When people talk about the aspects of Sex and the City that were unrealistic, they tend to focus on how Carrie wouldn't be able to afford her designer-shoe lifestyle as a freelance writer. But perhaps it's the overarching theme of the show—that a woman's girlfriends are her true soul mates—that was the most fantastical. Girls, which has often been described (by critics, mostly) as a rawer and more authentic version of SatC, dismantled that notion about female friendships as a myth in last night's season finale. Instead, the darker, lamer truth of girlfriends was presented: we ignore each other and couple off because we'd rather be with our boyfriends.
Hannah may not have moved to NYC because believed that a writer could have a life of fabulousness, as some idiots did. But she did seem to fall for the promise that her relationship with her girlfriends would be—and should be—the most important in her life. At least, according to the sole sentence of her novel:
A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance…
If that was the premise of her book, it was no wonder why she was having such a difficult time working on it. This whole season was about how the friendships between the four women completely unraveled. They'd actually abandoned one another.
But everyone was complicit in that dissolution, because even when Marnie went by Hannah's place to check on her, Hannah hid, and turned only to Jessa, the one that she knew wouldn't be there for her. Or maybe talking ourselves into thinking that we've been abandoned by our girlfriends makes it easier for us to turn to the men in our lives, because that's what we really want. Still, nothing about what Marnie or Jessa or Shoshanna have done ever was grander or more dramatic than Adam running shirtless through the streets of Brooklyn to save Hannah from herself.
This episode, titled "Together," had a real rom-com feel, with impassioned declarations of love, big gestures of chivalry, and happy endings. But are they really happy? It seems more like the stage is being set for third season full of disaster.
Sure, Charlie may have learned to eat pussy like a champ during his break from Marnie, but for someone who claims she doesn't love him for his money, she sure seems to talk about it a lot. Maybe making him snacks and having his babies seems like a nice respite from a year of personal failure, but how long can a brain vacation like that last? Her problems will still be there when she returns to her mind.
And then there's Hannah and Adam. I'm not sure we were supposed to see their reunion as a return to the way things are supposed to be. I mean, he's an alcoholic who just fell off the wagon. She's in the throes of a serious mental illness. If anything, their relationship seems codependent, and he's merely swapping out one addiction for another. Or maybe I'm just cynical and their love is pure and true.
That said, I did really like that even though Hannah was the damsel in distress, with her new haircut, she looked like Prince Valiant. It reminded me that she should be the one saving herself. Adam can't do that, no matter how much he tries to clean up the "broken glass."
Typically I ignore Shoshanna—even though I happen to love her storyline and find it to be so authentic—because Zosia Mamet's portrayal of her is like, too much. I mean, of course we all know girls like that, but they're also not that like that. (It just comes off as a failed attempt at comedy to me.) But this episode she won me over, because her over-the-top-ness worked as a contrast to her surprising level-headedness in her breakup with Ray:
You hate everything! Seriously, you hate everything! You hate the sound of children playing and you hate all your living relatives and you hate people who wear sunglasses, even during the day, and you hate going to dinner, which you know I love, you hate colors, pillows, ribbons, you hate everything. I can't be the only thing you like. And maybe I can deal with your black soul better when I'm older, but I can't handle it now so maybe you have to go change and then we can be in love in another time.
Shosh turned out to be the smart, normal, most relatable one of the group. She's the Miranda. And that thought would make her shudder.
In Defense of Hannah
Oh, Hannah. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. At some point during last night's Season 2 finale of Girls - maybe it was when she called her dad, crying about money and in a panic, or maybe it was when she hid underneath her covers with her fresh, Quills mental institution-esque haircut - More »
In Defense of Jessa
Jessa Johansson could be described as the resident bohemian on Girls-that is, if she stayed in one place long enough to actually reside there. Beautiful, enigmatic, and "unsmotable," she radiates the kind of confidence that-especially when paired with a giant Louis Vuitton duffle... More »
In Defense of Shoshanna
When people ask me to explain Girls, I generally tell them that it's about four 20-somethings who are trying to become grown-up women. It's a show that addresses the differences and transitions between being a girl and a woman. More »
In Defense of Marnie
Marnie Michaels, the oldest friend of the Girls main character Hannah Horvath, seems at first to be a hard character to like. She can be severe in her judgments, she almost entirely lacks self-awareness, and she has a responsible streak that borders on annoying. More »