Last Night On Girls: The Anti-Rom Com In This Season Finale

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Connie:‬ "Last Girls roundtable of the season, you guys."   

Nathan‬: "I can't believe the season is over already. Just 10 episodes seems really short, especially considering that they're only half an hour each"

‪‪Connie:‬ "But — and I feel like some sort of kind of parent here — the girls have grown so much, although grow probably isn't the right word. Compare how Hannah, Shoshanna, or Marnie are now to where they were during Episode 1 of this season. But, of course I wouldn't say that they've all been growing positively. It's one step forward, two stumbles backward for the most part."  

Annie: "Hannah is such a mess right now. Marnie is back with her longterm boyfriend, which is sort of circular, even if she has had a lot more life experience."  

‪‪Nathan‬:‬ "Jessa's gone back into hiding."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "And, Adam is shirtless again after a few episodes of wearing shirts in public."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Haha, good point. I don't see this season as a 'look how they've grown,' rather than a 'people have a really hard time changing' sort of message."

‪‪Connie:‬ "True — they've all started this season out with a goal of some sort…"  

Annie: "…And then failed."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "They've not only failed at their goal — but their pursuit of their goals unraveled them. Hannah's OCD returns, Jessa's gone MIA, and Marnie becomes the kind of girl she used to make fun of."  

Annie: "All except Shoshanna and Marnie's boyfriend."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Seriously — that guy seems to have everything he ever wanted. He totally lucked out."

‪‪Connie:‬ "All it took was a different haircut!"  

‪‪Nathan‬: "And throwing away his turtlenecks. The turtlenecks were restricting his progress (along with his blood flow). Anwayyyyys."  

Annie:‬ "Hahaha."  

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‪‪Nathan‬: "So yeah, Marnie goes back to Charlie after basically failing at everything. Now that he's successful, has a ton of money, and is better at sex, she finds him attractive again."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "Exactly. It's obvious that it's not even HIM that she really wants. She wants a successful guy that wants to be with her. Even when she's rattling off her list of why she loves him outside of Roberta's, she could have replaced his name with anyone's, and it would have still made sense..."  

Annie: "Like Booth's, even. Elijah — maybe? She probably would have been cool with whomever."

‪‪Connie:‬ "She was so set on being an independent career woman in the beginning of the season. She went on the interviews she felt like she needed to go on, she had sexual experiences outside her comfort zone that made her excited in a way that Charlie never did. She moved out of Hannah's apartment to lose that burden. She even pursued singing. All it did was made her insecure."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Yeah, it's the opposite of what is supposed to happen."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "And — apparently — she is completely in the dark about how lame it all is. That rendition of Harder? Sorry to bring it up again, but..."

Annie:‬ "AGGGHHH."

‪‪Connie: "That's a flash forward to what our generation is going to be listening to in 50 years. 'Time/Life's: Greatest Hits Of The '00s, Adult-Contempo.'"

‪‪Annie: "I sure hope not."

Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Miglio/HBO
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Nathan: "One person that actually did end up growing up was Shoshanna. She knows what she needs, and she does what she has to do to grow. Cheating on her boyfriend may not have been right, but I think she needed to experience that. And she broke up with him for reasons that made sense."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "I mean, that's something that happens for a lot of couples. After their honeymoon period is over, it's impossible to sustain a relationship when all you have is affection for one another. When she said, 'I can't be the only thing you like,' that was really powerful. Although, I feel a lot for Ray."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Yeah, me too."

‪‪Connie:‬ "No matter how lame a person he is, he was always honest with her."  

