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A roundtable discussion on the Girls finale

HBO’s Girls aired for the last time on April 16. The series finale, titled “Latching” which garnered a wide array of reactions from film and TV critics, featured main character Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) in the early stages of motherhood, assisted by her best friend Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams). In what many have considered to be an epilogue to the true series finale one episode prior, viewers catch a glimpse of the harsh reality of Horvath’s new life in upstate New York. A month after the show’s ending, The McGill Tribune writers, editors, and contributors sat down to reflect upon the final episode and season as a whole.


(Note: This conversation has been edited for duration and clarity, and contains spoilers.)


Audrey Carleton (AC): What did everybody think of the finale? And this season in general? Was it what you expected, was it what you wanted to see?


Selin Altuntur (SA): I liked it. I thought it was just as filled with weird absurd non-sequiturs as the rest of the show, which made sense. And it wasn’t like, ‘Bam, this is a finale! Everything is going nuts!’ It was very subdued and slow, which I thought was appropriate. I guess it’s not expected of a finale for any show, but for this show it probably made a bit more sense.

Sophie Brzozowski (SB): I wasn’t sure if we’d get to see her have the baby, I thought maybe it would be like, she’d deliver, and it would end, and it’s like, ‘This is a new chapter,’ but I’m glad, you know, we had to see her be a new mom, and thus, a kind of bad, incompetent mom.

AC: Yeah, because Season 6 was so unrealistic in the whole, just her maturing, and viewing herself as a mature person was very un-self aware, and then her getting that job too, which I completely agree with that article [Hannah on ‘Girls Could Not Have Gotten That Job…], but it was just very,  ‘Wow, maybe Hannah’s like a grown adult now!’ but then we see in this episode that, no she’s really not.

Daniel Lutes (DL): But isn’t that better though? Wouldn’t it be kind of weird if she just randomly, out of nowhere, just becomes a grown-up? I think the point is that she’s always going to be a little bit of a fuck up. Just because that’s who she is as a character.

Ariana Kaye (AK): I so didn’t expect the move to upstate and her having the baby, because it’s just so not her as a person, like even the way she is as a public figure.

AC: It was unexpected the baby thing, but then, it makes sense for her to think that she’s mature enough to do this, I feel like she just lacks this self-awareness.

SA: It’s true, because I think that so much of watching the show I just get frustrated because of how not self-aware she was–and, all of [the characters] And then there was just, moments of, ‘Oh wait! They may actually kind of understand themselves, but only like, 25 per cent.’ So yeah, that’s a good point.

AK: But also the whole relationship between Hannah and Adam, like the one episode in Season 6, I didn’t really get what happened, it was kind of confusing because it seemed like they were going to get together and then raise the baby and then, he was just like, ‘Ok I gotta go now! Bye.’

Sara Cullen (SC): That’s how I felt about it too and at first I was annoyed, but at the same time I kind of appreciated it in a way too, because I was like, that’s almost, it’s not what’s important, you know? She keeps the focus on the growth of just the four women, as opposed to branching off and seeing what every other dude is like doing after they fuck their shit up.

SB: I like that he just fell off the face of the earth and you didn’t hear from Adam or see him for the last two [episodes….] That’s what happens to your ex boyfriend right? He just falls off the face of the earth.

AC: What do you think of the way that Shoshana ended that whole friend group?

SC: On the one hand I see Shoshana as the most level-headed, but then on the other hand I don’t see her motivations for actually making those decisions being honest, in a way, or genuine […] Shoshana is kind of  going along with what “successful people” do, and then met this cookie cutter husband.

AK: When I saw that scene I was very confused, just because the show is about these four women and, just to suddenly be like, ‘Ok no, like it’s over,’ was kind of shocking.

SA: That’s a thing that the show does a lot. You’ll be expecting something, and then it’ll do something much [more uncomfortable] to watch, but it’ll make sense in the context of like, these are all people that have serious flaws, and haven’t worked out their issues. I feel like that’s part of why some people who write reviews about it maybe don’t like it. It’s hard to wrap your head around the idea that you’re not supposed to like the people that you’re watching, or that you’re supposed to question what they’re doing.

SC: Each character, they each have a very specific vibe, that you recognize as flawed, but then you’re also like, ‘I’m kind of like that sometimes too,’ not to the extent that they are, because they’re all extremes, but it’s weird because you would recognize qualities that you see in yourself or other people that they’re very human, but it’s so exaggerated.

AK: There are some people that are really offended by the lack of representation, are you guys offended?

AC: I mean, I think she depicts her life, I think she was only friends with white people.

Mingye Chen (MC): You know it’s interesting because as [a person] of colour who lives in Canada, I still work with predominantly white people […], so I don’t necessarily think it’s totally misrepresentative.

SB: And if she were to write a character of colour who had the struggles or dealt with the situations that people of colour in the real world do deal with then we would’ve just said, ‘You’re not qualified to write about this.’

MC: Exactly, our backgrounds are so different, so I don’t think she’s necessarily qualified to write characters like that, in that sense. I’ve watched a little bit of the show, and like, I can’t necessarily relate that much to the girls, but I think that if she tried to write someone of colour into her show, I would be like, ‘That’s not [accurate],’ or you know at least that’s just not the surface. She’s not really got a good grasp of like, what people of colour deal with. I almost prefer that she doesn’t, because then she’s not trying to speak for us, or she’s not trying to misrepresent us in that sense.

AC: Are there any other things that people noticed about the episode? Did you like the ending on just focusing on those two characters, or did you want to see more characters in the finale?

DL: I’m glad it was just those two characters, because they could’ve done like, a really really dumb thing in the end where they like, shot like, 15 years in the future, and it’s like, Adam’s now the CEO of a company, and like, Lena’s like, a successful professor, and I don’t know, it’s just like–

SB: That’s a funny thing! Like, what does happen to them all? Like where does Adam end up? I’m glad we didn’t find out, I’d like him to be immortalized as this weird 26 year old guy.

AC: I guess after episode nine happened, it sort of felt like a finale. I guess I fell into the trap of [thinking], ‘Episode 9 was so good, like, they wrapped everybody, wonder what’s gonna happen next, like, they’ll just wrap everybody again, even more, and have it be like, even grander of a finale,’ and then it was the exact opposite, and I was just very frustrated. Like, I was angry when I watched it. It was very unsatisfying.

SB: I feel like she’s unsatisfied with her life and motherhood and that’s the point right? And her life is now boring and she doesn’t get to be crazy and eccentric and in New York City.

AC: Because it was sort of a beautiful moment when they’re playing that Banks song and she’s  driving and moving into her house and everything is beautiful and nice and you’re like, ‘Aw oh my god, that could be so great,’ but like no, her life is really bad.

To listen to the full Girls roundtable discussion, click here.

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