Sunday, September 15, 2013

grander and more dramatic

Still watching Girls? Spoilers, spoilers everywhere and not a drop to drink. K, you've been warned.

I finished watching season two of Girls. Well, that show certainly reminds me of bad decisions I have made in the past. So much so that it is uncomfortable to watch at times but, onward we move.

The only line of Hannah's writing that we've gotten to see on screen is, "A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance," but the season ends with the girls isolated from one another and generally in the arms of men. I strongly suspect, however, that it is the character Hannah who is betraying her ideals rather than the writer Lena Dunham. 

Hannah's (male) editor has just criticized her as being Jane Austen-esque, has made disparaging remarks about the "boring" stuff she's writing about female friendship, has in fact told her, "If you're not getting fucked right now, make it up." We know that Hannah doesn't handle criticism of her writing well, since *cough cough* last time someone tried, she accused him of homophobia (unrelated) and dumped him. So it doesn't seem too much of a stretch to imagine that part of what's going on in her anxiety-riddled head is a fear that her editor (who is also one of her literary heroes) is right, that she needs to have a man and/or be writing about a man to be truly interesting. And so she reaches out to Adam desperately, without first deciding "if he's the greatest person in the world or the worst," something she'd previously acknowledged she needed to spend some time sorting out (easily the wisest thing the character has ever said). Just a few episodes ago, Hannah was afraid Adam would break down her door. Now she thinks it sounds like salvation. We know something's wrong.

What I'm saying is: I don't believe this ending. I mean, I don't believe it as a "happy" ending. I think what Dunham is doing is pretty complicated: Presenting us with all the trappings of a happy ending, but with enough history and enough subtext that we all feel uncomfortable, mistrustful, and unsatisfied.

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