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11 Times ‘Girls’ Really Nailed It

11 Times 'Girls' Really Nailed It

After five years of our enduring the impetuous behavior of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna, the end of Girls has come. Frankly, I’m a little sad about it. They were like sisters-in-law might be: I wouldn’t necessarily choose any of them as a friend and oh could they get under my skin, yet with time, I began to care about each of them. Hannah is not the one and only “voice of her generation,” but I believe that Girls will forever be a reference point for what it’s like to struggle in your 20s. Here are 11 things I loved about the show (spoilers ahead)…

1. Dancing Solves (Almost) Everything. In a world of things that Hannah doesn’t “get” (how to act appropriately at work or when wearing pants might benefit a situation), one thing she does understand is how to dance out a problem. From this scene (right after Elijah comes out of the closet, in the first season) to the penultimate episode where the four friends bury the hatchet at Shoshana’s engagement party, dancing plays a therapeutic, cold-shower role in the series. Nothing a little dance party can’t fix, amirite?

2. Just For You. We all do things for the ones we love, like eat raw fish or watch The Bachelor. For Hannah, it was joining Adam for a run. This season one scene has that killer Girls combo of being both hilarious and heartwarming. It’s Hannah and Adam all loving and weird in their relationship prime — plus, she collapses mid-workout and throws a shoe at him, and he calls ice cream “sweet mucus.”

3. On-Again-Off-Again Romance. Charlie may have been a pushover in season one, but once he stood up to Marnie (and let some of that stubble grow in), he basically became my dream man. Here he is in his last episode on the show (before making a surprise appearance in season five): It’s the classic first love scenario in which you just can’t let someone go. I challenge you not to get teary-eyed.

4. When You Really Need Someone. When Hannah has a breakdown in season two, Adam steps up — shirtless, running through the streets of New York and breaking down doors, no less. They’re not together any more, but Adam’s grand gesture is the type that would make anyone consider getting back with an ex.

5. Meet the Real Shoshanna. Here, Shoshanna transforms from a naïve fast-talker to a voice of reason right before our eyes. She gets drunk and says what we’ve all been thinking about Hannah, Marnie and Jessa since the show premiered. Later, she won’t need the liquid courage.

6. A Night on the Town. Sometimes it takes a brush with the past to make the future that much clearer. Marnie’s night with Charlie in season five is was what everyone needed: it put her romantic relationships into perspective and made us finally get on her team.

7. Escape from Brooklyn. Shoshanna’s sojourn to Japan was refreshing. We got a break from the dirty streets of Brooklyn, we saw Shosh actually happy (for most of it), and it brought a new level of fun to the show.

8. When Silence Was Louder Than Words. For a woman who is all about words, it doesn’t take any for Hannah to realize what is happening between Jessa and Adam in this scene in season five. The body language (especially at min 1:50) says it all. Even if you haven’t experienced such a heart-wrenching triangle, it’s a raw moment that feels undeniably relatable.

11 Times 'Girls' Really Nailed It

9. A Ray of Sunshine. Sure, it’s called Girls, but some might argue that the show’s men are just as important. Ray, the lovable cynic, was my favorite. From his witty, sometimes biting commentary on his friend’s decisions to his foray into local politics; from his longing for a “normal” relationship with Marnie to his last scene where he kisses Abigail on the carousel, Ray lights up the screen in his curmudgeon-y way every time.

11 Times 'Girls' Really Nailed It

10. Elijah Was Everything. Although Ray is my guy, Elijah seems most likely to get a spin-off. He started as a supporting character but was so popular he became a permanent fixture on season four. Of all the Girls characters, his friendship with Hannah is the rock in her life, the funniest and the one I’d most like to have.

11. Keeping It Current. The show always managed to draw cultural parallels, like the girls were walking around in the same world that we were. I loved when Hannah spoke at The Moth, one of my favorite podcasts, and when she got published in New York Times’ Modern Love column. It felt like she probably listened to the radio while she cleaned her house on Sundays, too.

11 Times 'Girls' Really Nailed It

And thus it ends. In the final episode, Hannah is still her stubborn, bratty self, and I appreciate that. Having a baby doesn’t miraculously cure all your quirks — and she wouldn’t be Hannah without them. But even though things aren’t all tied up in a bow for her, Marnie or her mother in the end, it’s hopeful. Like in life, that’s all you can really ask for.

Will you miss Girls? What did you love/hate about it? Who were your favorite characters?

P.S. On sex in ‘Girls’ and a Q&A with their costume designer.

  1. Raquel says...

    One if my favorite and most poignant moment in the entire show is after Jessa has a terrible fight with her husband. This is the fight where she realizes the marriage is over. She walks into Hannah’s bathroom, jumps into the bathtub and starts crying. Jemima’s acting is beautiful and you can feel her heartbreak and pain.

  2. dee says...

    my very favorite show!
    and you look like Marnie!!

