Last week’s double episode finale of Girls saw the HBO comedy’s fifth and penultimate season draw to a triumphant close. The series had suffered from a sophomore slump with season three and four missing the brash and sharp comedic mark of the opening two offerings.
Girls is the brainchild of New York native, Lena Dunham, and follows the semi autobiographical story of Hannah Horvath, also played by Dunham, and her three female friends, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna.
Hannah unabashedly asserts in the pilot “I may be the voice of my generation. Or, at least, the voice of a generation” and the series has strictly adhered to the satirical narrative of Gen Y otherwise known as millennials. All of the girls in the series are narcissistic, entitled and aimless: a caricature of what it is to be a millennial. The flawed characters and unapologetic brand of comedy led the show to critical acclaim for its refreshing honesty.
While the series, much like its characters, intermittently lost its way, the fifth season brought an assured maturity and a return to form. The highlight was “Panic in Central Park” which enfolds over an evening that Marnie (Allison Williams) spends with old flame Charlie (Christopher Abbott) after a chance encounter. The episode has the feel of a stand alone short film and has a distinctly different tone of sincerity without seeming disjointed or separate from the rest of the series.
The subsequent instalment, “Hello Kitty”, maintains the directorial momentum. It juxtaposes a dramatic performance of the murder of Kitty Genovese with Hannah’s realisation that her oldest friend Jessa, played by Jemima Kirke, is seeing her ex boyfriend, Adam (Adam Driver). The episode concludes with Hannah left as an onlooker in Adam and Jessa’s relationship, a clever ironic touch given the Kitty Genovese murder was notorious for the phenomenon known as the “bystander effect”.
The season ended with the girls no further forward in their respective careers or love lives but each had an air of assured determination and newly discovered confidence. Girls has matured into its prime ahead of next year’s final season and the girls who gave the series its name, are beginning to become women.