If any of you were a fan of the first season of the TV show Girls, you may or may not still be a fan now that we’ve reached the end of Season 2.
This season turned weird.
It turned sad.
It turned upsetting.
And confusing in a way that was foreign to the fun-discomfort of the first season.
The first season made us uncomfortable, but in a way that made us smile. As in “yeah so true, awkward, been there hahaha what DO you do with your hands?”
The core four girls were all friends. They had the usual layer of neurosis present in most groups of girlfriends, but they were friends. The core four girls appeared in scenes together, went on wacky adventures together, lamented their lives together, and made the audience feel a lot.
I’ve read some articles on why this season of Girls took such a turn. Some people applaud it, some people hate it, and others are just plain baffled.
A sample tweet from one of Lena Dunhams followers? “hope the next season is more like season 1. This season was too random and weird.”
She simply asked if he was her brother.
I both loved and hated Season 2.
- I love the way it tried to subvert our expectations. As my friend put it, “the first season hooked us, tricked us into thinking it would be one thing, and now they’re hitting us over the head!”
- I love the way it took risks that would so clearly alienate a ton of viewers. So many TV shows play it safe or fall back on the same gags and horrors. Girls took us on a ride through a fun house. A very unsettling fun house. That had secret doors leading to rooms we didn’t even know existed.
- I love how the line between liking a character and loathing a character is continually blurred. It’s disorienting (fun house fun!) but also rings pretty true. We find ourselves completely confused about our feelings…and ain’t that life?
- I hate how the show stopped making me laugh. I have a fear of things I depend on changing, and I’d come to depend on Girls to make me laugh. And it stopped doing that. This infuriated me.
- I hate the way characters disappeared. Certain episodes only focused on one character at time. One character simply left the show. It made me feel isolated and disconnected (which was probably the point). As one writer pointed out, the four core girls only appear together once in the entirety of the second season.
- I hate how closely I connected with some of the plotlines. The show used to make me feel comforted in my neurosis. Now it just makes me terrified of myself. Hannah begins developing OCD tendencies, a plotline audiences aren’t entirely prepared for, and she unravels. It’s upsetting. It’s accurate. And it was difficult to watch as someone who has dealt with anxiety.
The second to last episode of this season made me feel physically ill. Deeply nauseous. Every character unravels in a way that makes you want to cover your eyes. And I did. I literally covered my eyes, which I rarely feel a need to do.
I was ready to walk away from the show; I’d left too many episodes shouting, “What the hell?” But then the season finale happened. And it happened big. Lena Dunham and Adam Driver rose to the occasion and even though you still leave the episode disquieted, it comes from a place of damn good acting. And it reminded me why I return to the show.
It bothers me that the discourse surrounding Girls and Lena Dunham often overshadows the show itself, but here I am contributing to that snow globe of opinion. This makes no sense to me. But luckily I know Hannah would understand this confusion.