  3. Jules D says...

    I started watching Girls after seeing Lena in the trailer and cried happy tears of seeing a non stick thin female character leading her own show. 5 years later I am still enamored by the complexity and reality of all the characters writing. It’s also interesting (and sad) to see how annoyed people are at the Girls, to the point of not watching, when shows like Curb your enthusiasm, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad lead with despicable men and yet are everyone’s favorite shows. Yes to flawed women!

  4. Maureen says...

    Personally I think Insecure and Issa Rae are much more relatable for me but Girls always was a well done show that got me thinking each time I watched.

  5. I just started season 2! Sometimes I hate Hannah….sometimes I think the girls are too dramatic and irresponsible, but I guess we all had those times.

  6. Anna says...

    I’m going to miss Girls. I’ve watched all of it, was enthralled at the beginning, and loved the last season. I also love all the debate the show inspires. Except for the comment section in the Daily Mail which is just depressing. I’m 40 with kids and don’t think you need to be a certain age/stage to enjoy it!

  7. Kelsey says...

    I’ve never watched an episode before this post. I decided to give it a try because I’ve heard a lot about Girls and your post conviced me! So far the first episode feels pretty relateable. The relationships seemed so much more realistic than what is often portayed. I grew up in a pretty sheltered world, and have often struggled through my 20’s feeling alone. Now as I approach my 30’s I’m feeling more confident in myself but after a lot of struggle. I think I’m going to nejoy watching this show!!

  8. i’ve seen a few episodes, the one from this past season about the subtle ways men control young women was incredibly powerful and nuanced, but for the most part i just don’t get it. perhaps i lack the luxuries they are offered as free-wheeling women without many financial woes, perhaps i am (gasp) too old at 37.

  9. I didn’t think I could so thoroughly enjoy a series where I didn’t really like the main characters, but I loved this show and am sad to see it end. Most of all, I so, so appreciate that a woman who looks like Lena Dunham is now allowed to headline a series. Maybe if there had been more women like her on TV and magazines when I was a teenager, I wouldn’t have felt so awkward and insecure about my looks and everything else. Thank you, Lena!

  10. H says...

    Megan, your statement “wouldn’t necessarily choose any of them as a friend” definitely put into perspective why I abandoned watching the show after season 1. Like many others have said, I was so annoyed with how they were all so self-absorbed and terrible friends. Watching them make bad decisions was excruciating as a person who is driven (to a fault) to always be independent, informed, and make the best decisions possible. At the same time the way the show handles this season of life, when you may be at your most vulnerable and indecisive, was ground breaking (speaking from only having watched season 1 of course). There’s so much pressure as a woman to be your best self. That sentiment definitely plays a part in all the harsh criticism of the show. Thinking through this definitely makes me appreciate the show for making each character a human being and not just a projection of our best selves. Definitely planning on watching the entire show!

  11. Seraphim says...

    I love Girls. I find myself laughing and cringing through each episode… and completely enjoying it. Girls is a true reminder of my 20’s… finding and loosing oneself, the ‘frenemy’ dynamic, the job WTF, the bad boy choices… it’s nostalgic and horrific at the same time. I appreciate the lack of glam and the show’s authenticity… and even though now I’m married with 2 kids and pushing 50, at heart I’m still a Girl. Thanks for reminding me of that, Lena.

  12. Perry says...

    Admittedly, I haven’t been much of a fan of Girls through the years, perhaps in part because at 34 I find it hard to relate to their lifestyles, or maybe in part because I didn’t take the time to consider the subtleties and nuances that really make the show unique. After reading this post, and several of the (always wonderful!!) comments, I decided to give it another shot. Then, along came Episode 3, in which Hannah is invited to famous author Chuck Palmer’s apartment to discuss an article she wrote that highlighted some of his questionable sexual trysts with female fans. By the end of this episode, when Hannah walks past the (metaphorical) parade of women entering his apartment, I had chills. To me, this episode was so resonant of some of my past experiences, in my early 20s, with a few professional hockey players in my small home city. I had an encounter with one player in particular whom I had grown up watching, and was awestruck when, in college, I had the opportunity to join that small, privileged social circle. And so, like those young women with Chuck Palmer, I had a sexual encounter that I realize, many years later, toed the line of consensual. It was largely an advantage of power over the naivety of an adoring fan, and it was a long time before I was able to overcome my intense feelings of shame afterwards. This is why I loved that episode, and why I will forever be a Lena Dunham fan. Consent and power are indeed grey areas, and I applaud her for such a brilliantly written episode.

    • Elle says...

      I totalt agree with you. That episode is pure genius. I will forever be a huge fan of Girls because of it. I am still thinking of it every now and then an I’m going to make my husband watch it.

  13. Sam says...

    A night on the town was the first episode I saw and I loved Charlie (up until the end, of course). I couldn’t handle too much other than that episode.

