When the season 2 finale of Girls ended I was confused with my emotions. All of the girls (minus Jessa) had ostensibly happy endings. Hannah gets rescued by a shirtless, door breaking-down Adam, Marnie gets to have brown babies and watch Charlie die, and Shoshanna gets to fuck her way through New York City, making Doorman one of the more desirable jobs in town. Based on the season 1 finale of Girls (and basically every other episode of the show) a happy ending should not have been expected.
At this point last year we were watching Charlie play it off as a joke when he wanted to go fuck Marnie in the bathroom at the wedding – leading her to later make out with Bobby Moynihan’s character, who I was disappointed to not have him be her failed ‘relationship’ this year instead of Booth Jonathan – Shoshanna was losing her virginity to a 33 (or possibly 32 at the time) year old guy who was a manager at Café Grumpy – not necessarily an ideal way for someone, especially someone obsessed with the show Sex and the City, to lose their virginity – and Hannah was sitting on the beach eating a piece of cake after her boyfriend was hit by a car who rightfully was mad at her after he changed his closed off ways in order to be more available to her in the relationship, only to have her distance herself by finding someone to live with her instead of him. The only Girl who had a happy ending was the newly married Jessa, but we saw how that ended up this season, which is further evidence for proof of the subsequent statement. Season 2 of Girls did not have any happy endings…except for Shoshanna’s.
The Jessa having a happy ending only to find out next season the marriage is crap argument isn’t a great one to prove these endings weren’t really happy. The better argument is that these endings were simple, for the most part, and at most times Girls has not been a simple show.
While listening to the Firewall and Iceberg podcast, Dan Fienberg made the argument that Lena Dunham purposely gave the characters pseudo happy endings, and that no one involved with the show thinks these are actually happy endings and their intentions aren’t for people to think they were actually happy endings. He argued that they were things we wanted to see (Adam coming to Hannah’s rescue, Marnie professing her love for a guy who for years gave her leaps and bounds more love than she gave him) but upon further inspection we’re to think, “Wait, is this really what’s best for the characters?”
For Hannah no.
Hannah and Adam
Adam coming to her rescue is not what’s best for her. And it’s not because Adam is bad for her. It’s because she’s just going to use him until she feels better, so she doesn’t have to solve her problems by herself. I was so happy when her dad refused to help her, and then when Laird basically said she was a horrible person and she uses people. I thought it was interesting that Hannah called her dad for help, went to Laird to cut her hair, called Jessa for help, and eventually called Adam, but the only person who went to help her of their own accord was Marnie – although certainly most of it had to do with Marnie wanting to flaunt her relationship with newly successful Charlie in Hannah’s face, but the mom that Marnie is would have seen Hannah in her situation and tried to help, or at least forced her to take her pills – but Hannah hid from her, because Marnie was looking to help her, she’s always (or most of the time) wanted to help Hannah, but Hannah can’t allow that because then she wouldn’t be using Marnie.
Adam’s not going to be able to help Hannah finish her book, or prevent being sued, or possibly even make her take her pills. Adam might even make her OCD subside to the point where she doesn’t think she needs to take her pills, but once he’s gone and she alienates everyone else out of her life again it’s just going to reappear.
As for Adam, he’s not happy with Natalie, and I don’t know if he ever will be, and it’s not just because they’re not compatible sexually. And as for the possible raping situation, everyone is coming at Adam for being this horrible guy, and whether you believe it really was rape or not, I haven’t heard anyone talk about Natalie’s role in it. I know why her character responded to it the way she did, because it’s better for the show that way, and I think it’s also realistic. But if we’re going to take Adam’s character’s actions and talk about it as a real life situation let’s talk about Natalie’s character’s actions too. I don’t think what Adam did was rape, but I don’t think what he did was okay for him to do either. I think how Natalie went along with it was normal, but she should have spoken up louder that she didn’t like it. If she would have yelled at him and physically pushed him off that would have been okay too. I’m not coming at this from a point of she didn’t do enough to stop Adam from doing what he did, but rather I’m coming at this from the admittedly uncomfortable standpoint of people in that situation should do more to be forceful in stopping what ended up happening. I understand why her character allowed it, and why a girl in her place in real life would allow it, and allowing it doesn’t make what Adam did less worse or more worse, I’m just saying that we should make it aware that if someone is in that situation it’s okay for them to be more adamant about not wanting to have sex.
And why is Natalie still with Adam? Like every other character in this Girls world Natalie has made a bad decision. Adam wanted out. I’m of the belief that he consciously wanted to show Natalie the real him when he made her get on all fours. Whether it was because he saw Hannah and the love he has for her came sweeping back up, or it was just self esteem issues and he didn’t think he could be himself around Natalie, he wanted to get out of that relationship because he was uncomfortable, but instead of just saying his feelings he acted out on them, and for whatever reason, possibly low self esteem issues her self, Natalie couldn’t hear him and we find them having mismatched sex once again.
I believe Adam loves Hannah because he was able to be his self around her and she still wanted to be with him. I think Hannah just wants to use Adam. If she doesn’t run into him on the way home from the doctor and find out he’s dating someone else she doesn’t call him that night and thousands of girls don’t get the “happy ending” they cried over for season two.
Marnie and Charlie
Charlie and Marnie’s relationship in the first four episodes of Season 1 was the emotional connection I needed that allowed me to eventually fall in love with the show as a whole, so I couldn’t help but feel happy seeing them together, all the while wondering if Marnie really did appreciate Charlie for Charlie, or appreciated Charlie for wealthy surrounded by hot assistants Charlie?
