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Girls is a comedy on HBO that is written, directed and produced by Lena Dunham. It premiered in the spring of 2012 to immediate acclaim. Critics and fans praised Girls for its unflinching look at the real lives of young adults in New York City. The titular girls are not glamorous or aspirational. They are not even likable all the time, and they are not supposed to be.

In the pilot episode, Dunham's Hannah learns that her parents will no longer be financially supporting her. She becomes just another over-educated young adult who cannot find a job. She struggles with the realistic need to land a white collar job despite her lofty dreams of becoming a writer. The show casts Hannah as a ridiculous character. She dreams of writing her memoirs even though it is clear that her life is not special enough to warrant a memoir.

Hannah's best friend Marnie, played by the beautiful Allison Williams, has a respectable adult lifestyle, but her high-strung nature alienates her from her friends and boyfriend. Jemima Kirke's Jessa is a worldly Brit who shakes up her friends' lives when she returns from traveling overseas. She projects a free-spirited attitude that is really covering up pain and fear. She does not crack often, but when she does, there are major repercussions. Jessa's cousin Shoshanna is initially introduced as little more than fast-talking comic relief, but Zosia Mamet gradually chips away at her character's neuroses to reveal a charming oddness. Shoshanna is a mirror for her older friends, shattering their illusions of maturity.

Girls was helmed under the tutelage of Judd Apatow, so audiences can expect improvisational humor laced with brutal drama. Girls does not hesitate to depict the characters in unattractive moments. They fight about inconsequential things and have cyclical, endless conversations about their boy troubles. When these girls are annoying, audiences cringe because they can relate.

Girls does not wrap up complex circumstances in neat packages. Confusing situations play out without clear resolutions. One notably entertaining subplot involves the end of Marnie's relationship. She did not enjoy dating Charlie when he was in love with her, but she is upset when he quickly moves on after the breakup. Marnie's feelings are contradictory and completely common. The situation is played for laughs without insulting real girls who have acted the same way. Girls depicts many realistic scenarios this way, with humor and heart.

HBO
6 Seasons, 64 Episodes
February 6, 2012
Comedy
7.4/10
Cast: Lena Dunham
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Clips & Extras

Girls Full Episode Guide

  • A featurette celebrates seasons one through six of "Girls.''

  • In the series finale, Marnie reveals she'd like to help Hannah raise the baby. Hannah begins a new chapter in her life.

  • Following an important meeting, Hannah looks to friends for advice, but has difficulty reaching Marnie.

  • Adam approaches to Hannah with unexpected news. Jessa occupies a day off on her own. Shoshanna assists Ray with his oral-history project, until a fortuitous face-to-face with Abigail, her old boss.

  • Elijah gets ready for an open-call try out for a new Broadway musical, but is thrown off his game by a surprise visitor.

  • Marnie tries to convince a resistant Desi to follow through with their planned gig at her mom’s birthday party in New Jersey. After rebuffing Adam’s request to watch his film, Hannah gets advice on an important decision from her dad and his new partner, Keith. Elijah’s thespian talents are rekindled when he helps a coworker run lines for an audition.

  • Adam and Jessa start shooting scenes for their movie, but she wonders about his creative direction.

  • Hannah interviews prominent writer Ode Montgomery, who gives eye-opening tips on being a woman and a writer.

  • Hannah has a supercharged exchange with Chuck Palmer.

  • Hannah offers cover for Marnie's secret weekender to Poughkeepsie, which she wishes will help clear up an old chapter in her life.

  • Riding a wave of newfound career success, Hannah gets a task to write a story about an all girls surf camp in the Hamptons, where she meets Paul-Louis, an uncomplicated waterski teacher.

  • Elijah and Loreen help Hannah with her plan to participate in the Moth Story Slam. Marnie prepares to go on tour with Desi. Shoshanna's idea for an "anti-hipster" Ray's takes off. After helping take care of the baby, Jessa and Adam have an epic fight.

  • Hannah gives Principal Toby some unexpected news; Marnie has an unsettling dream; Shoshanna offers to help Ray with marketing his business; Elijah wants an exclusive relationship with Dill.

  • Hannah becomes stranded after her road trip with Fran gets cut short; Adam stops by Laird's place and stays to help with the baby; Shoshanna gets a wake up call; while recording a new song, Marnie receives parameters for her relationship with Desi.