  14. Girls was a wonderful way of keeping an eye on another generation that I was glad to have grown out of, but hoped only the best for all of them. It’s the most amazing thing to move to a unknown city in your twenties and make a new framily. And the Girls were an amazing cast, all over flowing with talent/ideas and made good names for themselves. I am so glad I watched the series, but also glad I’m watching it end.

  15. I think I’m too old for this show … even the clips made me roll my eyes. I couldn’t fathom watching entire episodes. I think I would have loved it if it came out in my teens/early twenties though.

  16. Girls was one of those shows that you’re really happy you watched, but never feel the need to watch again. I really loved this season! Yes, I often felt a little sad after them, but it always made me feel something. I loved how it showed girls being awful, horrible, complex, sweet, nice, disgusting and awesome. I feel like we weren’t actually meant to like any of them which to me was a lot of the beauty of the show.

  17. Rosie says...

    I love this show and will miss it. The writing and acting are brilliant, funny, poignant, self-aware, thought provoking and just down right genuine. I never really understood the criticism that the characters are unrealistic representations of women in their 20’s and no one (especially Hannah) would ever act like this in normal life – to me that was almost the point, I watched the show believing it was intentionally grazing the line of satire. That said, I could relate to aspects of each girls’ personalities in some form and the wonderful scenes and themes as highlighted in this post far outweigh any negative for me. The absurd moments (like when Hannah opens her legs to her professor and shows him her vagina – outrageous!) I took with levity. For whatever reason, the show never got under my skin like it clearly did for others.

    Also can we talk about the episode in season 2 when Hannah goes out partying with Elijah and ends up in the fishnet top – “It’s Wednesday night, baby, and I’m alive!” – easily goes down as one of my favorites.

  18. I only watched the first few episodes of Girls but have been wanting to re-visit and binge watch the series. Something about it is very intriguing even if (like me) you relate to absolutely nothing about the show despite also being a mid-twenties woman. (Other than also being a Hannah with an English degree ;) I really like Lena Dunham and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

  19. Caron says...

    I began watching GIRLS in the first season because of the uproar over the nudity and the sex scenes. It served as a naturalistic, affirming depiction of relationships (and all the messy things they entail). In particular, I was gratified by outrage of from men about certain episodes (I’m thinking specifically of “One Man’s Trash”); GIRLS at its best subverted the male gaze, I enjoyed how uncomfortable that made some.

  20. I says...

    I’ve watched all 6 seasons of girls, and binged watched the first 5. As a young woman in my twenties… i honestly could not relate to any of the girls AT ALL. I think it’s because of the obvious lack of diversity (I’m African-American) and some of their problems/their relationship/dialogue with each other seems so far out of my reach. As a writer, I did, however enjoy Hannah’s commentary on writing. And I loved how Shoshanna was the naive one on the beginning but she ended up being the voice of reason throughout the series. It also made me laugh out loud. I can understand the appeal if you relate to it, for sure. But I just could not.

  21. Kimberley says...

    Can we just talk about Elijah?!!
    His expressions and one-liners made me die every time! One of my fave tv characters!

  22. Lo says...

    I’ve never watched a single episode of Girls, I guess it kinda passed me by. However, Megan’s opening paragraph has really made me want to binge it all. Being a chick in her mid-twenties, I literally crave anything that makes me go ‘that’s so true!!!!’

    Lo
    http://www.themixtures.com

  23. Sara says...

    As a girl in her early/mid twenties who grew into her first version of adulthood with the show, I also found myself consistently disgusted by the girls…and also totally enthralled. I LOVED how the girls didn’t have to be likeable, they didn’t have to grow in the ways we wanted them to, they didn’t have to even care about being a good person. Because it’s not about what we want, it’s what the girls actually are. All of us really.

    Ultimately, I realize, what I find so compelling about the show is that the girls’ worst qualities, which we so easily point to and scoff at—actually exist in so many of us. In most ways I am nothing like any of the girls on the show, but deep down, I related to their worst tendencies, of selfishness, narcism, blame…all of that was just drawn out tenfold for the girls on the show. I’ll miss that outlet for examining my own darknesses and insecurities, without apology.

  24. Aga says...

    I couldn’t get into this show for MANY reasons, one of them being that Lena Dunham really rubs me the wrong way.

    • T says...

      I’m in the same boat. I watched half of season one and it just seems she was raised with too much praise (if that makes sense).

  25. Stephanie says...

    I watched all of “Girls,” even though the episodes often left me feeling empty and depressed. To me, many story lines just felt hollow and dark. I think it was a mix of the frequently “seedy” sex scenes another comment referred to, along with the vapidness of the characters. That’s not to say I didn’t have moments when I liked the characters or empathized with them- there were certainly times when I did. But overall, I’m glad it’s ended. I hope that something can take its place that shows (ironically) more “real” depictions of women in the world.

