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'Girls' finale: Reunited and it feels no good

March 18, 2013|By Meredith Blake

After a 911 call, a disastrous haircut, an alcoholic relapse, two Q-Tip-related emergencies and countless stalker-y emails and text messages, Adam and Hannah, the oddball couple at the center of “Girls,” are finally back together.  

Yay, I guess?

On Sunday night a season of “Girls” that had increasingly begun to feel like a premium-cable version of  “My Strange Addiction” suddenly -- and not altogether convincingly -- morphed into a romantic comedy, complete with a sentimental and semi-absurd reunion that found Adam, bare-chested as usual, racing down the street to rescue his house-bound and unhinged ex. (In a sure sign of their compatability, Hannah eschews pants nearly as emphatically as Adam rejects shirts; together they make a whole outfit.)

After several weeks of free fall, our protagonist is more isolated and alone than ever. Cooped up in her apartment for days, wearing a filthy oversized T-shirt and subsisting on a diet of Cool Whip and nervous energy, Hannah fails to meet her book deadline and faces the threat of legal action from her publisher. Jessa, her sole remaining friend and only connection to the other characters in this series, is still M.I.A. And when Marnie stops by to check in on her and/or gloat about getting back together with Charlie, Hannah responds by hiding out on the far side of her bed, effectively ending their friendship forever.

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Laird, in a moment of unusual clarity, rejects Hannah as “the most self-involved, presumptuous person I have ever met,” and it’s hard to disagree with him. Finally, in a move that’s pop-culture shorthand for “crazy woman,” Hannah chops off her own hair.  In case you missed it, she has hit rock bottom.

Thankfully, Adam (and his iPhone) saves the day, barging in to Hannah’s apartment, where she's cowering beneath a blanket. “You’re here?” she asks in a tiny voice. “I was always here,” he replies, scooping her up in his arms and kissing her tenderly. Roll credits.

Yes, it’s kind of sweet in its own, highly manipulative way, but the dramatic Adam-Hannah reunion also underscores the haphazard character development and increasingly disjointed narrative that have marred this season of “Girls.” Just like that, the guy who only last week sexually humiliated and maybe even raped his sweet, pretty new girlfriend is, all of a sudden, a knight-in-shining-armor.

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As our critic Mary McNamara argued over the weekend, this show puts the romantic sexual lives of its characters before all else, meaning the reconciliation between Adam and Hannah is meant to be celebrated -- never mind that Hannah’s professional life is in complete disarray, or that she’s alienated every single person close to her, or that we're still not sure whether Adam is a creep or just a benign weirdo.

In its self-conscious deployment of romantic comedy clichés, the sequence calls to mind the Season 2 episode of “30 Rock,” in which Liz Lemon -- played by Tina Fey, possibly the only woman on TV who’s inspired more think pieces than Lena Dunham -- chased her ex, Floyd, to the airport. The key difference is that Liz paused at security to devour a delicious sandwich before proceeding to the gate. “I can have it all,” she declared between greedy bites.

If only Hannah had a similar appetite.  

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'Girls': Lena Dunham can do better

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