Since the debut of Girls in 2012, fans have witnessed the characters grow... sort of... before their very eyes. Indeed, the women who comprise the main cast have bucked the notion of character progress, instead following a more realistic trajectory of no trajectory at all. That's not to say it hasn't been entertaining, however, and with the end of Season 5 coming to a close on Sunday, devotees of the series are probably wondering when Girls season 6 will premiere on HBO.
Every season of Girls has premiered its first episode in January (save for the inaugural season, which began in April), so if the show stays true to form, it will see its last season beginning in the early months of 2017. While there has been no confirmation of when the actual date of reckoning will be, creator and star Lena Dunham explained the timing of the final season at the Sundance Film Festival, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. "We were always conscious, especially because the show has been at times such a lightning rod, of overstaying our welcome," she said at the festival. "We wanted to make sure we kept the momentum alive and didn't allow it to soften over time."
When confirmation came that Girls would be ending after the sixth season, audiences might have wondered what would become of the characters. If Season 5 is any indicator of how Hannah, Jessa, Marnie, and Shoshanna will end up, it's looking a wee bit bleak — and if not bleak, then certainly mired in the same sort of 20-something privileged struggle that the show has always thrived on submerging the women in. But, Season 6 is still far away and could take the characters in an unexpected direction. For now, though, let's take a moment to remember where they all began.
At the beginning of the show, Hannah was a 22-year-old aspiring writer who brats out when her parents cut her off. She then claws her way through her share of internships and content production jobs, eventually landing in a gig as the extremely leftist English teacher we all know and love. She even has publication offers, book deals, and gets in to the best creative writing graduate program in the world — professionally speaking, Hannah has kind of killed it. However, true to her nature, Hannah takes all of the career progress for granted, neglecting whatever boons she experiences in favor of wallowing in whatever personal issues she's currently facing.
The eighth episode of this season features Hannah at her most infuriatingly infantile, dressed in pajamas and running away from her boyfriend into the woods. She is torn up over the clandestine relationship between Jessa and Adam, for sure, but acts out in ways that are so immature she fails to see how they would impact others. Let's hope that she finally indulges in teaching herself some empathy for others by the end of next season.
When Jessa was first introduced to audiences in the pilot, it was hard to see past her gorgeous cascade of blonde hair, impossibly cool clothes, and blasé British accent. However, after experiencing stints in rehab and recovery, Jessa's bohemian attitude has given way to a shaky sense of responsibility. Jemima Kirke corroborated that theory, telling Refinery29 that Jessa "has more direction, and she’s a more flushed out character," she said. "I think in the beginning, everyone was a little bit of a prototype. So for me, Season 5 has reached a sort of climax of Jessa’s aspects and her colors."
Although her decision to get with Adam painted her as a villain to Hannah, the way that she is pursuing a career in counseling is the best usage of her single-mindedness to date. It will be interesting to see what transpires for her in the future.
Marnie has long been a woman who knows what she wants, and her most recent setbacks have been the best thing that has happened to her character. From the beginning, Marnie was the type-A control freak that you probably wanted on your group projects but would dread inviting out afterwards. On her hopes for this season, Allison Williams told Vulture, "I would always say that my one wish for this season is an act of kindness and selflessness from Marnie."
After her Pinterest perfect marriage to indie darling Desi dissolves following a chance encounter with ex Charlie, Marnie finds herself floating — a place that she's finally comfortable with. Now that Marnie has relinquished control over what she thought her perfect life was, she is finally free to be the person she needs to be.
Shosh has come a long way from being the aggravating kid-sister of the group. Running as far from the squad that she dubbed "The Ladies" in season one, Shosh takes a job in Japan that eventually devolves into a love triangle and a job at a cat cafe. Zosia Mamet told the Hollywood Reporter that she felt as though the moment that broke her character in Japan was pivotal.
I think getting fired and having to leave and come back home was like losing a battle, like being defeated, and I think in that moment, it's kind of like a "f*ck it" moment where she's like, "No, I'm not going to let losing my job make me leave this place that I love. I'm going to stay and I'm going to live it up and I'm going to make it work."
While the most recent episode sees her myopically debating how to get on to welfare while she's eating sushi, her ability to pursue alternative routes in her life bodes well for her future.
I can't wait to see how things shake out for the Girls in the final season, but I guess we'll have to stay tuned to find out exactly when that will be.
Images: HBO (5)