  26. I’m glad you included the episode with Shoshana in Tokyo — an incredibly honest and unexpected look at what can happen to a person when he or she adopts a new country, emerges in the culture, and is untimely recalled home by circumstance. Been there myself.

    I also think it’s worth nothing how every now and then an episode would feel like a bizarre one-act play, using only 2-3 characters, and often featuring a guest who never returns. The one where Hannah hangs out with that doctor all day at his house, or when she confronts that writer guy. Odd. But satisfying. I wonder if you could do a whole series like this and if people would watch it.

    • Eliza says...

      Try High Maintence – the first season before it became an HBO series. It’s on hbo now but it was when it was a you tube series. Just like what your describing – except the weed delivery guy is the only constant.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      I LOVE High Maintenance.

  27. Alex says...

    Loved the show for many reasons but mostly because of it’s beautiful, messy, realistic portrayal of young female friendships. I could soooooo relate to it all; the fun, the anger, the support, the jealousy. The show surely had flaws, but i think it was one of the most well written shows on tv, ever.
    I’m still struggling a bit with the last season though. Hannah’s pregnancy and becoming a mother…what the hell was that about? I go back and forth between loving it and being pretty pissed off about it.

  28. Whitney says...

    Totally don’t relate to this show at all. I really don’t like someone declaring themself the voice of my generation.

    • Savannah says...

      She was on drugs.

      Cameron Crowe also said he was a golden god through his proxy and no one chases after him.

    • Emma says...

      It’s supposed to be satire, that’s why her parents basically cringed after she said that.

  29. Rebecca says...

    I couldn’t care less what happened to most of the characters, but I hoped that Ray would be happy. He kept it real. Besides Shosh having her engagement party, this season she was abandoned.

  30. Colleen says...

    I hates the sex with random strangers. When Hannah and Jessa have sex with strangers in a ditch on vacation.

  31. Jamie says...

    I loved Girls so much. It’s sad to see it go, but I think it ended so perfectly. It was beautifully written (that dialogue!), had such let-it-all-hang-out honesty (not talking about Hannah’s boobs, although those too) and it trusted its audience. I also always loved the controversy around it. Must be so satisfying as a writer/artist/creator to spark those kinds of conversations – on entitlement, race, sexuality, gender. Not a bad contribution to popular culture. I’ll miss it!

  32. Sarah says...

    I loved this show. I lived 1 street over from Hannah’s apartment on the show and can not believe what an amazing job they did nailing what dating and life is like in Greenpoint. Lena is brilliant and the show speaks to a life in NY that is unique and unparalleled.

  33. Slightly off topic, but I’m fascinated by Jemima Kirke in real life (she plays Jessa)…

    I had a love hate relationship with Girls, and I can’t resolve whether I think it’s a good or bad influence on young girls… and at what age would it be ok for girls to watch this show… Does anyone have any thoughts?

    • Colleen says...

      16 or 18 would be ok. Longer if you don’t want your daughter to have casual sex.

    • Savannah says...

      I was exactly one year older than the girls on Girls and it never influenced me to make decisions one way or the other. It was actually startling to see a lot of my life happening to them already: Hannah’s arguments about why she’s moving from NYC have literally come out of my mouth in the last few months about why I am applying for a mortgage this week to move to a town so small, it’s described as a “village” on its official website. My friends are marrying or married or divorced already. They’ve had surprise pregnancies. We’ve done our partying. We’ve had our fights and realized who are healthy friends.

  34. Nanne says...

    I have had a love/hate relationship with “Girls” throughout it’s run. I pretty much detested most of the characters. Their narcissism, seedy ways, jaded view of life would leave me so exhausted and sad after each episode that, even though I laughed a lot, i vowed that I would not watch again. But I did. Watched every episode because I just had to know what happened to Hannah & Marnie & Shosh, etc. And that is such a testament to the incredible writing, the fresh take on life for today’s young women and the first rate acting. Not to mention how Lena Dunham has changed the way we view women’s bodies through Hannah’s completely nonchalant attitude towards nudity, exposing what was before “Girls”, not considered by the mainstream as beautiful. So glad I stuck it out. Loved this last season and seeing the characters finally begin to evolve, find some self awareness, direction and maturity.

    I think I’m already for a “Girls” reboot :)

  35. Laura says...

    Maybe it’s because I have no desire to re-live my twenties, but I just do not get this show. I’m sure I was that crazy/stupid/self-involved too, but to me it’s just painful to watch, and not even entertaining. I have a 22 year-old sister-in-law who essentially IS Shoshanna and I can barely stand having a conversation with her, let alone spending what little free time I have watching some fictionalized form of her life.

    • Colleen says...

      Awww, she’ll grow out of it soon!

  36. Just watched the finale last night! When I first started watching the show years ago, I couldn’t get into it. Then I took a break and came back and LOVED it. The writing is just so, so good. My favorite moment of the entire show is when Hannah found out about Adam and Jessa – it was just so, so good. Dancing cures all and YES ELIJAH!! <3

    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  37. Jenny says...