Annie:‬ "And he WAS willing to change."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Yeah, that's sort of the sad part. He cared enough about her to actually get his stuff together to some degree. And his hopping between a PhD in Latin to a manger position shows that he doesn't really care about what that change is, but I suppose that's also Shoshanna's point. He's only doing these things for her and their relationship, not because he cares about the topics in and of themselves."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "I think that the show does a really interesting job tying your sexual development with how you live your life. Obviously, for a lot of people, I think that those two things, your sexuality and your confidence/perspective, can be separate. But for Shosh, I think that she's figuring out how her sexuality CAN define her in some ways. In the first season, she was a virgin, and was really intent on not making it a big deal, though it became that way by virtue of her not wanting it to be. And now that she's had a boyfriend, has had time to experiment..."

Annie‬: "I don't think her sexuality was what led her to break up with Ray, though."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "I think it's tied to her confidence though. She not only feels confident enough to talk to (and make out with) people she finds attractive at parties, she WANTS to, which is great for her, but not a good thing to have happen when you're in a relationship, which speaks to how strong the relationship was in the first place."

Annie: "She probably feels like she owes Ray something, in that he was her first boyfriend and lover, and he's completely devoted to her. Like, the sex scene…"

‪‪Nathan‬: "Yeah, we definitely need to talk about the sex scene. Last week, a lot of comments discussed how they thought that Adam's encounter with his new girlfriend wasn't appropriate. Some called it rape, even."   

Connie:‬ "Rape is rape even if you consent to having some sort of sex. And with Shoshanna and Ray, it would have become rape as soon as she said to get out of her. But he listened to her immediately."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "But I do think it ties into how badly these couples communicate."  

Annie:‬ "Agreed. It should probably be obvious when your sexual partner keeps on her sweatshirt, it's enough of a 'honey, not tonight' kind of thing you should probably have noticed. When you're having thoughts about your partner's shortcomings while having sex? Not a good thing at all."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "I think it's probably even muddier than that. If she had felt like she couldn't communicate that, but still felt abused, that's terrible. But anyway, agreed, sweatshirt sex probably bodes poorly for a relationship."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "This sex scene was positioned right before Adam's second go with Natalia, who is probably the most communicative sex partner I've ever seen."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Totally."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "I'm glad that Girls did this, because I don't think I've seen a representation of this on TV. Typically, you just see two strangers going for it, and it's magical, beautiful, condom-less sex. And that never happens like that — partly because it's not safe, and partly because it can't be satisfying if you just really have no idea what the other person's boundaries are."

Annie: "It's true."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "Not saying that there's anything wrong with what Adam wants. Some people like being dominated."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Yeah, but it is wrong that he's so bad at reading her and listening to her signals. He doesn't seem interested in doing what she wants."

‪‪Connie:‬ "But he's receptive when she says it verbally."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Yeah, I suppose that's true."  

Annie:‬ It might be that Asperger's again, right? We talked before that he seems like he is mildly autistic, and he has problems reading signs.  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Although, he destroys his house after he has communicative non domination-style sex, which makes you think that, like, maybe he's not taking this new sensitive sex stuff very well."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "Hahaha. Yeah, Adam goes from a sober guy whose dating a person who actually seems pretty awesome to a relapsed alcoholic who literally runs back to his past. The last scene was so interesting to me — I mean, there's something sweet about being rescued by someone in a rom-com, tear-jerker sort of way, but this situation felt so pathetic and non-heroic."

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‪‪Nathan‬: "I think you can see this as a sort of inversion of that. It's two people embracing their worst traits set up as a romantic comedy cliché. I think you can really see Apatow's writing in this episode. He's a big fan of traditional romantic comedy tropes, but here you have Hannah, who is melting down, has failed at her book deal, and has basically gone insane, and Adam, who has been dating a girl who by all accounts seems sort of great, and then he goes back to the girl he has an unhealthy hero complex with. She needs her weird succubus boyfriend to feel Okay, and it's never implied that this is going to help her write, or do anything she says she wants to do. It's not, like, a 'happy' ending, even though it has a guy running through the street."

