An Unpopular Opinion About the Second Season Finale of “Girls”
After seeing the pilot episode of “Girls” when it first aired in April 2012, I felt the need to do celebratory cartwheels around my house. Finally, there was a show on television about young women that was funny and honest but most importantly not conceited.“New Girl” which had premiered earlier that year had tried to push Zooey Deschanel into being quirky and cute so much that her character became completely unrelatable.. Past sitcoms starring or featuring female characters usually revolved around plots like bad hair days, being single and fearful of dying alone, and bad dates. I’m not saying all those things do not happen to the modern woman, but never before had relationships, with boyfriends and with best friends, been so honestly portrayed as it was in “Girls”. I really related to the first season, and was incredibly excited for the second season. But I was disappointed.
Every other female I know who watched the second season of “Girls” loved it, I didn’t. Perhaps my hopes were far too high, perhaps it was because this season did not have as many experiences in which I could directly relate to, like the first season did, or perhaps I am just a terrible person who could not care less about Hannah’s OCD and mental breakdown that seemed to come out of nowhere.
Unlike the first season when I would absolutely love about every episode, I was always bothered by something in every episode of season two. I could not believe that Shoshanna would ever cheat on Ray with some random guy she just met, I did not think Hannah was dumb enough to have sex with Jessa’s nineteen year old stepbrother, and even though it is mentioned in the series that Hannah had OCD in high school, her breakdown story comes completely out of left field.
Judd Apatow said something brilliant in his episode of IFC’s “Iconoclasts” with Dunham, “Life is dramatic enough, you don’t need to murder anyone or go to any extremes for drama.” This episode of “Iconoclasts” was shot near the very beginning of season two, and it does not seem like Dunham took her own mentors advice. Instead she added another eccentric layer to an overly eccentric character.
I was hoping that the finale would be good, and after seeing the reactions to it on Twitter I was excited to watch. The finale was disappointing, to say the least. The best part was when Laird, the druggie that lives downstairs, told Hannah that she was extremely self-centered. I gave Laird a round of applause for that one. In that moment I recognized what Dunham may have been trying to do this season. Hannah seems to be the most disliked character of the series, which is interesting, considering Dunham created, directs and writes the show. When it comes to Hannah, people either hate her, or like her, but most of us are annoyed by her sometimes. The only way to make this character more likable would be to have her realize her self-centeredness and work on being better. But the final moments of the finale does not fulfill that, instead Adam rushes to “rescue” Hannah and they kiss, implying that they will get back together.
Adam and Hannah getting back together at the end of the finale actually made me angry, because it should have been Jessa. Jessa, who disappeared and left Hannah alone at her father’s house, to head back to New York City alone. It should have been Jessa, or even Marnie, because it should be your friend that pulls you out of a hole, and helps you through rough times if you need it. Plus Jessa has been friends with Hannah forever, including high school, so who better to help her with the OCD returning. It being Adam was a poor choice, probably made for the sake of a dramatic and romantic moment, and not clearly thought out. First of all, you cannot fix pain or any type of mental breakdown with romance, that moment did not leave me feeling that Hannah would be okay. Instead it felt like an aperitif, a momentary happiness for Hannah that will not last and lead to an even bigger disaster. Secondly, Adam (who is an alcoholic) started drinking again in the previous episode and is clearly a disaster as well and, two wrongs do not make a right.
The finale of “Girls” was a major misstep for the series. This “groundbreaking” series about young women, concluded its second season with a so called prince charming running to rescue a damsel in distress, because once you get the guy everything will be alright, right? Wrong. If I wanted to see young women being miserable until their man comes to save them, instead of being strong, independent, and rescuing themselves, I’d watch the CW