I wonder if this really could be a happy ending though? Marnie definitely doesn’t deserve Charlie, and there’s good reason to believe she only wants him because other girls want him and guys don’t seem to want her, but when they broke up she wanted him to be different, and now he is different. The only question is, is he really different, or is it just his wallet and sex appeal that are different?
Maybe he is really different? Maybe the money and the attention the money and shirts with rips in the collar are giving him really have upped his confidence and given him a more dominant personality? Somehow I don’t think so. Maybe sexually – I wish during that seen where he was eating out Marnie and he wouldn’t tell her how many girls he’s been with in big bold letters the number 47 popped up on the screen and then Charlie winked at the camera.
Also Charlie came to all this success in spite of Marnie. Whether it was done to win her back or just to prove her wrong and make something of himself now that he has her how will that affect his drive? Will he go back to smothering her with love? I think she’ll be okay with that…as long as his pockets stay deep and she thinks she has what other girls want. If he goes back to coffee table art and songs about shoes with bongo playing Ray I could see her going out in search of the city’s next Booth Jonathan.
I’m really interested in seeing what happens with this relationship. Because it’s most likely Marnie will ruin things, but it’s possible Charlie could keep going on a successful course and maybe he’ll grow out of her smothering love in an odd twist of roles in their relationship. I wouldn’t be surprised if the show did this.
Ray and Shoshanna
Of all the Girls Shoshanna has the most realistically happy ending. The only problem is this season Ray has been more of a prominent character in the show than Shoshanna, so it’s his story we should be paying more attention to, and his definitely wasn’t happy. I know the show is called Girls, so ostensibly it’s about Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna, but really – and you can’t argue this with me, it’s fact – this season the show has really been about Hannah, Marnie, Hannah again, Ray and Frank.
I can’t blame Shoshanna for breaking up with Ray. I know we all loved Ray and Shoshanna as a quirky couple, and I’m still going to go ahead with my kickstarter to fund a sitcom of Ray, Shoshanna and Marnie living together, with Shoshanna trying to hide her lovers from Ray in a Three’s Company-esque manner, while Marnie works on her Rap covers song career.
The relationship was doomed from the start. Shoshanna grew up on Sex and the City, so there was no way she was going to just fall in love and be with one guy her whole life, let alone a guy like Ray. She never wanted that anyway. In season one she was willing to lose her virginity to that guy she went to camp with or whatever. It was him who didn’t want to go through with it. Hell, we should have known that Shoshanna wasn’t going to settle with Ray when she allowed herself to sleep with Ray. She didn’t fall for him. They had one cute night when she was tripping balls, which led her to kick him in the balls – that’s why I get pay the big bucks to write this…wait, no I don’t – but ultimately she just wanted to get rid of her virginity. But as tends to happen her and Ray ended up falling for each other. I think Ray was genuinely fascinated with her – also she’s super attractive and he knows he can’t do better than that – but Shoshanna just had a connection to him because he was the guy she lost her virginity to, and he cared about her. But he was never the kind of guy she wanted to be with. The kind of guy she wants to be with is an attractive doorman. But just for a night. Then Charlie the next night. Then a tall blond guy in a bar the next night, and so on and so forth, which I don’t think is bad for her considering her age and that she has not so much life experience. Which is why her ending was the happiest of all. Hopefully her exploring her sexually will help her learn things about herself.
The one thing I was pissed about was her not telling Ray the truth and that she did more than hold hands with the doorman – if my girlfriend told me she held hands with a doorman I would do more than laugh at her adorableness, in fact I’d probably be more confused and curious than if she said she slept with the doorman. I understand a defense of her not telling him the truth. What good does it do him? He’s happier not knowing. It’s just going to make him feel bad. That could make him pull a Charlie, the equivalent of which I assume is Ray becoming the CEO of Café Grumpy which takes over Starbuck’s place as the biggest coffee chain in the nation. Also, as we know the world of Girls is very small. There is not a single way that Ray doesn’t find out that Shoshanna is having a very fun time with very many very attractive men. This is a world where Hannah barely leaves her apartment but happens to run into Adam while he’s on a date, and Ray gets invited to Jessa’s wedding because…he met her that one time when Hannah drank the opium tea?
I hope Lena Dunham doesn’t pull an Adam season 2 with Ray in season 3, meaning Adam wasn’t in this season very much because him and Hannah weren’t seeing each other for much of the season, and now that Ray and Shoshanna aren’t dating it will be hard for the writers to fit Ray (my favorite character) into many scenes until they want to build on Shoshanna’s story, which isn’t a priority. It could become a priority. I love and hate this show because there really is no character hierarchy. The order of important screen time in season one was Hannah, Marnie, Adam, Jessa, Charlie, Shoshanna then Ray and in season two it was Hannah, Marnie, Hannah Again (I wasn’t joking about that earlier), Ray, Charlie, Adam, Jessa then Shoshanna (I’d be very interested in knowing what other people think the order is). The only thing we know is Hannah is the center of the show. We can assume that of the secondary characters Marnie will probably have the most to do over the season. But other than that we don’t know how many episodes each character besides Hannah will even be in. I would love if next season we have an episode without Hannah. Not because I hate Hannah – well I do hate Hannah but I think she’s a great character – but so Lena Dunham can say, “Oh, you think I’m always making the character based on me the center of everything, well I’m the fucking boss and I can do whatever I want, so here’s a Marnie, Charlie and Shoshanna go to Amsterdam episode that only focuses on that trip, so suck on that cunts.”
Thus concludes this post.