    I just rewatched the whole series in celebration of the finale, and this show was just SO GOOD. I forgot how good it really was. I’m the same age as Hannah and her friends, a creative, who moved to a big city. I related a lot, but despite that, I think the criticism thrown at Lena wasn’t always called for. I think she confused a lot of people, or gave fuel to those who just wanted to talk about something in a controversial-but-not-really-that-controversial way. Those who didn’t “get it” in the beginning will never get it. It’s not for them. Either way, I think we need to give props to Lena for writing, directing, producing, and starring in her own – and a hit on HBO – TV show, all before 30! That’s insane, for anyone! Congrats Lena and everyone else on Girls for a great run!

  38. Laura B. says...

    When I think about Girls my immediate reaction is “Ugh, they drove me crazy” and yet, as I consider more… all I remember are all the amazing moments of episodes… Adam running through the sheet shirtless, Marnie & Charlie having their last hurrah, Shoshanna in Japan, Jessa in the bathroom of the bar realizing she isn’t who she used to be, Hanna & Adam in the diner realizing life isn’t what they thought they wanted, Hannah looking around Shoshanna’s party taking in the magic of it all… and I’m reminded that those little moments of beautiful, raw, emotional portrayals of life override my annoyances of the character personalities, questionable decisions and quirks.

  39. oh my gosh, that scene where adam runs to hannah in the midst of her mental break down is hands down the most moving scene for me in all of girls. just sobbed like a baby re-watching it! i always loved them together, weird as they both are.

    • Ellen says...

      Yep. Me too. Adam + Hannah forever!

  40. Roza says...

    I really enjoyed looking back at these clips, thank you for this post. I love Girls and loved the series finale. The friends of mine who aren’t fans of the show cite the fact that they can’t relate to the characters – and neither can I – but that has no impact on my appreciation of how brilliantly the show is written and shot. There is nothing else like it and it was completely unpredictable and entertaining.

  41. Bethany says...

    My husband and I loved this show and we’re in our 50s!! As parents of two boys in their early 20s, I have to say that Hannah’s mom was often my favorite and I always wanted more of her–love how direct she can be. I have hated each of the characters and loved them as well. My favorite episode was the Moth episode and I really thought the whole series could have ended right there, but I’m glad it didn’t as this last season was one of my favs.

  42. I tried so hard to get into ‘Girls’ but could just never do it. It felt like an important show that I just had to watch but it was impossible, I found them so unlikable and annoying. I don’t think that I (or any of my girlfriends) act the way these girls do so it always frustrated me having Lena Dunham as the voice of my generation.

  43. Tori says...

    i enjoyed the first few seasons of girls. BUT I think the way they ended the show was contrary to its central premise and it got me so mad! it’s like lena got tired, turned to judd, and said – hey, can you finish this show off the same way every conventional movie /tv show about women ends? Get pregnant, decide to keep the baby even though it makes no sense whatsoever and appears to contradict hannah’s whimsical sometimes masochistic narcissism she’s cultivated for seasons on end, but IT’S TOTALLY OK because she lives in a giant, beautiful house and magically gets a dream job she’s completely unqualified for while 9 months pregnant so she must have made the right choice. Not to get up on my feminist horse, but the last season is yet another example of Hollywood’s passive reinforcement of conventional worldviews. This show went out with a whimper.

    • Carmen Faye says...

      I know!! Having been on the incredibly competitive and onerous academic job market multiple years in a row, the fact that she “became a professor” was totally cringe-inducing. There was the briefest kind of– you’ll have 100 students, in groups of 25– suggestion that maybe the job will be more like an adjunct position–but still!! That house!! Her (apparent) financial security!! Argh!!

  44. Carrie says...

    No thanks. Now I can get on board with Seinfeld, let’s talk about that

    • Catie says...

      You know, I actually prefer Girls – not because I like the show more, because Seinfeld is amazing – but because it dared to be divisive and elicit feelings like yours. Love her or hate her, the fact that Dunham managed to start a conversation that people feel so strongly about is a testament to her skills as a writer. You can’t really talk for a long time about Seinfeld, because it’s just enjoyable. You can reference it, but there isn’t a ton beneath the surface. The cultural conversation around Girls is much deeper.

  45. E says...

    SPOILER ALERT:

    I didn’t understand the diner scene in the third-to-last episode with Adam & Hannah. There he was, back into her again, and then when she started crying was that supposed to signify that she didn’t want to be with him?

    • Laura says...

      I didn’t get it either! Afterward I was reading that meant they broke up, but that didn’t translate for me.

    • Laura B. says...

      For me it showed that this image they wanted to happen, or thought they wanted, wasn’t ACTUALLY what they wanted. As they talk abut it they realize that’s just never going to happen.. it took me a bit to get and I re-watched it a few times before I got it and then I realized that is was this subtle shift in reality for them, and it was SO beautifully acted. The tears were this moment of letting go of what they thought and accepting what is. One of my favorite moments of the season.

