I have a love/hate relationship with the show Girls. The first season was a breath of fresh air. It felt honest and funny while not shying away from the gritty turmoil that is the 20’s. It evolved over the next few seasons into an annoying bitch fest. The four main characters were constantly bickering and neglecting one another as their narcissism increased in intensity. Season 5 brought it all back around for me, except for Marnie. She sucks so hard.
The character arcs in Girls have been both frustrating and interesting in varying degrees, depending on the character. Though Hannah is a spoiled, self-centered brat, she is talented and unashamed of her flaws. We’ve seen her go from aimless writer to a teacher pretending to be a grown-up, and hopefully back to following her passion because she’s realized that’s her only path. Shoshanna and Jessa have also been on paths of self-discovery that have set them up to mature and grow. Even the under-utilized Elijah is growing up. Then there’s freaking Marnie.
The series began with Marnie as an uptight art curator. A rich girl with excellent taste, and a preference for perfection that bordered on OCD. Then she decided to wanted to be a singer. By season 5 she’s in a band with her ridiculously annoying ex-husband. And they’re already successful, because this is Marnie we’re talking about. The problem is that following her bliss caused her no suffering. Quitting her job to pursue a dream never put her in a position to live off of bread and peanut butter for a week. Her teeth are just as white and her hair is just as shiny as it ever was. Even going through a divorce hasn’t seemed to have a maturing effect on her. She’s gone back to using Ray for her errand boy, just like in season 3. She still gives zero shits about anyone’s problems but her own. And she’s super annoyed by how her ex-husband is handling the divorce, because it’s about her after all.
The writing on Girls has been equal parts brilliant and frustrating throughout the series. But character development like Adam’s from season 1 to 2 have kept it interesting. I don’t know if Marnie is the result of a dropped ball in the writers’ room, or if she’s meant to be an example of how much some people are just truly awful. We all know jerks who never learn lessons, or who never learn to think beyond their own needs even when their friends are sinking. So maybe Marnie is just an asshole.
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