Final 'Girls' Premiere Shows Us We All Have To Grow Up
Sweet legitimacy: Hannah Horvath is published in print and everyone is excited for her.
OK, sort of.
The premier episode of the final season of Lena Dunham's voice-of-a-generation series “Girls” aired on February 12. With a mere 10 episodes until the end of the series, it should be interesting to see whether any of the girls have actually grown up over the course of six seasons.
Hannah's "Modern Love" piece in the New York Times nabs her a freelance job with fictional publication Slag Mag.
Chelsea Peretti guest stars as a Slag Mag editor who enlists Hannah to spend a weekend elbow-deep in Hamptons sand at a surf camp for bored housewives. There, Hannah is expected to cover the resort from an outsider's perspective.
Despite her recent career milestone, this is still the Hannah who ended her relationship with Fran by texting him from a park toilet and running off into the woods in her pajamas.
She shows up to the resort, tosses open a suitcase — the contents of which are drenched in sunscreen from an open, smushed bottle — and, with a quiet “Fffuck,” begins her assignment as the Hannah we know and love and often worry about as though she were a real person making real ill-conceived decisions.
Watching her slide globs of sunscreen off her folded laundry and onto her body reminds viewers we can judge Hannah all we want, but she has a skill for forcing us to recall our most private, vaguely shameful moments.
These moments are the kind that seem mundane at the time, but bond us to this show the way I feel forever bonded to the only other kid in high school who saw me plow through the parking lot fence one morning senior year.
Hannah spends more of her trip free-vagin' it in another woman's wetsuit, drinking partially-frozen alcohol and boning wherever-life-takes-me surf instructor Paul-Louis (Riz Ahmed, America's wet dream for 2017) than learning sea sports, but no one is looking for a full metamorphosis here.
Hannah is clearly as exceptionally smart as Paul-Louis is simple, but his challenging upbringing and worldliness pair with Hannah's famously sheltered past to put them, at least momentarily, on par with one another.
It's all romantic and dreamy enough to almost convince Hannah to pick up an move to Montauk — until Paul-Louis casually mentions his long-distance, hula instructor girlfriend.
He's in an open relationship, which is the kind of detail that makes Paul-Louis seem like such a cliché I suddenly can't find my pupils way back there in my skull. It also makes him seem like someone whose looser grip on the people and things around him could teach us all to depend less on external factors for validation.
Paul-Louis has a tribal back tattoo, insists on rapping poorly at parties and, when it comes to pubes, has "seen a lot of bushes around the world," so I can't say for sure how figured-out he has life until my eye-roll migraine passes.
Meanfreakingwhile, we catch a glimpse of Marnie and Ray having basically the opposite of whatever sex Jessa and Adam are probably having at that very moment.
It's hunch-y! It's blind! The kisses are dry and reluctant!
These two throw “baby” around more than Justin Bieber's entire catalogue — to a super cringe-y effect. Still, Marnie appears to be taking a measured, distanced approach to her first post-separation (read: mid-divorce) relationship, per the instructions of her online therapist.
Ray's true chemistry still lies with Shoshanna, but their shared interests don't serve to bring them any closer romantically. If anything, their compatibility exists merely to show Marnie just how little she understands Ray's world.
Ultimately, Marnie's best intentions for a fresh start are shot to complete and total shit the minute Desi wanders back into their apartment with his football helmet hair/beard combo and his abrupt emotional outbursts.
Jessa and Adam are deeply enmeshed in the exact sort of early-man cohabitation we expect to see from the two of them: Just wandering around his apartment naked, slapping spoons of drippy-ass yogurt in their mouths, living raw and unchecked until Ray returns.
Hannah, to her credit, eventually leans in to the idea of an expectation-free fling with Paul-Louis, optimistically asking the rhetorical, "Why get mad at fun, right?"
She's able to reign in her disappointment and see the experience for the fleeting, enjoyable escape that it is.
The final scene introduces viewers to a calmer, more carefree Hannah than we're used to seeing.
And then, suddenly...
Hannah: The other thing about me is, like, I give zero fucks about anything, yet I have a strong opinion about everything, even topics I'm not informed on.
Hannah: I read Shailene Woodley likes to go to a private area, open her vagina, let the sun in and that's how she gets her glow. So when she goes to, like, 'Insurgent' premier, that's not makeup, that's sun in her pussy.
Marnie: Why don't you just take an acting class? Elijah: SHUT UP, MARNIE! What do I look like, Ryan Dylan Davidson? Marnie: I don't know who that is. Elijah: Yes you do. We went to Oberlin with him. He was that annoying boy who was always gaining and losing weight for a role and the role was always chorus. That's who takes class, Marnie. Your dumb friend. That's who takes FUCKIN' CLASS!
Hannah: Probably just gonna go back to my room and write and then just cry. Not in like a sad way, just, like, in a Sundays-in-high-school kinda way.
Paul-Louis: Hate takes energy. Love gives vibes. Hannah: Yeah love DOES give vibes.
Desi: I KNOW THE MONEY IS IN THE MERCH! AND TANDICE IS NOT MY FUCKING GIRLFRIEND; SHE'S MY THERAPEUTIC COMPANION, MARNIE, AND YOU KNOW THIS!