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

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.