    • Lauren says...

      Same here! I even went back and re-watched that part because I thought I had missed something.

    • Bec says...

      I think that was the moment they both realised their time together had long since passed and it was over. It was never going to work.
      The Girls facebook page has some really great ‘inside the episode’ videos with Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner which help explain their reasons behind certain aspects of the episode: https://www.facebook.com/girlsHBO/videos/1314809365263326/

    • It was supposed to signify that their time had passed – they were both trying to revive their old relationship, and it just wasn’t there anymore – no matter how hard they tried or wished it were so. So sad. :(

    • Jen says...

      It was subtle, but at that moment, they realized that the entire day, and the idea that he would help raise the baby, was a fantasy. Earlier, when they were shopping and she paused at the image of the woman washing the baby on the front of the bathtub box, it seemed as if the enormity of the whole thing started to hit her, and the knowledge that Adam wouldn’t be a part of it. It would just be her and the baby, as on the box. Dunham’s acting in the diner was superb and it’s one of my favorite scenes in the series.

  46. Rachel says...

    My same burning quesiton remains…how were any of the characters able to afford to live in NYC when they had at most part time jobs!?! My practical side kept asking outloud, “does she have health insurance?” during the finale. How Hannah said that she was starting work in a month made me think she wasn’t just on materinity leave, but literally hadn’t started the new job yet. How can her and Marnie not be working while living in that house?! I get that it’s upstate and it’s supposed to be a more modest cost of living – but that’s a really big house. Bills still need to be paid. They still need to buy groceries. And baby supplies. This topic always made me ragey. Ray was the only one who had a steady, lucrative gig.

    • KJ says...

      Why is it only this show that criticisms like this are directed at? We judge women so much harsher it seems.

  47. I love “Girls” and Lena Dunham. I watched the show through my 30s as a mom to two little kids, and even though the experiences of my 20s were completely different (I was married and teaching), there was still a lot I identified with. Someone on Twitter said that the second-to-last episode was like the finale and the final episode was more of an epilogue, and I agree with that. I thought it was really fitting that Hannah’s next step in life is as a new mom in a new place with a new job. All the controversy aside, I do think Lena Dunham is a voice for modern times and I enjoyed her book and her pre-“Girls” movie, Tiny Furniture. I watch it from time to time, and it has some of the other actors from the show in it.

  48. Lauren E. says...

    I just watched the finale last night, and though I didn’t really care for it, weirdly, that first clip you included brought me to tears! It’s everything that drew me into the show in the first place. It was about friendship, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the ridiculous.

    • Rachel says...

      I agree 100%,

  49. kristin says...

    While I didn’t love the last season as a whole, one of the things I really appreciated about it was the way it handled friendships evolving. So many friendship-focused shows advocate for an above-all-else level of commitment between women that just isn’t always sustainable/healthy/right. There’s something refreshing about seeing women who have loved one another so dearly acknowledge that sometimes it’s best to walk away for a while.

  50. Trisha says...

    Just want to thank Lena Dunham and Girls for bringing Adam Driver into my life. So, thanks! :-p

    • patty blaettler says...

      Did you know he served as a US Marine in real life?

    • Trisha says...

      I believe I read that somewhere!

  51. Elena says...

    Talking about Girls is like playing Operation! The visceral love/disgust reactions to this show are so interesting to me. I’ve learned a lot about friends from their responses- the way a particular episode or character provoked, reminded, or validated them. And a lot about myself too- if you can’t time travel and set yourself straight, shaking your first at the selfish 25 year old on screen is the next best thing.

    • Cynthia says...

      Ha! OMG yes to the shaking-of-fist-at-younger-self. So many moments like that.

  52. bisbee says...

    I am very far removed from these characters…I’m a grandmother! However, I loved this series. Smart writing, great portrayals of not very likable characters, development of those characters, and the genius of Lena Dunham. Like her or hate her, she is a rare talent. I love her f-you attitude, even though (or maybe because) others find her hard to take. Do these characters make bad decisions? YES! At times in my life, did I? You bet…and came out the other side, just like Girls.

  53. I spent so much time identifying with the characters’ quirks. I feel like Lena did such a beautiful job taking notes on the realest parts of life and then carefully inserting them into the show, even when it was awkward and weird. I loved season 1 especially because most of it was so simple, raw, and relatable. But I thought Lena (starting to feel a bit presumptuous about pushing the first name thing) was great at keeping up this theme throughout the series…the episode with Hannah’s OCD and struggle to write hit me in the gut because it’s where I’ve spent so much time in my life. Her doing ANYTHING but writing and not feeling like she had anyone to tell she was struggling was incredibly poignant because it showed how stuck we can feel as humans. We can pretend to not be in those places, but eventually life catches up with us and we need other people to help pull us out of our stuckness (or literally pick us up out of it, like Adam). Loved this show with all my heart.

