Fresh on Blu-ray: ‘GIRLS’ ends with series’ strongest season yet

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Preston Barta // Features Editor

GIRLS: THE FINAL SEASON
TV-MA, about 310 minutes.
Creator: Lena Dunham
Cast:  Lena DunhamAllison WilliamsJemima KirkeZosia MametAdam DriverAlex KarpovskyAndrew Rannells and Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Available Tuesday on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD.

As someone who’s been struggling in their near-30s, I completely identify with the victories and misfortunes in HBO’s GIRLS. The series, created in 2012, came at a time when many post-college shows (like SCRUBS) were all about the high jinks that followed, but didn’t quite live on planet Earth, where the real world can be a brutal beast.

GIRLS has been crushingly real over the years, especially when it comes to the difficulty of maintaining friendships when you get married and pop out some kids. As hard as it can be to watch, it’s nice to know others are in the same boat as you. Because, really, aren’t we all just figuring it out as we go along?

The sixth and final season featuring the 20- and 30-something NYC friends dives into the questions that its previous season posed: Will Jessa and Adam’s (Jemima Kirke and Adam Driver) new relationship last? Will Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) find the job she deserves? Will Marnie (Allison Williams) realize that her musical career is not jelling and figure out what this thing between her and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) is? And, most importantly, will Hannah (show creator Lena Dunham) ever find the ability to change?

It’s been wonderful to watch these characters grow since the show’s inception. This final, 10-episode season is one of its best outings, if not its best. It feels more like a collection of short stories than GIRLS’ typical narrative fare. It really packs a few gut punches, chiefly during the finale, in which a certain pair of characters re-enter each other’s lives.

Everything doesn’t wrap up in a clean bow, but it does conclude in a way where one can imagine the show continuing off-air. Dunham and producer Judd Apatow have left us with a remarkable character study that will be pleasing to revisit.

Grade: B+

Extras: The HBO release includes an extended version of the series finale, an exclusive audio commentary and an inside look at the episodes.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.