Girls Grow Up, Girls Grow Apart – Girls: Season 5 (DVD Review)

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It’s now in its penultimate season for characters Hannah, Jessa, Shoshanna and Marnie as the girls have been through enough trials and modern day tribulations, relationship and girlship woes to rival the very best of its kind, Sex and the City. And with the characters being fully fleshed out by writer and creator Lena Dunham, it’s an impending farewell that, despite blatant character flaws, will be tough to swallow.

Season five starts with the conceited but alarmingly pretty Marnie ready to walk down the aisle with exceptional procrastinator Desi; Shoshanna’s new life in Japan is abruptly shortened, leaving the daydreamer in a state of unknown; Jessa and show favourite Adam strike an unlikely relationship; Hannah’s new beau Fran become gradually closer as she starts to realise what she actually wishes to do with her life.

Girls‘ problems and positives both lay within the writing. Whilst Dunham’s perfectly realised characters don naturalistic characteristics of modern day females (deny it as much as you want, her writing is spot on), relationships and life’s general turbulent nature, an egocentric central character is about as off-putting as how infamously unlikable the character was in the show to which Girls easily parallels. There’s an apparent line here, and throughout the previous seasons, where liking a character and understanding one is blurred; Hannah is quite often extremely unlikeable, and season five’s arc really doesn’t break that tradition. A seemingly idealistic relationship with a gentleman that you’d easily take home to your mother breaks Hannah and instead leaves her pining for the abrupt Adam — though there’s a noticeable absence in season five as actor Adam Driver was off playing with lightsabers. She’s particularly moany and generally discomforting but oddly plays in her favour.

Shoshanna and Marnie are the particular highlights of the season as their characters tend to beam profusely compared to the incorrigible hipster chick Jessa and her peculiar ways and the central ingenue herself. Shosh’s gleaming new lifestyle adds a distinctive alter setting to the bustling streets of New York City and adds a colour and vibrancy to the interspersed segments to which its featured and the character herself. It may be short-lived, but Dunham’s accountability of a setting change adheres to the possibility that her writing was growing stale.

And as for Marnie, a tendency to also grate on the viewership was increasing throughout previous seasons, but after countless ridiculous decisions she’s given a pass thanks to the latter half of the season where she becomes her own person again. Episode six, in particular, sees Marnie wandering the streets after another pointless argument with the incessantly annoying and putrid character of Desi (her now husband) and she crosses paths with a familiar face. This is one of the seasons and the show as a whole’s best episodes as it glimmers with poignancy, familiarity of what the show was when it first started and supplies enough of a shock revelation to knock the character into some sort of aware state.

Jessa is Jessa. She’s now infatuated with Adam, a recipe for a relationship so fucked up that it appears like a last attempt at Dunham clinging onto her on-screen ex and now huge Hollywood movie star’s inclusion in the show which i can guarantee Driver will find beneath him.

It is, however, the penultimate season. It rounds off well and as much as Dunham’s writing  wavers in quality it’ll be a loss to bid farewell to the characters. HBO’s consistent array of television shows sure keeps us on our toes, and we can thank Dunham for the most for being as grounded as she possibly can be.

Dir: Lena Dunham, Jesse Peretz, Richard Shephard, Jamie Babbit, Alex Karpovsky, Jennifer Konner

Scr: Lena Dunham

Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells

Music: Michael Penn

DOP: Tim Ives

Country: USA

Girls season five is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, and season six, the final season, starts February on Sky Atlantic.

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