The final season of “Girls” (2012-2017) premiered on Sunday, marking the beginning of the end. There’s no denying that Lena Dunham created something special, and whether people agree with or scoff at the idea that she is “the voice of this generation,” one can’t help but admire the power this show has had in catalyzing a new frontier for television: one that is open to new and truly deserving voices.
Every character on the show has gone through an extreme transformation and is almost jarringly unrecognizable at the beginning of season six. This final season is meant to tie loose ends, but if it is to remain faithful to the show’s philosophy, nothing will ever feel resolved. Some friendships aren’t meant to last and it will be interesting to see how the characters navigate this awkward and key transition out of the second-coming-of-age part of their lives.
When the show last aired, Hannah (Dunham) had just found her voice again after delivering a powerful story at The Moth StorySLAM. In it, she reveals that her best friend Jessa (Jemima Kirke) slept with her boyfriend Adam (Adam Driver) and that she was still coming to terms with this betrayal. It’s worth noting that Hannah and Adam were not in fact together when he got with Jessa.
It’s clear that by the start of season six, Hannah has taken advantage of this sudden success, and got her monologue published in the New York Times’ Modern Love column as a result. SLAG Mag offers her a writing gig because they love her writing, but also notably her “vibe” and “shape.” She is to go to the Hamptons and report on a new trend of surfing camp overrun by the women who ruined yoga. Hannah is expected to offer a hilarious and unique point of view because she is the exact opposite of those women.
Meanwhile, Marnie (Allison Williams) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) are clearly still together as a couple in the midst of Marnie’s divorce from Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Despite their closeness, Marnie kicks him out of her apartment so she can have some time to herself, as was encouraged by her online therapist. She’s uncomfortable with the idea of him crashing at Shoshanna’s place (Zosia Mamet) given that they dated in the past, leaving Ray no choice but to return to his shared apartment with Adam. His apprehension is understandable, as Jessa and Adam are officially together and have taken over the apartment. This begs the question, has literally everyone on this show dated each other at some point or another? Is no one batting an eye at this friend-incest?
Hannah’s adventure in the Hamptons is enjoyable and reminiscent of all the reasons people felt connected to her since the beginning of the show. Her unapologetic candor is immensely entertaining as always. She’s somewhat resistant to joining in on the physical aspect of surf camp, but getting close with the surf instructor Paul-Louis (Riz Ahmed) helps convince her to stick around. Ahmed, who has been getting a lot of attention lately for his incredible performance in HBO’s “The Night Of” (2016) and his recent role as Bodhi Rook in “Rogue One” (2016), is charming and a fun paring for Hannah in this episode. Along with tapping into his comedic side, Ahmed is given the chance to show off his rapping abilities at a party.
Back in the city, Marnie is dealing with divorce arrangements with Desi, but ends up kissing him and recommitting herself to their singing partnership. As she’s proven in the past, it’s as if she’s allergic to a banal existence. She needs to have one drama or another unfolding in her life at all times.
By the end of the episode, Hannah, while a little sunburned, is invigorated for this new stage in her life. Everyone is in the midst of untangling the slightly bruised relationships they’ve wreaked havoc on. Though no one is actively lunging at each other’s throats at the moment, tension is in the air, so there is sure to be something big brewing. As long as “Girls” continues to be conscious of its own narcissism, the result can only be madly entertaining.