Lena Dunham's Girls leaves as it arrived: with bravery, honesty, and nudity

Apr 18, 2017, 02:10
Lena Dunham's Girls leaves as it arrived: with bravery, honesty, and nudity

When "Girls" creator and star Lena Dunham was not drawing cheers and jeers for exposing her body on-screen, she was courting controversy off-screen with ill-advised commentary on hot-button topics and her let-too-much-hang-out 2014 essay collection "Not That Kind of Girl". What makes this show handsome is how hard Lena Dunham, Jenni Konner, and Judd Apatow work to make sure the writing is true to the characters, even when the result is maddening to watch.

"We've gotten a lot of requests for it, that part is true", Dunham said, while Konner added, "That's a big Twitter request". It's all nervous first-time mom stuff from Hannah, like asking if the scale at the doctor's office is sanitized in between weighing different babies or sitting in the backseat of the vehicle with the baby while her partner - in this case, Marnie - drives. She doesn't leave them when it counts. Because she already feels emotionally abused by Grover and she still wants what's best for him.

God forbid though, that her Mom tell her that - which is precisely what Mama Horvath (Becky Ann Baker) comes upstate to do, at the behest of Marnie in the middle of the night.

In the sixth season, Hannah's decision to keep her baby was surprising, but also not - she felt like she was entering a new stage of her life and could handle what life threw at her. "I want it to feel like adults live in this place". Marnie and Hannah are sleeping together in the same bed, legs intertwined. The idea that friendships are more constant and less fraught than lovers and parents was not the show's big answer. She uses her own odd methods to try to make them feel better. Walking around the neighborhood until dark, Hannah runs into a teenage girl who's dealing with her own crisis.

Hannah then relented and agreed to accept Marnie's help. Loreen calls Hannah childish: "You know who else is in emotional pain?"

In a moment of pure Hannah cruelty, she blames her mother for not telling her how hard motherhood would be and then says maybe she would have been more prepared for this if her mother had married a straight man who actually loved her. "But I think I'm the voice of my generation", she tells her parents. She's just another mom nurturing her child. We knew that the baby's name was Grover Horvath before we knew that "Grover" was the fantasy name of [Hannah's] water-skiing f-buddy. The only thing she has to speak about is herself, and it's not even a very good - or very interesting - topic.

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Mostly, the ending played more like a pause in the conversation than a period, much less an exclamation point. In the end, it turns out the thing that made this self-centered millennial finally care about another person was literally growing one inside her. "Anything that makes your day easier, as long as you're not feeding your baby crack in milk, is really good by us". In one terrific sequence, Hannah tries to force Grover to latch and gets frustrated to the point of cursing in the baby's face.

Like I said though, no matter what happens, this season has been fantastic. In the show's final episode, seemingly desperate to find her objective in life, Marnie has essentially begged to co-parent Hannah Horvath's child. And I think they do truly love each other, and I don't think they will end up being, as Lena says, the weirdest spinoff of Kate & Allie.

What's In Her Future: After a wedding that most definitely gets written up in the New York Times' Vows section, Shosh and her hubby will work their way up the ladder in their chosen careers before moving to Westchester and starting a family.

Indeed, an early debate surrounding the series hinged on likability - on whether it was OK, as executive producer Judd Apatow once put it, to get caught up in these characters' lives without liking them.

Dunham: I was pretty focused on it, and everyone was like, "Okay". She sees the largeness of motherhood, and the journey to fit into those jeans, those shoes, that role. And the relationships have evolved and they've been challenging but there's an essential understanding that they're not willing to give up on, and I like to think that's who Hannah and Marnie are going to be. They cringingly, carefully crafted a world where friends are shitty, often selfish assholes, where parents aren't ideal, where mistakes run rampant and consequences are real. Sometimes loving someone means giving them space, or even, letting them go.

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