Season 5 of Girls opens will Marnie’s (Allison Williams) extremely ill-advised wedding to Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Despite the fact that all Marnie’s friends are very aware that she is making a terrible mistake no one has the actual guts or love for her to actually tell her, which pretty much sums up everyone in Girls.
Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) new career as a teacher opens her up to ever more avenues of inappropriate behaviour, all of which horrifies her “nice” new boyfriend/colleague, Fran (Jake Lacy).
Meanwhile Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) has started and fallen in love with her new life in Japan, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Adam (Adam Driver) find it hard to stay away from each other and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) finds the gentrification of his neighbourhood challenging.
I have to admit that I found the whole of Hannah and Fran’s relationship puzzling. I didn’t understand why the two of them were in any way attracted to each other or why they kept dating for so long. It was such a mismatch. I think it was trying to tie into the “nice guy” narrative and how there’s an expectation that men who provide the bare minimum of human decency should be applauded. It’s an important narrative but it just didn’t land.
I was much more interested in seeing how Adam and Jessa’s relationship evolved with Hannah hanging over them like an eternal spectre that they just couldn’t face.
Marnie’s actual wedding is hilarious. The incident with her make-up and hair and her attempts to curate everything while also trying to appear relaxed are both funny and cringe worthy. Her devolution as her life has slipped ever further from what she imagined. Her encounter with someone from her past shows just how confused everything has become for her.
I enjoyed seeing Marnie’s Japanese adventures and her life outside her friendship group. I also liked watching Elijah (Andrew Rannells) fall in love and have some real feelings for a change.
All of that said there seems to be a ratchet up on the shock factor that I am not sure is needed. From Hannah’s odd lesbian encounter at the retreat she goes to with her mother to what happens when poor, kind Ray saves her from being left on the side of the road, it finally feels like a bit too much. Probably my least favourite season.