HBO and Lena Dunham’s Girls has never committed to any particularly enduring premise, nor have recent seasons stirred as much controversy, and the series itself may apparently wrap up altogether before long. According to Dunham, the sixth season in 2017 will likely bring an end to Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna’s youthful exploits, and Girls overall.
Assuming by now Simpsons fans have successfully abated fears of Homer and Marge splitting up, Sunday’s Season 27 premiere will still see Girls star Lena Dunham guesting as Homer’s new ladyfriend. Not only that, but our first clip of “Every Man’s Dream” brings Brooklyn to Springfield by way of the full Girls cast.
HBO’s Girls rarely telegraphs what to expect with each coming year, but with Season 5 already in production in New York, the first set photos have yielded some surprising turns. Elementary star Lucy Liu (and possibly Jonny Lee Miller?) will guest star in the new Girls season, as Adam seemingly takes a small role on a procedural.
A ways back we learned that everyone’s favorite “voice of a generation” Lena Dunham would lend said voice to a new one by guesting on The Simpsons, but true to life, Hannah’s best Girls are coming with. Joining Dunham for the spot will be her HBO co-stars, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke.
Of every Girls season finale, “Home Birth” feels the most final — major changes and life plans happen in the blink of an eye; new lives enter this world and familiar faces fade; and perhaps what makes this episode feel so final is the “six months later” coda, which feels just as unnecessary here as it does in just about any other film or television show. That’s not to say that the conclusion doesn’t have its charms, but it might have been best saved for next season, given the powerful sequence that preceded it.
There are certain things we learn how to do as we become more adult: we learn what to share and what not to share and when to share it, and we learn how to fake smiling and being supportive to our friends and loved ones even when it kills us. There are good boundaries and bad boundaries, just as there’s good faking it and bad faking it — navigating these nebulous borders is tricky business, and no one does it gracefully, especially not Hannah (or Tad…or Loreen…).
Tonight’s episode of Girls is a lot to take in, with a long title to match. “Tad and Loreen and Avi and Shanaz” offers up some real anxiety-inducing bombshells, and although these moments punctuate the half-hour with shock and awe, it’s the dialogue exchanges between various character pairings that provide the most telling aspects.
Manipulation, resentment and deceit are the central conceits at the heart of this week’s Girls. Hannah attempts to be friends with Adam, and this overture is both genuine and disingenuous at the same time, highlighting the conflicting emotions that go into such well-meaning and painful post-break-up trials. And while Lena Dunham’s anxiety-ridden performance captures the vast array of emotions during this period, it’s Gillian Jacobs’ exceptionally complex performance as Mimi-Rose that ultimately steals the show, proving the hinge around which Adam and Hannah pivot.
Over the course of the last few seasons, the twentysomething girls of Girls have hardly changed at all, which makes them more empathetic, if a little frustrating — but only because, if you’ve ever been in your early 20s, you can see some of yourself in each of them. If insanity is repeating the same behaviors/actions over and over and expecting different results, then you might consider these women (and yes, the men, too) insane. But tonight’s episode brings some real signifiers of change, even if we remain skeptical.
At one point during this week’s episode of Girls, Hannah off-handedly describes the only way to solve a Rubik’s Cube: by taking the stickers off and re-sticking them in the proper arrangement. It’s such a casual comment, but one that easily defines the way Hannah — and her friends, and so many of us coming of age in our 20s — approaches problem-solving: by forcing things into the shape she’d like rather than doing the imperative work and navigation.