Annie:‬ "By the way, Facetime — or 'Faceplace' — definitely only works with Wi-Fi. Unless all of Brooklyn suddenly got a borough-wide signal…"

‪‪Connie:‬ "Yeah, seriously. And Hannah! I felt so panicky for her the entire episode. Like, I've had to face tough deadlines, when I'm feeling so uninspired and not confident. But hers was the worst case scenario of all instances of writer's block. It's so sad that just when she's getting that responsibility that comes with minor career successes and an adult life, she shuts down."

Annie: "That moment when she was cutting her hair — I mean, ‪I‬ don't know if you've ever had this impulse, but it's totally something that people do to transform themselves…"

Connie: "I got a perm once during a particularly stressful time in my life."

Annie: "Exactly! This is the other end of Carrie dying her hair brown in Sex and the City."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Nice foreshadowing, by the way, from earlier this season."  

‪‪Connie:‬ "She should have YouTubed it! Otherwise, she wouldn't have ended up with a Dorothy Hamill / Robin Hood and his Merry Men haircut."  

Annie: "Going to Laird was probably not the right way to fix it."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "I like that Laird gets to chew her out, too. Good job, Laird."  

Annie: "Of COURSE, Laird would love to cut Hannah's hair, and of course, he once had feelings for her. Unfortunately, I don't buy the fact that he'd all of a sudden articulate enough to tell her how indulgent she is. But regardless, great throwback cameo and kind of a sign on how far she's come (or not). Having someone who you've only regarded as a decrepit ex-druggie neighbor tell you that you're the most self-involved presumptuous person he knows must be soul-crushing."

‪‪Nathan‬: "What do you think about the tone of the show as a whole? It's gone from a comedy with some drama to a drama that's often funny. I thought last week's episode, "On All Fours," was possibly the strongest one ever. It was also the darkest."   

‪‪Connie:‬ "I like it, too — because though it's easy to just paint being a 20-something, privileged, white woman in Brooklyn today as being one-dimensional and silly, it's not all that interesting. It's not just weird sex and going to loft parties — it can be cruel and painful, and these people have very real problems, though in a way that makes you want to just shake the characters and tell them to snap out of it, rather than, you know, lament the system of something."

‪‪Nathan‬: "I don't know if that's necessarily, like, something that needs to be pointed out. In the grand scheme of things, they DON'T have real problems for the most part. I think that the show does do a good job of portraying what it feels like to be in their situation, and it's similar to how many people we interact with feel. But I don't think there's a real 'need' to portray these problems as if it's been lacking. Like, there's no need for a PSA about this demographic. That said, I think you're right that the emotional and mental problems that they're dealing with are pretty serious, and Lena and Apatow are doing a better and better job of showing them."

‪‪Connie:‬ "I get what you're saying, and I think that's what I'm trying to get at. Like, yes, this show isn't like The Wire in that it's a story that desperately needs to be told."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "Haha, yeah."

‪‪Connie:‬ "But it's a set of problems that's been birthed by this over-protected, over-privileged, over-medicated, over-pampered part of our world. I feel like the darker side is much more interesting than the slapstick side — although the funny parts of Girls are definitely some of the highlights of the show."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "I bet Drake would like this show."

Annie: ‬"Should we talk about predictions for next season?"  

‪‪Connie: "Does Jessa ever come back?"  

Annie: "Yeah, of course, but who knows how much her character will be in it? From interviews I've read, Jemima Kirke seems sort of disinterested in acting."  

‪‪Connie: "Does Hannah get sued?"  

‪‪Nathan‬: "I think next season is going to show some actual success for her. It has to, I think. I mean, she may actually get sued, but she's also going to actually publish something."  

‪‪Connie: "And she'll have to deal with that success — it'll go right to her head."   

Annie: "Charlie's going to cheat on Marnie or dump her this time."  

‪‪Nathan‬: "I could see that."

‪‪Connie: "And Adam is going to start drinking again. That one's an obvious one, right?"

Annie: "I think so! They're all back to square one, but it's going to be much more intense and less frivolous this time around."

Connie: "Can't wait!"

Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Miglio/HBO