Why Girls is one of the best shows on TV

The first season of the show won the Golden Globe for best Comedy or Musical TV series. Forcing this show into the “comedy or musical” category was laughable, and will become even more so once season two, which recently concluded, begins to be noticed awards season. There were funny moments along the way (“Bad Friend” was particularly good), but this season mainly revolved around the many relationships built (or not built) by the characters and the drama that lies within, which beautifully climaxed in Sunday’s finale.

Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. Shoshanna and Ray was always a strange relationship, because they’re the most polar opposite characters. Shows usually get good mileage out of pairing up unlikely couples, and Girls didn’t disappoint. But, the relationship ran its course as Shoshanna matured from the lonely virgin we met in the first season to a more confident, self-aware woman who realizes the only thing in the world Ray likes is her, and though she may love him, she can’t be with someone like that at this stage of her life. Which is a bummer because Ray is one of the only likeable characters on the show, but is faced with the facts: He’s a homeless coffee shop manager. At least on his way out of her apartment he snagged his Andy Kaufman cutout.

The relationship between Charlie and Marnie is a disaster waiting to happen, and you can see it on Charlie’s face that he absolutely knows it yet can’t stay away from her siren song (no, not “Stronger”). Hell, he’s now very rich because he developed an app to help forget about your ex’s that was specifically inspired by Marnie. His life is heading in the right direction while her’s is falling apart, yet their history together is too strong for either of them to ignore. She does get in best line of the episode, and one of the sweetest of the season, when she tells Charlie “I want to watch you die.” in a sincere and loving way.

Being away from Hannah has been the best thing Adam has done. He’s going to AA meetings again and he’s in a mature relationship with someone who isn’t Hannah Horvath. That all seems to be going swimmingly until he runs into Hannah outside of a party. Immediately after that he goes inside, falls off the wagon, and has degrading, borderline non-consensual sex with Natalie in an attempt to sabotage the relationship because that’s what he feels he deserves. Hannah’s been under so much pressure to finish her e-book that OCD behavior from her past begins to take over her life again. They’re both broken, self-destructive people and no one seems to know the other better. She contacts him via FaceTime when there’s no one left in her life to reach out to, and he immediately knows she’s in trouble and, in a beautifully shot sequence, runs shirtless to her apartment, breaks down the door and holds her in his arms when she needs it most. It’s an emotional, loving scene from two characters who seem to be incapable of the latter.

The best shows on TV make you feel and Girls certainly runs the gamut of emotions. Dunham found her footing as a creator midway through last season and has been gaining steam ever since with no signs of slowing down.

  • Girls Finale

Every week I hear the same thing from a variety of people after an episode of Girls: “I’m not sure I like this show, but I keep watching.” That’s the beauty and brilliance of Lena Dunham’s creation. It makes you feel uncomfortable yet totally unable to look away, like Marnie in Booth Jonathan’s TV chamber, though likely less turned on.

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