Girls Is Winding Down — But Are Its Main Characters Becoming Women?

Image: Via HBO.
As last night's Girls episode — and season five — came to a close, one thing became clear: All the leading ladies have grown a lot over the course of this season. This particular type of character evolution has been a long time coming for all the gals — over the course of five seasons, we've watched them take tiny steps forward in the march toward maturity and with a lot of backsliding to boot. It's been like watching them all ride on an emotional maturity merry-go-round, covering the same cycles over and over again. Only now, it seems like they're all ready to get off the ride and finally begin something new.
Marnie has journeyed from singledom to marriage and back again, while Shosh has made her peace with leaving Japan behind. Jessa may still be mired in a destructive relationship, but at least she's starting to realize where her loyalties lie. And Hannah — who has been so thoroughly deplorable for the last ten episodes — was so much easier to root for than she has been in a long time during the last moments of the episode. Why? Because she finally seems back in control of her own destiny, or at least her own daily life — a fact that makes us actually look forward to finding out where she ends up when season six finally rolls around. And for the first time in a long time, she seems like a woman we want to be friends with — not an annoying little girl who can't see past her own privileges and uptown problems. So will we finally see Girls give way to fully developed, emotionally mature women in its next and final season? We aren't going to hold our breath on that front, especially considering that we're still talking about a group of characters who are supposed to be in their mid-twenties. They have plenty of time to make mistakes and figure things out. (Hell, it took the Friends crew until their late thirties to truly become actual adults. Why should we expect more of the Girls gals?) No matter what ends up happening in season six though, it's still refreshing to know that the girls are finally emerging from this five-year period of mostly arrested development. They may still not be wholly succeeded in adulthood, but the only way to get there is baby steps.

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