by Jeremy Grossman
How are you supposed to break up with your friend?
It’s one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do, if you’re unlucky enough to have to do it. When you break up with your boyfriend or your girlfriend, it might sting, and you might regret it directly afterward, but at least you can assure yourself that you and your partner just weren’t compatible. You can even say, “I want to just be friends.”
But when you’re actually breaking up with your friend, it doesn’t work like that. Because a friend is supposed to be someone whose flaws you always manage to forgive, no matter how annoying or pesky. And once you come to a point where you just can’t forgive those flaws anymore, there’s no easy way out of the mess you’ve already built for yourself.
Such is the case for Marnie, whose disgust with Hannah has been building up for quite some time now. Marnie pays for all of Hannah’s bills, and completely supports her, and listens to all her whiny complaints. All this, even after Hannah (indirectly) destroyed Marnie’s relationship with Charlie, and now gave the obnoxious Adam a key to their apartment without checking with Marnie first. Basically, Marnie has finally realized that there are no positives to being Hannah’s friend–only negatives.
“Girls” has never given us a compelling reason to believe that Hannah and Marnie are such good friends in the first place. Maybe a few episodes ago I would’ve chalked that up to lazy writing, but now I see that it’s deeper than that. Marnie and Hannah are friends, because, well…who else is there? New York City is a scary, dark place, that much we know for sure, and if Marnie and Hannah don’t have each other, who else do they have?
And now that Marnie “broke up” with Hannah, and wants to completely erase her from her life, Marnie is going to have to answer the tough questions for herself. Can she survive New York without Hannah, the only “friend” she actually has? Or might it just be easier for Marnie to keep Hannah in her life– just for the sake of having someone there?
It’s been a while, but now I think “Girls” is a show that finally means something. It’s more than just entertainment, or good for a quick laugh. “Girls” finally paved the way for an honest, mature look at modern day friendships, and actually had the audacity to explore the complete ugliness of it all.
If I had one complaint, it would be that the entire episode should’ve revolved around Marnie. She’s finally turning into a fleshed-out, relatable character, and it would’ve been beneficial to spend a full 30 minutes in her head. Hannah’s storyline was fine (and so was Jessa’s), but not nearly as compelling or memorable as anything that was happening with Marnie.
And I do feel like I’ll be saying this every week, but hey, come on, writers. You had the perfect opportunity to give Shoshanna a hilarious online dating storyline, and you completely ignore it? Seriously? Really? Come on.
Jeremy Grossman is entertainment editor. Email him at email@example.com.