The Best and Worst Moments from Every Season of 'GIRLS'
A reflection of the hit show's six season run.
A reflection of the hit show's six season run.
Text: Truman Ports
When writer, creator, and lead actress Lena Dunham's GIRLS premiered in April 2012 on HBO, it was all anybody could talk about. People loved it for the depiction of millennial girls, and people hated it for that very reason as well (not to mention the show's continuous lack of diversity in its Brooklyn setting). The characters are selfish, obnoxious, and quite frequently, horrible friends to one another. But for five years, Hannah (Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke), and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) managed to keep viewership and run for six seasons. Now, with the show coming to an end on Sunday, we reflect on the worst and best moments from every season of GIRLS.
Worst: Hannah's reaction to being financially cut off from her parents ("Pilot")
Yes, the very first scene in the very first episode. Hannah is at dinner with her parents when they tell her their decision to stop paying her rent and other finances, meaning Hannah (two years out of college) will finally have to get a paying job and support herself. Her reaction is dramatic and uncalled for, and the introduction to Hannah that made us all cringe and wonder how we could keep watching someone so awful. But we did. For six seasons.
Best: Shoshanna accidentally smokes crack ("Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident")
If you had any doubt about whether glass cigarettes exist or not, this episode—perhaps one of the funniest episodes of the entire series—cleared things up. To keep it short: glass cigarettes do not exist. Shosh learns this lesson the hard way when the group heads out to a Brooklyn warehouse party, and we made the mental note to never smoke something from a glass stem. Thanks Girls!
Worst: Hannah's relationship with Sandy ("It's About Time"—"I Get Ideas")
Lena Dunham came under fire when critics called attention to how white the first season of Girls was. Her solution? Hire Donald Glover to play Hannah's black Republican boyfriend for two episodes whose entire arc was to be...well, black, Republican, and Hannah's boyfriend. Still cringing. (P.S. the show's diversity never got better either.)
Best: Ray and Adam bond ("Boys")
This is one of the first moments in the show where Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Adam (Adam Driver) get screen time away from any of the four main girls. Not only was it enjoyable to see the two guys have their own story line—relationships between men are so rarely explored on TV outside of the usual "bromance"—but it was fun to see these guys out of Brooklyn and go to Staten Island (returning a dog Adam had stolen nonetheless). If you weren't a Ray or Adam fan before this, they probably grew on you by the end of the episode.
Worst: Hannah lying to Adam about having a dead cousin ("Dead Inside")
We have all been frustrated with Hannah at some point. But one of the worst Hannah moments has to be her selfish reaction to the death of her editor David (played by John Cameron Mitchell), and her constant wallowing about what was going to happen to her eBook. Adam, like any sane person, is disturbed by Hannah's lack of human emotion, so Hannah lies to him about a cousin she had with a debilitating disease who she took to prom and then died shortly after. Adam sympathizes with Hannah, the episode ends, and he never finds out about the lie. Yep. Hannah is the worst.
Best: Shoshanna keeping it real on a group vacation ("Beach House")
One of the best moments of season three (or maybe the entire show) is when the girls have a beach house getaway. Things don't go as planned, and Shoshanna (rightfully) calls Hannah out for being a narcissist, Marnie for being an uptight perfectionist, and Jessa for her recent rehab stint. Shosh tells them she wonders if her social anxiety is holding her back from making new friends who are right for her, since she's currently stuck hanging around all of them who are whiny nothings. It was malicious, and we lived for it.
Worst: Jessa wants to be a therapist ("Home Birth")
It's as tacked on as it sounds. Dunham and the other writers clearly intended for Jessa to show some growth and maturity by having her want to become a therapist, however, it's hardly mentioned for the rest of the series and a little confusing how assisting in the delivery of Caroline's baby made her realize this. Doula, maybe. Therapist? Not so much.
Best: The introduction of Mimi-Rose ("Cubbies")
Mimi-Rose (Gillian Jacobs) was brought on the show as Adam's new girlfriend while Hannah went off to grad school in Iowa. Mimi-Rose was the antithesis of Hannah; she was a successful artist who was threateningly perfect in how she carried herself and presented to others. And let's be real, it was nice to see someone make Hannah squirm. We were sad to see Mimi-Rose leave the show, but we'll never forget when faced with the decision to stay with Adam or get back with her ex boyfriend, she chose herself (like a true bad ass).
Worst: Marnie and Desi's wedding ("Wedding Day")
Marnie and Desi were doomed from the start—we all knew it. Whether you like Marnie or not, watching her get ready for a wedding and marriage you knew wasn't going to last was sort of sad and painful. At least her dress was stunning, and we got to see all four girls interact with one another (a rarity on the show as it grew on).
Best: Jessa and Adam getting together ("Old Loves")
Unpopular opinion: Hannah and Adam were horrible together. They brought out the worst in each other, their relationship always bordered on abusive, and their need for one another was definitely unhealthy. Jessa always felt like more of Adam's speed, and actually seems to ground him. Jessa encourages Adam to try new things and challenges him to think differently, and vice versa. Certainly the superior relationship.
Worst: Marnie's strictly sexual relationship with Ray ("All I Ever Wanted"—"Painful Eviction")
The two of them first slept together in season three, so at this point, Ray's weird infatuation with Marnie, who isn't even that pleasant to begin with, simply feels played out. It would have been nice to see Marnie have plot lines this season that didn't have to do with Desi or Ray, and actually see her demonstrate some growth. Apparently Dunham had something else in mind. Like keeping Marnie completely unlikable to the bitter end.
Best: Shoshanna keeping it real, again ("Goodbye Tour")
In the penultimate episode of the entire series, tensions are high. Hannah and Jessa are still fighting, Hannah is mad at Shosh for Shosh's failure to tell her she was engaged, Shosh is mad at Hannah for Hannah's failure to tell her she was pregnant, and Marnie is still thinking only about herself. At Shosh's engagement party, she lays it all out by telling them that they were never friends and how none of them can stand in the same room together without one of them making it all about themselves. Shosh points out her real friends are at her party, and they have nice personalities, jobs, and even purses, the type of friendships and the life Shosh always wanted. It was touching to see everyone see the value in what Shosh had to say, and will certainly make for an interesting finale.