Tomorrow marks Easter Sunday, a major holiday for a lot of people. It also marks the series finale of the oft-discussed HBO series, “Girls”. After 5 years and 6 seasons, the brainchild of millennial superstar Lena Dunham is ending. If you watch the show, like I do, you are probably feeling down that “Girls” is ending.
I have watched the show since the beginning. I have to be honest and say that I have had a love/hate relationship with it. There were times when I thought “Girls” was a parody of millennial women. But then I realized I knew people who reminded me of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshana, and that made me realize that the show was more realistic than I wanted to believe. That was when I despised the show because the characters were largely unlikable for numerous reasons. Hannah was self-absorbed. Marnie was a narcissist. Jessa was a trainwreck. And Shoshana was just plain annoying. I always hoped that either girl would wise up and grow up, but that never seemed to happen. Yet I could hardly tear my eyes away from each episode.
But this season seemed to showcase what the point of each character was, especially the ninth episode which aired this past Sunday. It was the part where Hannah and Jessa were making peace seemed to sum up this entire series. Hannah told her former-best friend that she was simply doing her best. Jessa responded by saying that her best was awful.
Those two lines seemed to click something in me, and perhaps other viewers. What Lena Dunham did with her female characters was make them as complex as possible. Many people have complained about the characters as unlikable whom could not be related to, yet there were many who saw themselves or people they knew in these four young women. So Lena Dunham was doing something right. And what she did right was create complex, human beings for her show. Neither of the four characters were perfect. In fact, they were far from perfect – totally far!
But then again, aren’t we all?
Aren’t we all just trying our best in a complex world that hands us situations where we have to choose to right moves, that often aren’t for the best or may be the worst? We make mistakes, even though society largely scolds us all for making them. We handle life by the best way we handle them, as far as our self-awareness, intelligence and strategy skills allow us to. And we do what we can. Hence why we are all complex, even us women.
That’s my takeaway from “Girls”: it was a show about complex women who were neither good nor bad. They had their pluses and minuses. They had their smarts and their dense moments. They were simply human. Human beings trying to make it in New York and having their romantic relationships along the way.
I say Lena Dunham did a great job portraying complex young women for her series. I hope to do the same thing for my stories where I aim to write about complex characters who are also neither good or bad. No one really is, except psychopaths who are 100% evil. But anyway, complexity is fun and is easier to relate to. I give Lena Dunham credit for taking that risk, especially with young female characters. Too often, female characters lack complexity. I feel as if Lena broke that mold.
So, this Sunday, I will watch the grand finale of “Girls” and get all sentimental that it will be over. But I will also feel glad that I watched the show, and took part in a major cultural event.