HBO’s “Girls” finale (spoilers): cute and ironic or hipster annoying?


Major spoilers for “Girls” season finale follow
Did you guys watch “Girls” this season and did you like it? I’m asking at the start of this story because I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about it and I’m trying to stall a little. Plus I’m open to other opinions. I wanted to like it, and I did for a few episodes. I get that it’s somewhat groundbreaking, and somewhat “real” (for a certain demographic of privileged hipsters with too much time on their hands.) It felt awfully self indulgent to me without being that entertaining. It’s only a half hour show but every week it felt longer. I found the characters whiny, hard to relate to and unlikable. They did things that made me cringe, especially the lead character Hannah, the show’s writer/creator Leah Dunham. The only character I cared about was Shoshannah, but she’s not enough to get me to watch another season of this mess. (And it has been renewed for another season.)

There were some great lines in this final episode though, I have to admit. I was baffled at the big wedding to cap off the season. Jessa probably married that guy just to get her green card, but I tell you I just don’t care. If I never find out another thing about these characters, I’ll be glad. I’m going to quote Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly here, because he likes the show and I want to provide a counter viewpoint. I don’t want to just complain, like Hannah. Maybe I just don’t “get it.” Here’s more:

The arc of the first season of Girls was an undulating one. The Lena Dunham comedy-drama-mixology-experiment commenced, in its first two episodes, as an indie film in half-hour chunks, then ventured further into sitcom territory without dropping its thoughtfulness, and in its finale managed to balance the funny, the serious, the absurd, and the poignant in a strikingly surprising, effective conclusion.

The episode, titled “She Did,” continued to increase the importance of one character — the delightfully grumpy Ray — who managed to make a love connection with Shohanna and also deliver the night’s wisest punchline. The latter was delivered to his employee, Hannah, who decided to spend a bit of down-time at her job at Ray’s coffee shop by reading a book. Chastised about this by the boss, Hannah began her excuse by saying “I just thought — ” only to be cut off by Ray: “Don’t ‘just think’ — that’s an extremely unattractive trait of your generation.” Once again, Dunham demonstrated the way she can dramatize the way some people look at “her generation,” criticize it, and still end up embodying its best aspects. As Hannah, Dunham is frequently adorable; for proof, I offer the moment when she approached her girlfriends, all dolled up and sing-songing, “Mah shoes match mah dress — kind of!”

The surprise wedding of Jessa to that jerk Thomas was, to me at least, truly startling. But everyone on-screen rolled with it, especially Shoshanna, who lost her virginity to Ray over the course of events. Indeed, Dunham structured the “mystery party” like a Robert Altman film, with lots of overlapping dialogue and simultaneous subplots including Elijah confessing to Hannah that “I did give you HPV” primarily so that the scene could peak with Hannah delivering the line, “Let’s consider it water under my vagina.” (Or maybe the true shocker was Marnie smooching with Bobby Moynihan??)

Hannah and Adam seemed on the verge of a breakthrough in their relationship (“I’m very moved,” he said, witnessing Jessa’s marriage, and he wasn’t kidding; neither was he when he told Hannah she was pretty, a good writer, and a good friend), but once again, were on different wavelengths, or not quite in emotional synch. Just as Adam was willing to commit, Hannah was feeling most frightened of him — the ferocity of his general life-force, which is a polite way of saying his raging mood-swings combined with his flatteringly intense interest in her. Adam Driver really sold the speeches Dunham wrote for him here, the way he had become so livid that Hannah didn’t appreciate herself, and didn’t comprehend his feelings toward her — couldn’t believe that someone could like her as much as he does. Who’d have thought, at the beginning of the season, that Girls would become a kinda-great love story about two people who aren’t sure when the other one is feeling the love?
“Anything could happen,” said Adam at the start of the episode. No kidding: BAM! I almost saw that truck coming, didn’t you? Adam’s injury, and his ability to remain furious with Hannah even while writhing in pain, capped off the season in just the sort of open-ended manner Girls excels at maintaining. Eating wedding cake on the beach in the final seconds, I wanted Jon Hamm’s Don Draper to teleport next to her and give her some buck-up-kiddo advice.

[From EW]

So Hannah’s boyfriend got hit by a car, just like the author she called “lucky” last week for earning such a great personal story after her boyfriend committed suicide. How anyone can find a character like that “adorable” is beyond me. Some of you may like this show and find it refreshing. It’s certainly unlike any other show on television. I have a hard time watching people complain, whine and fight about petty things. Maybe Dunham thinks it’s clever to poke fun at herself as a younger, presumably less thoughtful person. I just couldn’t get on board and am relieved that the season is over. Prior to “Girls” I never knew what “mumblecore” meant. I wish I remained ignorant.

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39 Responses to “HBO’s “Girls” finale (spoilers): cute and ironic or hipster annoying?”

