ears. These two are operating on very different frequencies (see: how they both dealt with the subject of death this season) and as much as we want them to be perfect together, these are two imperfect people.
In case you hadn't noticed, I really did not have any fond feelings for last week's episode of Girls. I thought it was nasty and ugly and showed not only the immaturity of these characters, but the show itself. (You'd like to think that by Season 3 there'd be some emotional growth for the female characters on a show called Girls.) On the other hand, "Dead Inside" allowed me, as a former champion of this series, to disconnect from even remotely liking any of these characters for good. It concretely proved that these are terrible, selfish sociopaths and I'm no longer laughing at their once-relatable twentysomethings-in-New-York-City antics, but marveling slack-jawed at what Millennial monsters they are. That's not to say I still wasn't disgusted with some of their behavior in last night's episode, "Only Child," I'm just no longer surprised by it. This is the M.O. of the show now. Well, the girls, anyway. That said, in addition to no longer being likable or relatable, Hannah and Co. are now utterly unbelievable.
Boy, did I really hate this week's episode of Girls, "Dead Inside." I mean truly despised sitting through this skin-crawling episode. And it's not just because the series has concretely proven, once and for all, that the main female characters (Hannah in particular) are actually just self-absorbed sociopaths with few remaining qualities left. But it's that the men seem to be the only characters left with any shred of decency or interesting characteristics or compassion. I'm not saying that Lena Dunham has to make her girls on Girls inauthentically sweet or overly emotional version of themselves, but I do think she has to make them marginally human human beings. They are not. They are mean, nasty people. And again, I don't need heroes and I don't need flawless characters (that's boring and doesn't ring true to life) but the line is blurred about whether we are supposed to be rooting against these people or gleefully basking in their outright horribleness. I quickly lost my patience with Entourage because it glorified a pack of emotionally vacant jerks who got everything they wanted, even if they didn't deserve it, and it became a marathon of pointless, joyless excess. Girls may not be a show about excess, but it does make you wonder if any of these women will actually grow up or they'll get to continue their path of selfishness and we have to just go along for the ride. Are the guys of Girls going to continue to be the only personable characters? Or can the girls get in on that action at some point, too?
To be clear, Girls -- Lena Dunham's HBO sitcom about a group of women in their early 20s living in New York -- is extremely well written. The characters are complex, the dialogue is oftentimes hilarious and the plot is captivating. After watching the pilot (and the subsequent two episodes via advance screeners), I honestly felt that I'd never seen something quite like it before, and it wasn't solely on account of it being lady-centric... though that certainly helped.
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