Girls' final season is fast approaching, and, with it, a whole slew of promotional material. So color me intrigued to see a still of Lena Dunham-as-Hannah looking uncharacteristically relaxed and happy drinking some beers with what looks like a romantic interest. So is this photo of Riz Ahmed on Girls proof that his character is who she should end up with? Entertainment Weekly has reported that British thespian will be playing a surf instructor that Hannah meets in the season premiere. If you've seen the latest Girls Season 6 teaser, this all fits together like a beautiful Brooklyn jigsaw puzzle, since, last time we saw her, Hannah appeared to be interviewing for a writing assignment about surfing.
Executive producer Jenni Konner has said of the sixth and final season:
She also commented on Ahmed's role:
If Ahmed looks distinctly familiar, this isn't just some weird deja vu. As Konner alluded to above, he most recently played Bodhi Rook in Rogue One, and he was also in the wonderfully creepy Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle, Nightcrawler, as Rick. So is he the boyfriend we should all be rooting for?
Dunham and Ahmed's snuggly pose in the photo, as well as the description of him as someone who will dip "in and out of Hannah's life in an important way," makes him sound like the dictionary definition of a boyfriend in Girls: sweet but chronically unreliable. When we left Hannah in Season 5, she was flying solo for the first time in a while, following her seriously epic breakup with Fran during their summer solo road trip.
The fact that she broke up with Fran in the middle of nowhere and wouldn't let him give her a ride to anywhere suggested just how claustrophobic Hannah had got in the relationship. So I can't lie. The thought of Hannah in a new relationship while she's still smarting at the indignity of her ex-boyfriend Adam being madly in love with her ex-best friend Jessa sounds a little nightmarish.
Besides which, if you've already watched the trailer above and have witnessed Hannah stating that, "I do feel I need to warn you that I both hate and am maybe allergic to sand," you might have already sussed out that a boyfriend who is "a full on surfer dude who pontificates about the water" may not be the best eternal love match for the series' protagonist.
In my opinion, the boldest way to end the series would be to stay true to the note of unease that made the show so much more than just another Brooklyn-set sitcom. Dunham's delight in the awkward and the uncomfortable — in endings that don't feel like endings and lives that don't follow the clear trajectory expected of them — make Hannah's romantic endgame on the show clear. Whether Hannah stays single, ends the show on a breakup, or is in a relationship that's more about sex than love, it'd be an innovative note for the show to not give us the fairytale romance ending that's so common to most TV and so anathema to Girls.