Written by Matt Taylor
Love it or hate it, Lena Dunham’s Girls returned for the start of its penultimate season last Sunday. Certainly one of the more polarizing series on primetime, some praise the series for its sharp writing and insight into the culture of twenty-somethings, while others have criticized it for its perceived aimlessness and notoriously unlikable characters. I firmly fall into the former category. Lena Dunham’s series is relatable in ways that are both amusing and embarrassing, and while the characters maybe quite annoying, there is legitimate tension to be found in watching them struggle with the major moral dilemmas that come with growing up.
With the next season being its last, one can assume that Dunham has a plan for how the series will end, and that the current season will pave the way for a terrific finale. Here are five things I’d like to see over the course of the next nine weeks.
Some more growth for Hannah
Part of the fun when Girls first started was watching Lena Dunham’s Hannah make increasingly poor decision. But, as the show has gone on, more serious story elements were introduced and, suddenly, Hannah’s choices weren’t really fun to laugh at anymore. Between Hannah’s relationship with Adam walking the tightrope between “dysfunctional” and “abusive”, and a very serious subplot about her OCD, the series almost became too dark for its own good. Luckily, the last two seasons found Hannah becoming more developed as a character, making responsible career choices and entering into a healthy relationship with Fran (Hollywood’s perpetual nice guy Jake Lacy). While there are still moments where we can’t help but laugh at Hannah (like when she starts hanging out with a middle school student she teaches), let’s hope most of the jokes this season involve us laughing with her.
That Jessa and Adam have a mature relationship
At the start of the series, Jessa was something of a caricature – she was almost too quirky to handle, and the only character that didn’t seem even the slightest bit relatable. Adam, meanwhile, was a wholly unlikable misogynist played by the (very talented) Adam Driver. But now the show seems to be steering in a new direction with these two forming an unlikely couple. And we’re all better off for it. We’re seeing new sides to both these characters, as they start to grow up and lose the selfish behavior that previously defined them. The two shared an excellent scene together in the season premiere. Let’s hope that it’s the first of many.
Shoshanna becomes more complex (and, of course, remains the cast MVP)
Ok, so having Shoshanna move to Japan and, as Jessa puts it, “become even more of a cartoon” is a perfect subplot. And, unsurprisingly, Zosia Mamet continues to crush it. But, if we’re being honest, Shoshanna is the least developed of the lead quartet, and, at times, it feels like she’s only there for comedic relief. While I’m looking forward to seeing her awkwardly appropriate Japanese culture for our viewing pleasure, I’d really like it if Shoshanna starts to grow up and show off more complex emotions. Anyone who has watched Mad Men knows that Mamet is more than up for the challenge.
Some more bonding between the girls
The biggest plot hole in Girls is that these four main characters are still, somehow, friends. While I think Dunham does a great job in capturing many of my generation’s biggest flaws, the characters spends so much time fighting with each other that you almost forget that they’re supposed to love one another. It’d be nice to see these characters show some affection towards one another again, especially since they all seem to be growing up in their own ways. Remember the terrific moment when Hannah and Marnie dance to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”? More of that, please.
Literally anything with Elijah!
It might be called Girls, but the best character on this series is definitely a man. Elijah is the comedic secret weapon on this series, which makes it even more of a shame that he rarely has his own subplot, and is instead forced to play second fiddle to one of the main cast members. Luckily, Corey Stoll (House of Cards) will be guest starring as a famous news reporter who begins a relationship with Elijah, which should be the perfect opportunity for the character to get some time in the spotlight.