I watched Girls and then I didn't watch Girls and then I made impassioned speeches at parties as though not watching Girls gave me some sort of moral or cultural high ground and then I watched Girls again.

A part of my first wave of aversion to the series came from being a few years older than each of its main characters—and several years more deeply invested into psychotherapy. Whatever "insights" that might have afforded me meant I spent most episodes cringing in anticipation of the consequences of the characters' actions. I wasn't watching a cerebral dramedy, I was watching a horror movie and yelling "DON'T GO IN THERE!" at my television accordingly.

But what most complicated my enjoyment of the show was the set of murky feelings I (and every other woman in my age bracket) have about Lena Dunham. It was partially the reflexive resentment I have of anyone who manages to finish making anything, but also vague annoyance over her struggle to use Girls and her public persona to tell stories rooted in a diverse, inclusive feminism. For a long time, I mistook that for frustration about how much more effectively I'd use a platform like hers. But after some probing (again: therapy!), I came to realize it was something more like shame, born out of the realization that her struggles and shortcomings in making her feminism intersectional and her stories inclusive are the same as mine.

I don't think Dunham intended for the final scene of Girls' fifth season, in which Hannah tells a story about jealousy at a Moth event, to directly address any of the above resentment, but it resonated anyway. Hannah talks about being able to control only the mayhem she directly creates—she was capable of dredging up deep, paralyzing jealousy of Jessa and Adam, but equally capable of destroying it.

It was a small moment in the overall arc of Girls, but it made me like Hannah better and Dunham better and maybe even myself a little better, and I think I might like season six best of all. recommended