Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched the "Girls" finale yet, don't read. But what are you waiting for???
Good morning, Monday. It's cloudy and warm in the city and hope you all had a lovely Easter Weekend. I've been packing nonstop and truly worry about my mental health when it comes to the amount of clothing I've amassed in the five or so years I've lived in this apartment. I can't. I just can't.
But in between packing and working, I found some time to watch the finale of "Girls", the final episode aired last night and I will surely miss this masterpiece of female rights of passage. And even though I watched this whole series as not a girl, but a woman, I still connected to its raw take on growing up girl and all the issues that confront a young woman in this city.
I am from the era of Carrie Bradshaw, whose exploits I enjoyed watching beyond belief. But "Sex and the City" was a different time, and a very different show- dated now for certain. But in almost every character, we found an icon, a heroine, a piece of ourselves- and all the characters were women v.s girls. On "Girls", the opposite is true- each character was so deeply flawed and fucked up, it was hard to like any of them really, and that's what made the show so fantastic. I love a show that explores something deeper, darker, and is not afraid of being a bit loathsome. Hannah Horvath- the awkward girl with the in your face nudity and in your face point of view. Last night's episode showed Hannah post birth of her baby, Grover. And in typical Hannah form, motherhood was not some beautiful moment where the hormonal stars align and you bask in the glow of feminine ideals. Nope. I wonder if "Girls" will ever feel dated the way "SATC" does now? Even if it does, it will always be a great time capsule for this moment in time.
Hannah's recent pregnancy from a one night stand with a surfer was a game changer. Cause she made up her mind, she was keeping her baby. Fast forward to last night- the baby is born and little Grover is beyond a challenge- and I have no doubt I would feel the same way. He seemed to squeal every time she came near him, and breastfeeding was not something that was easily achieved- Hannah exclaims through most of the episode "he hates me" and then proceeds to leave him with mom and Marnie while she goes out on a walkabout, schooling a young wayward woman along the way who is petulant for little reason. And because her bestie Marnie had little else on her dance card, she chose to move in with Hannah upstate and become a second mom of sorts to the adorable Grover. But even though the baby seemed to love Marnie's vibe, Marnie was as lost as ever, in a role and a life she could not seem to grasp. I love that Marnie tells Hannah's mom she was considering law school because "she loves rules". Perhaps that's her struggle- that life has very few rules, and for those that can't color outside the lines, it can often be terrifying. What's so magical about "Girls" is its deep dive into how tough it is to grow up, to go through those rights of passage (now motherhood) and to not sail through them with a perfect score. Life is not perfect, life is often a hot mess. I can relate to all of it, really- I've always been shit at rights of passage- I hated the idea of the prom, I never thought I'd marry, and I remain childless by choice because the permanence of such a situation has always completely freaked me out.
As I sit surrounded by cardboard and piles of forgotten clothes, I feel spent. I've moved so many times in my life, but each time brings up so many silly cliches- the shedding of things we no longer need or want, the chance for a new start, the word itself- moving. It conjures up so much and as I watched the finale last night, I felt every inch of Hannah's meshugas, because even though I am a grown woman, life can sometimes make me feel very much like a girl. And I'm so happy the show did not end with the girls locked arm in arm, chasing a Bushwick sunset. Instead, the final episode focused solely on Hannah, baby Grover, Marnie, and Hannah's mom. Because becoming a woman means leaving things and people behind that no longer fit in or work for what you're after. But becoming a woman does not mean you completely disregard all the things that made you a girl. It just means you need to move on to get by. We know Jessa will be Jessa, Shosh will be Shosh, and Elijah will become a Broadway superstar. We don't need to see what happens there, and we know that Hannah will find her way- to motherhood, to love, to career- to all of it. The journey will just be awkward and weird. There will probably be no Mr. Big, no dream apartment or closet, and no clink of champagne glasses in a cool Manhattan bar. Strangely enough, Lena Dunham's success is more like that now than not. But Hannah? Nope. She'll struggle and find her way through this thing called life. And so will we. PS- eventually Hannah gets young Grover to latch on- and just like that, the show ends.
I loved "Girls". It was human, it was annoying, it was real. And most importantly, it was a real moment in time. Thanks for the memories an now I go on to pack and fret and stumble my way through yet another move and life moment. I am planning to make myself a nice closet though. I may not get it right all the time, but I can be a little bit Hannah and a little bit Carrie and still be all me.
Cause that's what's up this girl you'll be a woman soon kind of Monday in the 718. Yours, in ending and beginnings. XO