Girls – A
Season 5 of Girls wrapped last night and after a long — and often times grotesque — season of watching annoying, self-absorbed depictions of millennials we get back to the real deal. I was seriously hate-watching the show for the longest, but the final two episodes reeled the show in and reminded me why I fell in love with it in the first place.
Girls is ultimately about people finding their truth and living it. It’s about growing through discomfort and all the awkwardness in between. The girls are making some grown up decisions and confronting their true desires (including Elijah). For Marnie, it’s her divorce to Desi and accepting her feelings for Ray. For Shosh, it’s her newfound professional success rebranding the coffee shop. For Jessa, evolution is having a real-life intimate relationship with someone sober (even though I still disagree with this pairing, ahem girl code).
For Hannah, it’s realizing living a “normal” life is just not going to cut it for her. So peace out straight-edge Fran and toodles private school teaching gig, it was a nice run. She tried. Feeling kinda lost Hannah runs into an old college frenemy whose career success she envies. After spending the day together they have the realest conversation I’ve seen on TV in a long time where Tally admits how sad and lonely her “successful” life is. She envies Hannah in that she has actually lived, had relationships, done things, and reminds her she actually has something to say. Hannah leaves with a renewed sense of self. She goes running in the morning. She deals will awkward confrontations without self-destructive behavior — exhibit A running into Adam and Jessa together. She is so chill for once, and she hones in on her writing again which is a big piece of who she is and ends up on the stage of the Moth. She sums up her story accurately, telling us she is “free” even if for a moment and I relish every moment of it. Now, I can wholeheartedly look forward to what the next and final season has in store for us.
– Navani Otero
Fear the Walking Dead – B-
We’re in the part of the series where we’re just learning mankind’s capacity for cruelness as the apocalypse sunsets into the post-apocalypse. Unfortunately for our players, it comes in many shapes and sizes, and is often the reasons why certain folks do survive in such barren, brutal landscapes aren’t always the most compassionate. Unfortunately for us viewers, when portrayed imperfectly, it often feels less chilling parable than cold, pointless melodrama.
The Abigail and its tossed-together crew is drawn to a cove where a flickering light reveals a survivalist family, who we were intro’d to in an admittedly cool cold open featuring seafaring walkers. While the militaristic eldest son teaches Chris some techniques for battling undead which offer a glimpse into a darker side of the latter — both for viewers and dad Travis — the family is so hastily ferried in and out, and behave so inconsistently, that there’s very little with which to connect.
Much more compelling is the battle of wits between Daniel (damn, Daniel, at it again with the weird glower) and Strand as they poke at each other’s stoic foundations. It’s easy to forget as Daniel rifles through the mysterious man’s boxes for secrets (finding charts of Mexico), that Daniel is the one we actually KNOW has performed acts of unfathomable evil. In any case, Strand is up to something based on a furtive phone call. And next week we’ll meet up with the plane passengers of the interstitial mini-series and bring that all together, hopefully with a tad more emotion and action.
– Jason Thurston