by Jeremy Grossman
“Girls” is lucky that it was picked up for a second season, because otherwise “She Did” would have served as as a terribly unmemorable, bland series finale that represented all of the show’s worst qualities. Just as last week’s episode seemed to prove that the show had finally found its voice, “Girls” is now back to messing about like a middle schooler at a college party, with story lines that ranged from the preposterous to just downright boring.
In retrospect, it would seem like “Girls” is moving in a bold direction, with each character being given exciting, new paths to explore. Jessa is married. Shoshanna lost her virginity. Marnie hooked up with special guest star Bobby Moynihan (“Saturday Night Live“). But anyone who’s seriously been watching “Girls” all season long should be aware that these developments aren’t the result of pacing or build-up, but rather the show’s obsession with being kooky, lazy and meaningless.
Because “kooky” is really the only way to describe why Jessa — a character who has been slowly growing to respect herself and her life — would suddenly marry a man she only met two weeks ago, and one she despised at that.
And “lazy” can only describe Shoshanna’s entire character, who has been so grossly mistreated that her one and only story arch — her virginity — is haphazardly thrown away in one scene where she gives it away to Ray, for no reason except for the fact that he is also a character on this show, and needs something to do.
Then “meaningless” can describe Marnie’s storyline, who, last week, seemed to be undergoing a massive, fascinating change in character, but instead…just gets drunk and kisses a random man.
And then there’s Hannah, who actually isn’t at the butt of any random plot developments, but rather stuck in the same one she’s been in every week — fighting with Adam about the state of their relationship. At this point, the two are fighting so much that it would be healthiest if they broke up, and spare the audience the burden of watching the exact same scenario week after week.
In what may have been the only meaningful part of the episode, “She Did” ends with Hannah falling asleep on the F train, and waking up in Coney Island, where she sits on the beach eating a piece cake, alone. Because while all her friends are moving forward with their lives, Hannah only has herself and her cake.
Visually, it’s a perfect ending to the season. But at heart, the ending is a glossy overlook at what’s actually happening on the show — characters being jostled around like puppets on a string, abiding by the ridiculous commands of the writers. I’m not even going to bother speculating what sort of changes the show will embrace in Season 2, because I have no idea. But I do know for sure that just like Hannah Horvath herself, Season 1 was an example of writers having no idea what they were doing — even when they were doing everything right.
Jeremy Grossman is entertainment editor. Email him at email@example.com.