  54. A says...

    ‘Girls’ is one of my all time favorite shows, and one of the few shows my mom and I watch together. I appreciate that ‘Girls’ wasn’t trying to be “sexy” and the characters weren’t created to be “likable” in the stereotypical sense. Hannah and friends are complex and nuanced, and we witnessed them grow and change as they gained more life experience. I also found it refreshing that Hannah’s parents, particularly her mom, is also a complex character. Loreen is her own person with her own problems, not simply Hannah’s mom; you don’t see that often in shows that are primarily about younger people.

    So many people are uncomfortable with the main characters selfishness and narcissism, and I think it’s good that the show evokes this sort of reaction. It seems only natural that portraying women differently would do that.

  55. The show was okay, enough to keep me watching for all these years but that last episode seemed to be such an injustice for all the fans who had been following it for so long. I would say it was a crappy episode of Girls, let alone a season or series finale.

    • agreed. fantastic, wonderful show, but those last few episodes left me hanging. It seemed like a weak effort to close things out in a meaningful way. like they were in a hurry to finish it.

    • Rachel says...

      I agree! But in away I’m glad I didn’t like the finale because I won’t miss the show as much. But still crave the characters as they were in seasons 1-3.

    • Natasha says...

      I initially felt the same way and thought that the previous episode would have served as a better finale. But when I continued to think about the last episode I thought it was an interesting commentary on the “if I get/become/have X, I will be happy” conundrum. I like the idea that Marnie and Hannah didn’t work out as co-parents because, really, sometimes your best intentions don’t work out. I think it was a commentary on the idea that once you have a baby or get married or move away or change jobs that everything will fall into place and you’ll be happy. But, in reality, life doesn’t work that way. It’s messy and obnoxious and doesn’t go the way you expect, or want it to. I have grown to love how the show ended because it gave continued life to the characters. The finale, like life, is more nuanced than we expect, or like.

  56. Babs says...

    They got it so right in Season 6. I genuinely feel sad it’s over. Also, I love how many people finally admitted they watched this how. I’m a bit bored by the refrain “Hannah doesn’t represent me.” I don’t need every woman on tv to tell me who I can be to the world – I just need one or two to make me laugh/cry/remember (in ways I can’t always relate to) why being in your 20s wasn’t really all that much fun, and also kind of was.

    • Laura says...

      I think the “Hannah isn’t me” phrase is so repetitive because the “she’s the voice of her generation” is also repetitive. Overall, I didn’t find her character to be representative of my experience.

    • Laura says...

      forgot to mention – I’m not saying that me not directly relating to Hannah is a bad thing! I mostly enjoyed watching the show and did empathize with the characters at times. I liked elements of the show, particularly those highlighted in this post. I just don’t like the analogy that the show’s intent is to represent twenty-something girls as a whole.

    • Hannah says...

      I think that’s the joke–she isn’t the voice of her generation. You can see that in Hannah’s parents’ faces after she says she is. That’s part of the genius of Girls–it really blurs the line between satire and reality. For me, it just showed how seriously we take ourselves, and how necessary it is to take a step back and realize it’s okay to be flawed, and it’s okay to not be the voice of your generation.

    • Lula says...

      Brilliant article! Thanks for the tip!

  57. Whitney says...

    When I look back on the show, I’ll think of a couple of things:

    -“No more money!”
    -Jessa “the Crack Spirit Guide” and that whole party
    -Elijah’s facial expressions
    -freeze frame in last scene from season five finale. #magic

  58. Joy says...

    so… not to be completely daft, but does anyone know what the best way is to watch this show if you haven’t seen any (!!) episodes and want to start from the beginning? I’m assuming it isn’t on Netflix or On Demand… can anybody help a girl out?

    • jane says...

      It’s on HBO! I watched it on HBO GO

    • Anaïs says...

      If you search for the website FMovies (I think it might be .to or .se) they have all of the girls seasons which can be streamed :)

    • Ari says...

      The first two seasons are on Amazon Prime right now.

    • Cecilia says...

      I checked it out at the library. Seasons 5 and 6 are not available yet, but I’ll just wait until they are to watch them. I’m cheap! :)

  59. M says...

    Girls got me through a break up!! I haven’t watched since Season 3, but I felt empowered knowing that I wasn’t the only one that had gone through hell and back.

  60. Jody says...

    I think they really nailed normalizing nudity and different body shapes. It did feel a bit much at times but I think that maybe it was necessary for the show and the character development. I will admit, Marnie is serious arm goals and Hannah is serious embrace-your-curves/confidence goals!

  61. Emily R says...

    I just don’t get this show. I don’t know anyone whose life is like this, or ever was like this.

