A Lackluster Not-So-Feminist Ending for a "Groundbreaking" Series
After six seasons of what many considered the fresh, groundbreaking series with a feminist edge, Lena Dunham’s Girls ends on a disappointing note. Over the years I have popped in and out of this HBO series, as in, not a regular viewer or big fan. That said, on some level I always understood the show’s appeal to the masses, and could appreciate the level of writing, producing and directing that it mostly delivered, especially at the hands of such a young talent. Although for me that was never enough to make me wait with baited breath for each episode or jump on the gushing bandwagon. This mostly because for all the good it had going for it, it always seemed to be outweighed by the fact that all the characters were whiny, self-absorbed and annoying. Also, let’s face it, at my age I can only take so much of the 20 something angst.
To be sure though I think women of all ages could appreciate (at least at first) that the main character, Hannah, is not your typical leading lady, and that was always ok. Not only is she, what some would say, a bit curvy or chuncky, that never seemed to matter to her or anyone else on the show. From day 1 she was comfortable in her skin and happy to flaunt it. Of course, it did hit some point where the in-your-face with my big body, love it or leave it attitude, seemed to go overboard. “All right, all right, we get it. You love your body. You’re happy to be naked.” But I digress.
For the series finale (spoiler alert), is a few months in to her decision to move from Brooklyn to Upstate New York and take on a teaching position with a local not named college. She has also delivered her baby, who is Black for some unsaid reason, and rooming with her self proclaimed best friend, Marnie who is hell bent on helping Hannah raise her son. At the point of the episode, the school year has not commenced and Hannah is having a rough time with the early stages of having a baby. Most of the latter revolves around the fact that the baby is not breast feeding despite Hannah’s best efforts. Unfortunately, this becomes the focus of the show. That and Hannah whining, bitching and moaning over the breast feeding issue and taking it as a personal assault on her character, determine to scar the kid and her for life. Needless to say, Marnie and Hannah’s mother (she flies in at Marnie’s request to help) are casualties of Hannah’s internal war. She is steadfast in throwing blame and responsibility for the baby’s care; yelling at her support system, and throwing in the towel. By show’s end, she takes a long walk and a deep breath, returning to the house willing to give the feeding a try again, with success. Fade to black. Ugh!
Really, you end the series with not much of time progression or character development? And only two other members of the original cast? For this, they should have just ended with the episode the week before (the girlfriends arguing in a bathroom at an engagement party for Shoshana, but later making up, sort of, and dancing the night away). Or they could have had the gang all together for Hannah’s baby shower, toasting to the past and to her new future (kind of sappy, but effective). Truth be told, I think it would have been better ended further in the future, showing Hannah professionally successful and embracing her life’s choices to move, having a steady job/career, and happy as a single mom. Wouldn’t that have been more interesting and satisfying? Not least of all, it would have sent a better message to the young female audience?