Girls Is Over (For Now). What Did We All Think?
2:45 pm, March 19th | by Sarah Devlin
It’s been really interesting to watch Lena Dunham contend with such high expectations for a second season, and rather than trying to serve up more of the same she made the very smart decision to go in a completely different, darker and broader direction in season two. Giving us several standalone episodes featuring only one or two characters in the main cast and spending the second half of the season watching Hannah slide into OCD relapse hell were choices that divided viewers and made them question their basic assumptions about the characters. These were all good things, and watching television that made me constantly interrogate my feelings about it was an important, if not always enjoyable, experience.
So why did I feel a bit relieved when the season ended? I think part of it, for me, was about seeing characters who had behaved so badly be rewarded. Hannah alienated her friends (which certainly didn’t help her deal with the return of her OCD) and pushed Adam away, but by the end of the episode he was literally running back to her. She expressed the wish to be taken care of the way she had been as a child, and even though more than one character insisted that she can’t have that as an adult, Adam was there to give it to her. What should we make of that? Is Hannah’s view of the world correct? If it’s not, is the world of Girls one that rewards her anyway? I don’t know if that necessarily makes me want to tune in for a third season.
Marnie also had a major victory in this episode, getting Charlie to admit that he was in love with her and wanted her back. She, in turn, revealed that the routine and comfort of their relationship was no longer something that annoyed her, but rather something she wanted intensely. Will she find herself feeling smothered by him in a few months, or has his start up success turned him into a little less of a doormat? Does that matter, when we’ve seen how poorly she treated him in their relationship and out of it? Does Charlie just want to “win” against Booth Jonathan (what did he have against that guy, anyway)? The swelling music told me that I should be feeling happy for them, but I just felt suspicious. Is the swelling music ironic, too? This show is making me paranoid.
Even Shoshanna, by far the most likable one of the bunch, was compromised by episode’s end — after being accused of having a tall, strapping blonde Scandinavian piece on the side by Ray when she dumped him (after he negotiated a promotion at the coffee shop to impress her) she went out to a bar and found just that. Was that about revenge, or was Ray clued in to what she really wanted?
I was certainly left with more questions than answers, which is a good thing. I was also left questioning whether or not I like the show, which is perhaps a less good thing. A little ambivalence is good; is flat out emotional confusion even better? What did you guys think?