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  1. liteNOTSObrite says:

    I LOVE this show. That is all.

  2. gee says:

    I like it in spite of myself. I don’t feel like they represent me at all, even though we’re in the same demographic. It’s funny though. I know girls like them, I know guys like those guys too. It’s kind of good in the spying on the lives of the rich hipster kids I knew in college after college. Now that they can be ‘poor’ somewhere and ‘live’ while the rest of us have jobs and get shit done. I can’t really explain why I keep watching, but I do.

  3. Skinnybetch says:

    I think Hannah is really whiny and annoying. And Adam creeps me out to no end. I love the other characters though, especially Jess.

    • Lilyb says:

      Skinny, I’ve been waiting for someone else to say the same thing about Adam. I quit watching because of the two characters you’ve named. Gross.

  4. Bodhi says:

    I hated those rich bastards when I was in college & beyond, why would I waste my time watching a show about them. No thanks, HBO

    Also, the Duplass brothers (of The League) are sort of the founders of mumblecore. They are FAR funnier & more interesting that anything Lea Dunham can come up with

    • Krill says:

      I just watched two of the Duplass brother movies – Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Really really liked both. Can’t wait for more from them.

      Zero interest in watching Girls. Yuck.

  5. LB says:

    I watched two episodes and decided I didn’t really enjoy it. I could go into all the reasons I didn’t find it realistic, all the reasons I didn’t find it representative of my life in NYC (a minority woman), etc but that’s not really why I couldn’t get into it. Let’s face it – most shows are not realistic and most shows don’t feature women like me. My favorite current shows, like Breaking Bad and Parks and Rec, couldn’t be further from my world.

    It all comes down to a few things for me and TV – can I get sucked into this world for a couple of minutes a week? Will it keep my interest in the long run? Do I find anything rootable about these characters? I couldn’t, it didn’t, and I didn’t. I kept getting distracted by other things while watching. That said, I’m find with it on TV (I won’t rail on it like I’ve seen some writers do – calling for it be cancelled) if only because I’m sure someone out there enjoys it.

  6. shannon says:

    If you don’t like it don’t watch it. Why you choose to watch it despite disliking it is on you.

  7. Gayle says:

    Haven’t seen it. I’m amazed someone who looks like that can become the star of a show, frankly, writer or not. I think unattractive hipster is just the new nerd.

    • LB says:

      Nepotism is the other factor that bothered some people. Every one of the main leads is the daughter of someone famous. Lena Dunham also created the show so she’s the brainchild but I believe she’s related to someone famous too.

      • shiba says:

        “Famous” only to art world people. Her mother is Laurie Simmons; her father is also an artist, Carroll Dunham. Their ‘cred’ enabled her first YouTube videos, in college to get noticed (again, by ‘art’ people.) Believe me, no one has given her a platform in order to kiss up to her parents. They may be well-known to some, but they are not powerful in a commercial sense.

    • A. says:

      Wow. What a terrible thing to say about a fellow woman. A woman who is talented enough (despite not being a tan, fake blonde) to write, direct and star in her own show. Regardless of whether you like the show itself, shouldn’t you be congratulating women as a whole for FINALLY getting an opportunity like this? It takes some big balls in Hollywood to make a show like this. Your comment is so saddening… And btw, she wrote, directed and starred in a movie called “Tiny Furniture” which got her this opportunity.

  8. alxandra says:

    I totally love this show!!!!

  9. Flea says:

    I like this show! No, they are not representative of me but neither are any of the shows I watch. Television is kind of my mental escape route and not a study of myself. It does remind me of a time in my life when things were not so serious and drama was manufactured for the sake of trying to make things more interesting. Their fake problems may be a little self-indulgent but, man, I would love to trade places for a day and let someone else handle my real ones.

  10. Nev says:

    BEST SHOW ON TV IN A LONG TIME.

    the writing is amazing and so post-modern.

    just.good.

  11. kazoo says:

    I don’t like it. The actresses are ugly and the characters they play are uninteresting. I just…don’t get the hype about it.

  12. shiba says:

    The fact that Lena Dunham looks more like an average girl/woman than 99.9% of American TV actresses
    is enough for me to champion this show.

    • shanghaichicken says:

      +1. Not only is she the central character but she created it, writes and directs it. What 26 year old female hipster do you know who is doing that? Even if they did have the opportunities she’s had, that doesn’t mean they have the same talent as her to carry a show like this and have it succeed.

      Haters wanna hate.

  13. Shelly says:

    I LOVE this show. Makes me so happy to not be a 20-something idiot anymore, LOL. But really, I really do LOVE it.

  14. Clara says:

    “I wanted Jon Hamm’s Don Draper to teleport next to her and give her some buck-up-kiddo advice.”
    I watched the entire series, but those are my feelings towards this show always – Don rolling up and giving the Girls a nice ‘The universe is indifferent’ talking-to.