  • Hannah gets in trouble by the school principal, and her response angers Fran. At Adam's play, an anxious Jessa is concerned about seeing Hannah after their scuffle, and Marnie shares information with Ray. Elijah goes to a cool party at Dill's apartment, where he thinks that he may be one of many.

  • Needing space after a fight with Desi, Marnie goes for a walk and has an unexpected run-in with someone from her past.

  • Hannah and her mom, Loreen, embark on a female-empowerment retreat, where Loreen hopes for clarity in her situation with Tad, and Hannah relishes time away from Fran. In Tokyo, Shoshanna enjoys her budding romance with Yoshi, and gets a surprise visitor from the U.S. Jessa meets up with her sister Minerva and asks for a favor.

  • Hannah and Fran disagree about their teaching methods. Marnie fumes over Desi’s decision to launch a major construction project in their studio apartment. Jessa pushes Hannah away over an awkward rice-pudding meetup. Elijah gets closer to Dill Harcourt.

  • Thriving at her new job in Japan, Shoshanna flirts with the boss, but reminds her work friends that she has someone back in America. Hannah makes a shocking discovery on Fran's phone and struggles to contain her emotions. After viewing Adam's performance on a TV police procedural, Jessa shares her insights into his character.

  • An unusual roommate prompts Fran to move in with Hannah in New York. Also, Hannah receives an important call from her father, who is trying to figure out a new kind of dating. Adam and Jessa occupy the day together after they run into each other at an AA meeting. Ray is scared that the new cafe across the road is harming his business. Elijah has a come on from a famous news anchor.

  • Marnie tries to act calm while micromanaging her upstate nuptials to Desi. She requests for Shoshanna to dismiss Fran, Hannah's date, so the girls can prep themselves. Fran has an unusual moment with Adam as she is banned to the boys' area. A gloomy Ray assists Desi with his wedding-day worries.

Girls News

Lena Dunham Has Some New Tattoos

The actress bared them on social media this week.

Lena Dunham Gets Shocking New Haircut

The 'Girls' creator debuted a drastic new 'do on Instagram.

Lena Dunham Declares Body Positivity with Nude Instagram

The actress shares her "pear-shaped pot of honey" with her followers.

Lena Dunham Rushed to the Hospital

The actress made a stop at the emergency room after the Met Gala on Monday.

Where Will 'Girls' Characters Go from Here?

The series is over, but fans will have a hard time forgetting Hannah and her friends.

'Girls' Begins to Wrap Things Up

The HBO series is almost over, and its characters are preparing for life beyond the screen.

Pregnant Sex: More Taboo Breaking on 'Girls'

Lena Dunham continues to push the envelope.

Lena Dunham Praises Jemima Kirke for 'Girls' Performance

The series' creator calls Kirke's scene "raw" and "tragic."

New 'Girls' Trailer Shows Lena Dunham's Hannah in Iowa

Hannah's getting a change of scenery, but the rest of the cast seems to be staying the same.

Lena Dunham Under Fire for Claims She Sexually Abused Her Younger Sister

Dunham wrote about her childhood experiences in her new book, but one particular passage isn't going over well with conservatives.

Report: Lena Dunham Isn't Paying Performers On Her Book Tour

Is the very wealthy "Girls" creator taking advantage of people?

Allison Williams in the First Official 'Peter Pan' Photo

"The transformation begins!" Check out the "Girls" actress in her first official photo as the boy who never grows up.

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Girls Video Clips & Extras

Girls Season 6 Episode 9: Inside the Episode (HBO) Clip (04:09) Girls Season 6: Episode 10 Preview: Latching (HBO) Clip (00:47) Girls Season 6: Episode 9 Preview: Goodbye Tour (HBO) Clip (00:36) Girls Season 6: Episode 7 Recap (HBO) Clip (00:41) Girls Season 6 Episode 8: Inside the Episode (HBO) Clip (04:08) Girls Season 6: Episode 5 Recap (HBO) Clip (00:41) Girls Season 6: Episode 6 Recap (HBO) Clip (00:41) Girls Season 6 Episode 6: Inside the Episode (HBO) Clip (03:49)