So! Girls has wrapped its first season in a surprisingly grandiose fashion: Jessa invites her friends to a mystery party which turns out to be a surprise wedding to Thomas John; Hannah and Adam are at odds because he said he loves her; Marnie moved out, loosened up, and made out with a schlumpy older guy; and Shoshanna finally lost her virginity!
The other Crushable ladies weren’t fans of the plot twist of Jessa’s wedding, thinking that it was a way too calculated move to end the season with a big wedding that tricks viewers into obsessing over every detail. And yet, I think that Lena Dunham and the other writers have slyly subverted other sitcoms, by throwing their own tried-and-true strategies back at them. You expect most shows to end with dramatic nuptials, so why not play into that?
However, it also fits within the show’s universe: Several episodes ago Kathryn gently put Jessa in her place with that speech about how “you’re trying to avoid becoming the person you’re meant to be.” Rather than Jessa take this advice from a surrogate-mother figure to heart, she rails against it like a child who does exactly what she’s told not to do. She wants the attention and validation, and she got it.
Girls is strongest when it builds emotional resonance around tiny moments. And while the wedding was a polarizing event around which to plan a season finale, it did succeed in breeding more of those tiny revelations. Most were so realistic that we did our usual cringe-and-nod when watching, but a few fell flat.
Shoshanna and Ray
Part of what threw people about the wedding plotline was how nonchalant Hannah and Marnie were about Jessa getting hitched to a guy she’d known for only two weeks. (But yay for bringing back Chris O’Dowd as a skeevy, insecure creep!) The last person I expected to freak out was Shoshanna, but she spends the majority of the party sulking in the corner—partly because she’s mortified she wore white to her cousin’s wedding. As if she knew! I was surprised that she called Jessa “a dumb whore,” but Shosh obviously has her own frustration and jealousy about her three friends.
Girls has been building up to the Ray/Shoshanna hookup for a while, ever since he chased the pantsless Shosh through Bushwick because he was her “crack spirit guide.” And even though Ray has delivered some hilariously nasty zingers to Hannah in their scenes working together at Café Grumpy, his speech to Shoshanna about how “you vibrate on a very strange frequency” was one of the most genuine moments of the finale. And then they had sex! And he was sweet but also forceful, and I could actually see these two staying together for at least some of season 2.
Hannah and Elijah Moving In Together
I dunno, but this development seemed way too obvious of a season 2 set-up: “Now it’s Lena Dunham and Andrew Rannells in the same apartment, those crazy kids! And it’s gonna set Adam off!” I was lucky enough to see Andrew in The Book of Mormon before he left and I think he’s fantastic on Girls, but this seemed less a meta joke about bringing in sassy gay friends on sitcoms and actually just doing that.
Also, what was with Elijah’s boyfriend George getting so upset over Elijah having HPV? Maybe there was a joke in there about how you shouldn’t mention any STD to a gay guy, but you’d think that he would know that it poses no danger to them. Seriously, someone distribute some Planned Parenthood pamphlets to all these characters.