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Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Health | By Kristina Bennett

'Girls' finale: Lena Dunham ends HBO series in -- surprise -- Upstate New York

'Girls' finale: Lena Dunham ends HBO series in -- surprise -- Upstate New York

Girls has come to an end after six seasons of witty dialogue, flawed but dynamic characters, and hard life lessons. Loreen's conversation with Marnie, who'd just gotten caught rubbing one out, is one of the best scenes of the season.

And there's a reason for that - it's because of that real-ness critics raved about in season 1.

The hazy and intense early days of motherhood are indeed an occasion for the horror movie/love story slippage that suits Girls, but Grover's difficulties breastfeeding are used largely as an opportunity for Hannah and Marnie to demonstrate how deeply they remain Hannah and Marnie, purebred narcissists of distinct types, working on a risky co-dependency.

In the teaser for Sunday night's episode titled "Latching", Dunham's character Hannah is preparing to embark on a new chapter in her life. "Or at least a voice of a generation". The episode, set five months after Hannah has given birth and moved to upstate NY, is much like past "Girls" bottle episodes. Despite the fact that they half-hate each other most of the time, Hannah takes her up on this. In many cases, there is literally no way to do it right, which is why even the most self-assured woman can fall victim to fears that she's somehow failing at being a mother. Not a whole lot happened - we jump forward five months so we don't actually see Hannah go into labor, avoiding what would likely have been a very amusing but inevitably clichéd birth scene. None of this is fun for Hannah, and she doesn't appreciate being forced into the indie rom-com Marnie is picturing in her head. Even though Hannah appreciated her offer, she didn't want Marnie to do so. The show grew increasingly self-critical in its portrayals, culminating in an amusing set piece in the final episode in which Dunham has a run-in with a troubled, whining teenager - one who may well be a stand-in for her younger self. With the tone of any good mother, she scolds the runaway teen and demands she give her back the trousers. Totally ridiculous and dramatic and exactly what Hannah was doing at that moment.

Hannah gets home and picks up Grover, who's crying. How will she handle being a truly single mom when Marnie and her mom leave? It's unbearable and Hannah tells her so. They're the "me" I try to cover up, usually with other over-compensating character flaws.

Marnie says that of all Hannah's friends, she's the one who's there. Those members of the cast, alongside Jemima Kirke, were notably absent from the finale episode, which focused on Allison's Marnie and Lena's Hannah trying to raise Hannah's baby together in upstate NY.

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Of course, Hannah didn't appreciate her mom's presence and the two ended up arguing, with Hannah refusing to recognize her own flaws and blaming her mom's failed relationship with her gay father (Peter Scolari) for all of her problems before storming out into the suburban street. "So, she's really grown up". Then one night, as the two are sitting in front of a TV playing Full House and eating microwaveable dinners, she floats the idea that she might go to a wine bar the next night, alone. And that's part of the projection we have for Hannah. She speaks to a truth that toxic relationships, even toxic relationships with people we love, can end badly for both parties. "Jenni was like, 'This is Hannah now.' And we painted little stretchmarks on my sides - we really wanted the body to tell the story of what she's been through". Yes, she was annoying.

"We always said Marnie and Hannah were the true love story of the show", Konner said.

Why He's Terrible: Don't think the awfulness was limited to the girls.

Hannah has been particularly selfish throughout the run of "Girls," but everyone whose life has been changed by parenthood can relate to the difficulty of transitioning to the extreme sacrifice and selflessness it requires.

Redemption: Over the years, Adam learned how to better treat the women he dated, and found a career path that allowed him a creative outlet. I can also attest that the job Hannah got teaching students how to write for the Internet does exist, and while the pay isn't often great, the cost of living upstate is quite lower than it is in NYC. The show was many different things to many different people; for some, an excuse to hate-tweet on Sunday nights. As much as they comforted each other, they could also be toxic for each other as well. And getting callbacks helped him remember that he was a good performer after all - but would never succeed if he didn't work at it.

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