Considered as the penultimate series of Girls, Dunham and her team upped the ante. From episodes focused on single-character plots, to a diverse rainbow of emotions as per expected, the end was near, looming and definite.
As a whole, the series had faced numerous accounts of backlash from the onset, though alongside much praise. Series five was deemed to resurrect; which it did so from the opening episode. Everyone, almost, was having their own way and seemed happy about it, whilst it remained an episode with the core qualities that the show had been build upon. Sex, unconventional occurrences, intricate relationships, quirky ideas and meltdowns.
It was the only episode to hold the majority of the cast in one place, something that fractured and intensified throughout the ten episodes. What followed in the episodes to come, was a detail that went into single-character plots, giving scope to evolving relationships, personal battles and new adventures.
We followed Shoshanna in her new Japanese dwelling, as she explored a new cultural and romantic adventure. Adam and Jessa’s convoluted yet viable relationship was explored whilst we witnessed the fall and rise of Ray’s coffee chain in a Hipster-fuelled market. Such insights had never been previously allowed for.
The series also provided a history lesson for a lesser known incident and soon became an eerily timed episode. The retelling of the Kitty Genovese story (1964), played a large part in an episode, whilst Genovese’s rapist and murderer Winston Moseley, died in prison the day after the episode aired:
“This is the nightmare story of what can happen to a woman who lives alone in New York…many of the problems presented by the case remain relevant today,” like sexual assault and the bystander effect.”- Sarah Hayward (via nytimes.com/)
Throughout the series, or at least up until the middle of the series, praise had been apparent, and the show had been seen to resurrect any downfalls that had come between mid-series three and four. As for Episode 6, ‘The Panic in Central Park’, Girls had set itself up, somewhat unintentionally, as one of the most hotly anticipated and talked about episodes of the show.
Entirely devoted to Marnie Michaels, and directed by Richard Shepard (Dom Hemingway, The Hunting Party, The Matador), the talk which surrounded this single episode, from fans and cast alike, was immense.
“The first episode of the series in which Lena Dunham has no dialogue, and has the least amount of screen time to date, appearing only in the final shot… Lena Dunham wrote this episode inspired by the film The Panic in Needle Park (1971), which similarly follows drug addicts navigating through New York City.” – IMDB (on series 5, episode 6 )
The red dress became almost iconic overnight whilst others were fascinated with Charlie’s unexpected comeback. Visually, the episode brought together some of New York City’s most beautiful and iconic landmarks: The Plaza, The Boathouse lake and Chinatown.
Questions arose, with fifteen posted by Man Repeller whose questions included, but were not limited to: ‘What brand of eyelash curler does Marnie use?’ And more importantly, ‘Is Charlie special? Or, could any ol’ someone have made Marnie cheat?’
Also held place for some very important quotations:
“I just don’t know who I am right now. I’m like a ghost of myself. I don’t know what I’m doing here or anywhere else.”
“Yes, I’m only twenty-five and a half years old… But somehow I’ve just managed to live so much I feel like I’m looking out the eyes of a woman, at hands that have touched, and have been touched, does that make any sense?”
Shortly after, Vogue published Alison Williams’ interview which detailed parts of the episode and her character.
The series continued to please and ended on a two-part finale, too soon after ten short episodes. Again, fans were left with may unanswered questions, but luckily, and somewhat unexpectedly, talk was on the rise over a sixth season.
Co-showrunner Jenni Konner released the news shortly after series five ended, whilst via their Instagram and Twitter feeds, many of the cast began to divulge information linked to what is said concretely, to be the final season to ever air.
“We Wanted to Make Sure We Kept the Momentum Alive” – Lena Dunham
“Also, it is about this really incredibly specific period in these women’s lives. Just on a personal level, I was 23 when I wrote the pilot; I’m gonna be 30 as we shoot the sixth season. And it just felt as though, if we were to continue on, it wouldn’t be about what it was originally about. It would be the equivalent of moving them to California, only California is them getting married and having kids and stuff like that. It just feels like at this point, it makes sense for us to wrap their stories up.”- Lena Dunham
Talking much earlier to The Hollywood Reporter, Dunham said: “I would say season five — I’m hoping, will really inform how much further we want to go. Once we figure out what season five is, we’ll know whether it’s another year.” And in saying so, season five became host to some of the most well crafted scenes that the show has seen, causing anticipation on how the team will end on series six .
Hollywood Reporter has stated that show’s sixth season will air in 2017.