Thursday, February 9, 2017
Girls Season 6
The rest of television has caught up so fast with Girls that it's hard to remember how refreshingly truthful and new the show felt when it premiered, to great success and much backlash, in 2012. Lena Dunham's observant series, the first to be both by and about young women navigating that awkward stage between the end of college and the beginning of adulthood, paved the way for other auteur-driven TV programs—like Donald Glover's Atlanta, Issa Rae's Insecure, and Rachel Bloom's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend—that provide a deep-dive view of a small cohort of people and the subculture they inhabit.
Anatomizing the grandiose dreams, whiny narcissism, and obsessed-over relationships of a small group of Brooklyn friends, frenemies, and lovers in their 20s, Dunham and company have created a lovingly detailed, slyly comic portrait of American adolescence in its current, absurdly prolonged form. And judging by the first few episodes of the show's sixth and final season, Girls is poised to build on last year's stellar collection of episodes, shifting from social satire to pathos, from tender romance to sexual assault, and from blindered self-sabotage to dawning self-awareness with incisive assurance as the main characters slouch toward adult life.
Girls's resolutely unglamorous, psychologically astute approach to nudity and sex has paid off more every season as audiences have gotten to know the characters better. Fans of the series know Hannah's (Dunham) pale, seemingly boneless, pear-shaped frame almost as well as they do their own bodies, and they're used to her half-spilling out of her clothes when she hasn't shed them altogether. So the casual baring of her ordinary, “imperfect” female body, which registered as a shock in the show's early years, seems as unremarkable now as Dunham probably hoped it eventually would.
Read the rest in Slant Magazine