Goodbye, ‘Girls’

The sixth and final season of HBO's 'Girls' premiers Sunday at 10 p.m.

click to enlarge Lena Dunham and Riz Ahmed in "Girls" - Photo: Mark Schafer
Photo: Mark Schafer
Lena Dunham and Riz Ahmed in "Girls"
Girls (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Sunday, HBO) has been described as creator/writer/star Lena Dunham’s love letter to young women, to New York, to the millennial generation. 

But really, the dramedy is more of a diary entry than a valentine. 

It’s self-centered, personal to one specific (type of) person, plagued with over-sharing and superfluous details, simultaneously honest, hilarious and heartbreaking. Put it in the wrong hands and the reader simply wouldn’t understand, which is why some have simply written off Girls as a product of a privileged ingénue whose offscreen antics often overshadowed the show. 

But for many fans, that diary entry is relatable. Maybe we’re not all a Hannah or a Marnie, but we might know a few. Girls doesn’t glorify its entitled, impulsive, immature meanderers so much as it exposes them, flaws and all, and dares them to make it work.

And try they will, one last time in this sixth and final season. We’ll see Dunham’s Hannah pursue her writing perhaps a bit more seriously as she encounters a potential new love interest (Riz Ahmed); Marnie teeters between her ex-husband Desi and Ray; Adam and Jessa test their passionate connection by collaborating on a creative project; and Shoshanna continues to find professional success, but fears her friends are holding her back.

Sure, Girls has been far from perfect. But so are we, as an audience, and to be confronted with the ugly truth in such a spirited manner has been a fun ride. Maybe Hannah, and thus Dunham, is “a voice of a generation” after all. 

Picks of the Week

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (9 p.m. Wednesday, NBC) – Star Mariska Hargitay directs this 400th episode about a teen who walks in on his mother being assaulted, only to find his friend is the perpetrator. 

Legion (Series Premiere, 10 p.m. Wednesday, FX) – Noah Hawley, creator of FX’s fantastic dark comedy anthology Fargo, explores new territory within Marvel’s X-Men universe with this promising debut series. Flipping the popular notion of comic book adaptations on its head, Legion follows a young man diagnosed with schizophrenia, imagining mental illness as a superpower. Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart (of Fargo’s second season), Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement and The League’s Katie Aselton round out this solid cast. 

Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m. Saturday, NBC) – In a show that’s sure to grind President Trump’s gears, resident Donald impersonator Alec Baldwin hosts for a record-breaking 17th time. Ed Sheeran performs as musical guest.

Grammy Awards (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS) – Beyoncé owns the night with the most nominations (nine) and a slated performance — her first since announcing she’s pregnant with twins. Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West also cleaned up noms with eight each. Other performers include Adele, John Legend, The Weeknd with Daft Punk, Metallica, Carrie Underwood and Bruno Mars. James Corden hosts the 59th-annual music awards show.

The Walking Dead (Midseason Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC) – The fight to take down Negan truly begins in this second half of this season, as groups finally begin to interact and join forces. Hopefully the action picks up and the energy stays high if the season is going to recover from its much-lamented first half.

Humans (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Monday, AMC) – This British drama about the rise of lifelike artificial intelligence takes a more practical approach than HBO’s raucous robot counterpart, Westworld. Here, anthropomorphic “synths” are a part of everyday life as housekeepers, nurses and in other roles. When some synths begin to experiences consciousness, the drama really unfolds, but it’s fascinating to watch the realistic ways in which people react to the A.I., from a call for synth rights to pushback from obsolete human workers (“They’re taking our jobs!”).


CONTACT JAC KERN: @jackern

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