    • I’m with you. I’ve tried to get into it, but just can’t handle shows where people make SUCH. BAD. LIFE. CHOICES.

      I just want to swoop in there and help them!

    • Ali says...

      I agree. I have tried to watch it multiple times, but I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I don’t live in NY?

    • Emily R says...

      Ali,
      I live in Boston, and I have friends that live in NYC. Perhaps I’m too boring – but none of my NYC friends live like this either.

    • Lauren E. says...

      When the show first aired, I was still in my 20s and totally identified with it (living in NY with crazy friends, dating ridiculous men, making really stupid decisions) but I found that I started to dislike it because the characters didn’t seem to be evolving as I was evolving. To me, that was their greatest misstep. They were so relatable and then they never really changed (in this viewer’s opinion, at least!).

    • Em says...

      Same. And I totally understand that not every character on TV needs to be relatable or even likable. But I found these girls so helpless that I found it embarrassing. I couldn’t get into it.

    • Beth says...

      This seems to be such a common criticism of the show, and I’ve always found it odd. I don’t know anyone whose life is like those depicted in most of my favorite shows (especially on HBO). So why is Girls held to a different standard?

    • Rachel says...

      I agree with what Lauren E. said in her comment — I grew up during the series and they never did. I also started watching when I was in my mid-20s and felt like I related so much with the charcters. Now, I only relate to specific scenes or moments. I thought I’d be said it’s over, but I’m actually glad it’s done.

    • Emily R says...

      Beth –

      I guess because everyone seems to love it because it’s “so relateable” .
      And it’s a drama – so those are generally supposed to be more true to life.
      Personally I like more ridiculous shows that are comedies that are completely off the wall. This show is just too weird.

  62. Michelle says...

    I want a spin off for Elijah too! The audition, Elijah focused episode this season was by far my favorite. We need more Elijah!

  63. Jessie says...

    I watched the first 3 seasons and gave up. Shoshana was the only likeable character, I couldn’t understand how or why these girls were friends because each was so self-involved and unlikeable and seemed to dislike each other. Hannah is annoying and gross and spoiled. Sure, her character explored some taboo subjects (good) but sometimes things came to her too easily (she wrote a book in a couple of days? She wasn’t even writing regularly every day – she whipped it up in a frenzy of genius, I guess) and she stupidly, childishly squandered amazing career opportunities to drive silly plots. I’ve never met a university graduate who is that clueless. And I was taught to believe that New York is fairly multicultural but not on the Girls tv show, which I found to be extremely problematic in its portrayal of non-white characters and how they related to the main (white) characters.

    • Maggie says...

      I am curious what you found “gross” about Hannah?

    • Christy says...

      I think most men (and women) don’t know how to take a character that is not only a female narcissist but fully unaware and unapologetic about her body- imperfections and all. It was refreshing and at times, uncomfortable, because we’ve been so programmed to think that if someone is not physically beautiful they should not have the camera time. In my mind, that only furthers the myth that people who are don’t fit into that “physically beautiful” group are unacceptable and/or gross.

      Girls is one of the only shows I can recall which sheds light on OCD and the daily distress that people experience because of it. Mental illness is a vastly under-explored area in our culture and needs to be more visible so people don’t feel that they are completely alone in their diagnoses. Girls also tackled a long list of social issues that are too long to list in a poignant and quirky way, which was so refreshing to see.

  64. Hannah says...

    I’ll miss Girls so much!! The whole show felt like an echo of my own life (maybe since my name is also Hannah and I’m also an English major in my early 20s and people say Lena Dunham reminds them of me??). Whatever people think, there’s never been a show like this. I can’t wait to see what they all do next.

  65. Lula says...

    I am *so* sad that it’s over. I have never loved a TV show more while also simultaneously hating all the main characters!

    I love all of these moments – Marnie is probably my least favourite, but the episode with her and Charlie was incredible (when they were dancing in that restaurant – my heart!). Also, Shosh’s Japan episodes were beautifully filmed, almost choreographed in a way.

    I loved everything about it – the wit, the style, the swearing, the writing, the representation of different body types on screen…and the music was incredible. That scene at the end of episode 3 of season 6 where ‘Desperado’ played as the faceless women walked towards the creepy writer’s apartment gave me chills.

    • Abby says...

      So resonate with everything you’ve said here. I still re-watch the scene of Marnie and Charlie dancing in the Italian restaurant…..gah <3

  66. Colleen S says...

    I watched the show, but checked out two episodes into the final season. I couldn’t stand the attitudes of the girls. At their ages, I had smartened up and realized my self-destructive crap. The only one who seemed to have changed was Shoshana, but she wasn’t on enough to sustain my interest. So needless to say, I’m not going to miss the show.

    • 100% agree about the lack of Shoshana — the only character with an actual arc — this final season. When the series started she didn’t know her ass from her elbow. Since, she’s earned a degree, lived in Japan, loved and lost, and very much grew up. The others, less so.