  15. HappyJoyJoy says:

    I love this show, but Adam creeps me out to no end. I love the way Hannah is portrayed because to me it’s painted in a very realistic light, although I find her hard to tolerate. She has traits I don’t particularly like in people, but I appreciate the way it’s written and presented. All the characters seem always “remind me” of so and so.

  16. Launicaangelina says:

    I like it and watched it from the very beginning. Some of its relatable and I do not have a background similar to the characters. I could relate to the uncertainties of relationships and careers after college. I am not far removed from that time in my life.

  17. jamminatorr says:

    I watched maybe half of the first episode and I HATED it. I am a mid 20 year old, but a driven, career-oriented person and I cannot empathize with the main characters in the slightest. I find them utterly useless on a good day and terrible human beings on a bad one. I also HATE (yes, all caps hate, really) the dialogue that this show has started across blogs etc. It is always about lazy gen y’ers – and I hate being lumped in with these useless wastes-of-space.

  18. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    I never saw it and frankly, I got pretty exhausted by every Tom, Dick and Raheem (wait…) in status quo television criticism telling me I was no better than David Duke for not throwing myself into oncoming traffic for a sacred view of the trillionth show about a world I’m meant to worship that doesn’t care about the rest of us. Repititon gets boring, prople.

    Television is either lily-white or minstrel show-chic, but I’m the one holding back the tide of progress for thinking, ‘Hm, I already watch a thousand shows that tell this story, so the world will survive if I don’t make this show number 1001.’ Nope! I’m holding us back.

    Apparently, being a minority who doesn’t fling herself at this particular show, ONE SHOW on top of all the other ‘blinded by the white’ programs that I actually do watch means that I’m an impassive thug with a victim complex, perpetually-crossed ebonics arms and harbouring a deeply poisoned pathology that thrives on the self-segregation of the majority–wait, that happens?–because it gives me my favourite thing: something about which I can feel ‘oppressed’. I’m obligated to salivate over this because we were ‘gifted’ with another program about gunplay and ‘The Struggle’, way back when? Nothing in those stories gets challenged but the heights of self-congratulation coming from an audience and the network for committing themselves to the very important anthropological study of watching low-income minorities murder each other in broken english. ONE of the scores of homogenous milk programs doesn’t become part of my rotation and I’m regressive, but every time a film or TV show that features a pair of eyes that aren’t blue and aren’t accompanied by a list of crimes committed or a drag act (it’s not stereotyping, it’s SURVIVAL), all that a WASP needs to say is, ‘Well, it’s not really meant *for* me’, and everyone nods in understanding.

    Here’s the real issue: my ongoing aversion to J.Crew’s overpriced and flimsy crap is holding back the brother/sister/second cousin/Spanish Hapsburghood.

    Screw that.

    • Swats says:

      Completely agree.

      J.Crew has good sales, though.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I’ll take your word for it. I had never been in a J.Crew store before Jenna Lyons started there and when a branch opened in the mall at which I normally shop I was intrigued. I thought, ‘I wonder what fashion ideas are floating around in the mind of a woman who is 6’5(!!!) and what means to a tiny, tiny woman (I’m 5’0 and not nearly svelte enough to be a jockey). Egad! So I never returned. I have seen some of their dresses though, which are frequently beautiful.

    • Crystal says:

      Lord. Your comments give me so much life. Remember when you said were new best friends? I don’t want to be your best friend anymore. I want you to marry me. You have a beautiful mind.

      As for this piece of sh*t show ???
      Well I’m not surprised that a show full of White women is seen as progressive.

      Feminism 101: Equality for White women, zero f*cks given about POC women.

      Thank God we at least have Shonda Rhimes. She’s doing her thing and I support her even if all her stuff isn’t usually what I’m into.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I do remember, and I have told the invitees that don’t they don’t bring the equivalent of one gallon of Haagen Daaz each as an offering to this union, they won’t even get past the front door, let alone receive their Soul-Glo Party Pack.

        Your feminism quip is so true and so frustating in its persistence. From Pankhurst to Freidan to Jezebel, all credibility is lost in their myopic estimation of who qualifies and Sojourner Truth’s question, ‘Ain’t I a woman’ is still answered with, ‘I’m packing for my long weeekend at Martha’s Vineyard, where are your manners?’ It sticks in the craw because historically, it has been women of colour whose efforts have focused on subjects with more universality so when resolution time arrived, the benefits came to a much larger segment of womanhood. Feminism isn’t a movement of WASPs in negligible crisis lacking in self-awareness, but in so many ways that has been the woman to whom it has catered.

