'Girls' Ends Its Season More Brilliant Than Ever

by Caryn James
June 17, 2012 9:05 AM
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There has been so much ink, web time, energy and hot air devoted to Lena Dunham’s Girls that there can’t possibly be any synonyms for zeitgeist left unused. Is her HBO series inbred in its casting and elitist in its characters, as charged? Sure it is, but so what? The actors are terrific; the elitism is part of its young-educated-ambitious-kids scenario. And the show, which started off savagely smart, funny and honest, has only gotten better through the season.

Allison Williams, whose beautiful and needy Marnie is a type we all know, has made her character more than a type. Jemima Kirke has made self-consciously eccentric Jessa likable, against all the odds. And as if writing and directing weren’t enough, Dunham has made Hannah an increasingly complex young woman, struggling to keep her own self-destructive tendencies in check.

Tonight’s season finale includes a shocker of a plot twist, and we even see a new side to Hannah’s boyfriend from hell, Adam (Adam Driver) who may not be so hellish after all.

Listen to Hannah wail at him, “I am thirteen pounds overweight and it has been awful for me my whole life!” and you’ll instantly see how Dunham finds the perfect, funny-painful  detail that exposes a character’s soul. (And take a look at any of Dunham’s post-show commentaries to see how she is, in fact, not Hannah, whatever qualities they may share.) 

Take a look at in this preview from the finale. (For a glimpse at tonight's other dazzling season finale, click here to watch a preview of The Borgias.)

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  • Roxe | June 17, 2012 8:07 PMReply

    "Is her HBO series inbred in its casting and elitist in its characters, as charged? Sure it is, but so what? The actors are terrific; the elitism is part of its young-educated-ambitious-kids scenario." Brilliant? Highly doubtful. YAWN seems more like it.

    Just wondering when self-absorbed, delusional hipster types will finally realize that NOT ALL young, educated, privileged and ambitious kids are white? News flash: it's the 21st century, and discrepancies notwithstanding, the privileged come in all stripes now. So please give up that tired, obsolete justification. It's a choice to depict the world in that way....because it's a choice, not because it's based in reality---particularly in a place like NYC, where they are all kinds of rich kids. You not only choose to live in a dream world but are obtuse and obnoxious enough to expect the rest of the world to join you in your gratingly vapid view of our complex, diverse, existentially challenging society. A society full of people (including privileged ones) who need far more than someone whining about their extra 13 pounds to be engaged. From the mediocre student-film look and melodramatic feel of this preview, this drivel is by and for the uninspired, unexciting, unoriginal legions of twits who have watered down, flattened and sucked much of the flavor out of NYC. (Those of us who cherish the things that have always made the city great hold onto faith that this ruination too shall pass.) Kudos for the one part of this review that is resoundingly of any merit: the phrase 'so what?' Exactly.

  • Sam | June 17, 2012 4:50 PMReply

    Well it was already renewed a while ago, so...

  • Andrew | June 17, 2012 9:48 AMReply

    Not sure what all the hubbub is about. For all the commentary on it, I'm surprised at how flat and boring it is. Haven't seen the finale yet, but I can't imagine how they'll pull it together. If this next episode isn't stunning, I don't think I'll be following these characters into next season - if that in fact happens.

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