* Contains Spolers
Nostalgia hits you where you least expect it. When all the logos are scattered across the screen, it makes you think of every time each episode had its very own logo. Here we are, sixty-two episodes later and the end has been reached with a collage of brightly coloured typographic sequences strewn across the screen.
Entitled Latching, the final episode of Girls was a little different from the former. One could also argue that the final series had evolved into something entirely different. Lena Dunham and her team- who amongst a long list includes Judd Apatow, Jennifer Konner and Richard Shepard, have questioned, challenged, entertained and infuriated audiences alike. Diversity and characters had become two of the main elements that had become a constant challenge for Girls.
The final season has inevitably been a rollercoaster with the final season setting out to mark the end of a five-year journey. The season has explored relationships, sexual harassment, birth and death, leading up to its penultimate episode- one which has divided audiences. But in this show about becoming a person, becoming a friend and inevitably losing them, has Girls done exactly what it set out to do, or has it suffered at the hands of exploration?
Something felt missing from season 6- that refreshing sense of freedom gained from Dunham’s openly explorative and voyeuristic exploits. Yes, each character has taken a journey throughout the first five seasons and thus change is inevitable, however, season six felt rushed. Crammed. An amalgamation of ideas thrust upon audiences in a mere ten episodes. It felt sharp and brutal.
Unlike a more traditional and expected ending whereby every protagonist would have a completed story, or some suggestion to it, Girls merely wrapped up Hannah Horvath’s story, a snippet, if that of Marnie’s and left it at that. Was this Hannah, and only Hannah’s story all along?
Hannah was of course central to the entirety of Girls in the way that Sex and the City revolved around Carrie Bradshaw. But not all shows of this genre and target-audience have taken this approach. Gossip Girl for example, was a combination of characters played off by one another by a central character who wasn’t revealed until the very end.
Throughout the series, each character had been given their own stories to play out, from the four main girls to the supporting men. Shoshanna’s time in Japan was entirely her own. Jessa’s time in rehab was given space to develop over several episodes whilst Ray’s relationship with Hermie evolved over serial seasons. But whilst Hannah and Marnie’s exploits wove throughout in the same way, the last episode became theirs entirely.
Season six took a giant leap. Sooner than you could realise, the final episode showed Hannah co-parenting with Marnie in a large Home outside of the city many months later. It becomes acceptable because with Girls, the format has been varied. This could be due to a diverse group of writers and directors who took on various character stories within the series, or perhaps metaphorically, it mimicked the world of Girls– haphazard, millennial, functioning, attempting to become something.
Seeing all four girls in one way or another would have brought a form of closure – but again, this could have been a reflection of something self-centred in Hannah’s character.
Illustration by Nina Cosford (ninacosford.com/portfolio/girls-illustrated/)
In a brief explanation to a friend who had yet to watch the final season let alone the final episode, I described it to her as “the strangest non-Girls but so typically Girls episode ever”.
Perhaps like good cinematic ending we’re left wanting more. Did Shoshanna get married? Are Jessa and Hannah distant friends? Is Adam acting in Hollywood? With talk of a film in the making, this ending is one that could easily be picked up into film. However, the ability to weave Girls into a ninety-minute film will be something to anticipate.