        I also agree about Shonda Rimes (though I don’t watch her programs, either) and I was thinking about the days when you felt a sense a obligation to watch the show because it didn’t look like the cast of Thirtysomething and you just had to hope that it wouldn’t be terrible. Sometimes you would get something decent like Living Single sometimes you got Homeboyz In Outer Space. It’s interesting how this kind of kneejerk loyalty is largely absent now, even though the major changes in television that have gone on over the last ten years have meant that there are far fewer shows that don’t feature an appeasement token best friend character in favour of a more diverse lineup.

        If this continues, I might have to resort to literacy!

  19. Yasmina says:

    A lot of viewers who hate all the whining from the characters don’t seem to get that it is satire, and poking fun at the generation itself. None of the characters are role models like in SATC. From the pilot episode onwards, I saw a lot of the dialogue as satire and not to be taken so seriously. Hannah saying she wants to be the voice of her generation, then getting a raised eyebrow from her parents and changing it to: “Ok, well, a voice, of a… generation.” Even the hipster clothing cliche is made fun of, with Hannah telling Jess: “Do you know how much it costs to look this cheap?”
    And let me tell you, this show has some of the most honest script writing I’ve seen in a while. The break up between Charlie and Marnie went from funny in the living room (charlie arguing he’s a valued member of the ‘community’, known as the apartment even though he doesn’t pay rent, as Hannah points out) to heartbreaking and suffocating in his ‘Target ad’ apartment afterwards. It was one of the longest breakup scenes i’ve seen in a while, but one of the most realistically written.
    Also, the abortion clinic scene was groundbreaking for television. No tragedy or big message, just a casual scene planned by Marnie with celebratory snacks, and some hilarious dialogue about the ultimate flakiness from Jess.
    Finally, I agree that setting a show in Brooklyn with the total lack of racial diversity is problematic. But if Dunham brings some of it on next season, I’ll appreciate this show even more. I get that the hype around it can be annoying if you don’t get it. But give it a chance if you’re curious, it’s worth it. Also, there is a multitude of articles about the show, but this one describes it best:
    http://www.criticsatlarge.ca/2012/04/when-im-24-hbos-girls-brings-smart-new_29.html

    • Bodhi says:

      Oh I “get it”, I just don’t find it remotely entertaining. I knew loads of kids who talked & acted like these characters without even the barest shred of irony or satire. There are people of this age who really do think that the world owes them something for being awesome. And I want to slap the ever living shit out of each & everyone of them

  20. lucy2 says:

    I want to like this show more than I really do – I think it’s fantastic that a young woman created the show, writes, directs, acts, etc – we need more of that, and I give her a lot of credit for doing it.
    But after watching the whole season, I’m started to be vastly more annoyed than entertained. I never found it funny, more just interesting, but Hannah is extremely grating, Adam creeps me out, and I’m kind of getting to the point where I want to issue a group slap to all of them and shout “grow up already!” Maybe it’s because I’m past that just out of college phase, or maybe because I have little patience for entitlement, laziness, and lack of responsibility. I don’t know that I’ll be back for season 2.
    Now Veep, on the other hand, I found much funnier and more entertaining.

    • Bodhi says:

      or maybe because I have little patience for entitlement, laziness, and lack of responsibility.

      This. Forever this.

  21. Albert C. Delano says:

    So, I haven’t seen the series, I thing I might give it a chance over the holidays, but you know what my problem is with these shows on over-privileged, anglo-saxon “outsiders” is? That while they go about whining about their very tame version of purposelessness, ten thousand kilometres to the south, we, people of their same generation are mobilizing to change our country’s constitution and education, usually receiving one or another can of whoopass from the police, against substantial interests. And that’s nothing compared to what the youth in Egypt is going through. You might understand why I can relate too much? I will only be able to take Girls as mere entertainment.

  22. marisa says:

    I quit watching 2 episodes in. A major turnoff for me was when the main character threw a tantrum because her parents were cutting her off financially. Didn’t find it funny either. Self-indulgent hipsters says it ALL.

  23. Sara says:

    I think the characters are supposed to be unlikeable and Adam is supposed to be creepy. Personally I think he acts like he’s manic depressive or something.

    I find it entertaining, I’m 30 so I missed the hipster thing but I do remember a lot of people being narcissistic/ irresponsible in their early 20s.

    The show seems quiet truthful in it’s portrayal of it’s characters.

  24. Early 20's says:

    It’s about your early 20′s and since I am in my early 20′s I can tell you that yes, this is what happens in our lives. Maybe not in everyone’s lives and the show isn’t a exact documentary of my life, but I can tell you that somethings that Hannah or the other girls say, do, and go through and very similar things that I and my friends have said, done, or went through. I’m not a privilege hipster, I actually hate them, but I can easily say that I’ve gone through some of the weird, messed up, and self stages that the girls of the show go through.

  25. Goldie says:

    What Girls Character Are You? Find out with the Huffington Post QUIZ here.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joanna-popper/hbo-girls-characters_b_1573533.html