A lot’s been said about the series finale, and let’s face it, the series of #Girls. There’s been much debate about how accurate, or inaccurate, the series was about being a millennial woman. There’s been plenty of conversation of the now infamous line from the pilot, and whether it was Hannah or Lena declaring herself as the voice of her generation. Spoiler alert: it’s the former. And while all of these wonderings are completely warranted, there’s one thing I think Girls got right: depicting female friendships in your 20s.
Let’s be real, when it comes to female friendships, 90% of what we see on TV and in movies depicts it as this wonderful, consistent, supportive thing. Looking straight at you, SATC. And to be fair, and if you’re lucky, the majority of the time it is. What you don’t often see is how complicated female friendships can be, and the pressure that comes along with maintaining them. Girls got a lot of credit for depicting “real, complicated, flawed women” but IMHO, didn’t get a lot of credit for depicting female friendships that way as well. Which is weird considering you literally can’t have one without the other.
That’s why I’m gonna miss the show so much. It gave female viewers a really important lesson: sometimes friendships aren’t made to last. But more importantly, that it’s okay if they don’t. It showed us that while you’re busy trying to grow up, you can outgrow certain people along the way. That’s not to say that your friendship doesn’t matter. It’s just saying that maybe it doesn’t matter so much anymore.
If you look at Jessa and Hanna from the pilot to the finale, homegirls literally went on a roller coaster ride. They were each other’s ride or die, but also the ones who backstabbed each other the most. They were their biggest champions, and also their harshest critics. Were elements of their friendship exaggerated for TV? Absolutely. But were they rooted in some truths? I truly think so.
For six seasons we watched these four go from girls navigating Brooklyn, to women navigating life (or at least trying to). We watched them try to move their lives forward, but stay tethered to the past. And it’s not because they really wanted to. It was because they felt obligated to. Like because of their history, they felt like they owed it to themselves to have a present — and that was without even really looking towards the future. But the future was waiting for them. It was waiting as they moved to different countries, switched careers, got married, got divorced and had babies. We watched them try and figure themselves out, and ultimately lose each other in the process. To be fair these girls are more selfish than your average 20-something, but the bottomline is the same: the older you get, the more life happens, the more you effort you have to put in to the things that matter. But what happens when you stop putting in the effort? More importantly, what happens, when you decide you no longer want to?
Apparently, you end up in the bathroom at the engagement party of your not-really-BFF-anymore with your three other friends and decide to “call it.” Or maybe you decide to finally make peace with someone who betrayed you. To acknowledge that you both gave it your best, but that your best was straight up awful. It’s a beautiful thing when you no longer have to fake it; when your friendship no longer feels like work. It’s freeing to accept it; to acknowledge that maybe, your friendship has run its course. But more importantly, that maybe that’s okay.
Friendships don’t always end with you and your BFFs with gray hair and walkers. Sometimes they end when you’re young and your full life is ahead of you. It doesn’t mean the friendship wasn’t important. It doesn’t mean that relationship didn’t matter. It just means that it served its purpose; that some friends are in your life for a season (or six) and others for a reason. It’s just up to you to figure out what and who really matters. If they’re not, it’s up to you call it.