HBO's Girls is a divisive portrait of a group of millennials all on their own paths to self-discovery. Many have eviscerated the show's characters for being selfish, entitled brats. Others have praised Girls for its ability to capture the pitfalls of early adulthood, that often involves taking one step forward and fourteen steps back. No matter which Girls camp you reside in, everyone can agree that Hannah and Co. are obsessed with three people—me, myself, and I.
This makes relationships, in all their machinations, quite difficult. How can you be a caring friend or partner when you're that obsessed with yourself? Every episode the characters manage to outdo themselves, behaving in properly awful ways toward those they supposedly love. That is, when they're not chasing after those who treat them even worse. But every now and then, two characters connect and the result is that they find themselves inching towards becoming better people. Here is Girls: 5 Best (And 5 Worst) Relationships.
Welcome to the most twisted version of "Will They or Won't They?" ever. Hannah is a ticking time bomb of neuroses. She talks a great game, but has almost no confidence in herself and is constantly seeking validation in relationships. This is a perfect sign that she doesn't belong in one. Then there's Adam, who switches from hot to cold so fast, the viewer is surprised he doesn't burn to a crisp or die of hypothermia. Nobody knows what the man wants, least of all Adam himself.
There's no question these two love each other. It was incredibly moving when Adam dropped everything to tend to Hannah during her nervous breakdown. But every moment of tenderness is matched by that of betrayal and heartbreak. The final season finds Hannah and Adam with one last opportunity to be together. It's excruciating watching them both come to the realization that it's what they want more than anything, but would also be the biggest mistake of their lives. However, the fact that they arrive at this conclusion speaks to their evolved maturity.
If two negatives make a positive, it appears that two hot messes can create a solid relationship. Jessa and Adam come together at a time when they're both committed to bettering themselves. Jessa, previously a hurricane of self-destruction, has decided to get sober and go back to school. After a failed attempt to reconcile with Hannah, Adam has learned that he can't just mistreat people and expect them to take him back with open arms. He's finally ready to do things right.
Jessa and Adam achieve the sort of intimacy that everyone seeks but few achieve. There is that one itsy-bitsy hiccup where old Adam comes back and abruptly decides he wants to be with Hannah, but the implication is that he goes back to Jessa. May they live functionally ever after.
Loreen and Tad are hilarious and awesome and their episodes are some of the best. Theirs is a complicated situation, as Tad has recently come out as gay. Despite this revelation, he and Loreen stay together. While Tad may no longer desire his wife, he still cares for her dearly and can't bring himself to leave her. This is the worst decision ever because it prevents either of them from moving on. Loreen just grows more bitter and cynical with every passing day. Meanwhile, Tad feels enormous guilt for exploring his sexuality. They both learn that the long path to Splitsville is the most painful. The Horvaths prove that it's not just millennials who have relationship problems.
This relationship should be the biggest gong show of all. Marnie is a stickler for order and control, whereas Jessa is an agent of chaos. Hannah is the only link between them, making Marnie and Jessa more like frosty acquaintances. However, when they bond over their mutual disdain of Hannah's perpetually unpowdered forehead, a true friendship is forged.
This would never have happened if Marnie wasn't at a low point. She finds herself single and miserable over her ex Charlie having moved on from their relationship so quickly. Marnie doesn't understand. She's a pretty girl who, by her own account, has her s**t together. So when Jessa compliments her on her sad-sack chic appearance, Marnie decides to throw caution to the wind and follow in Jessa's wild child footsteps...at least for a day. Their friendship doesn't really evolve beyond that, but if it did, it would likely explode at any given moment. Casualties would be involved. It wouldn't be pretty.
Desi is the devil in a hipster beanie. Only a rake of that caliber can make Marnie look like Mother Teresa. That is truly the best thing that can be said for their sham of a relationship and farce of a marriage. Despite his saccharine platitudes, it's obvious that Desi doesn't really love Marnie. To him, she's nothing but a beautiful booster for his ego. Trust us, he does not need the help.
Why Marnie goes through with the wedding is anybody's guess. But they're barely a few months into their marriage when she's ready to up and leave. If returning home barefoot, wearing a "Bob Mackie Barbie" gown doesn't spell doom, we don't know what does.
These two have one of the most unconventional relationships ever and they're all the better for it. Hannah and Elijah start off as college sweethearts until Elijah comes out. He leaves her with one parting gift: HPV. But they're able to bury the hatchet and become legitimate friends.
Whether Hannah's making epically horrible decisions or just needs a shoulder to cry on, Elijah's always there. She wants to try cocaine for the purpose of creative expression? He's pouring lines. Adam moves out? Elijah becomes Hannah's new roommate. He becomes an honorary member of Hannah's family, helping out each individual Horvath in his own Elijah way.
Hannah and Marnie's friendship is one big fat narcissism-off. Hannah treats Marnie as a free therapist, constantly blathering on about her relationship woes. If anything, Marnie is the one who's paying, because she foots the rent bill while Hannah's broke and jobless. Hannah returns the favor by having loud, obnoxious alone time with Adam, completely inconsiderate to the fact that Marnie's going through a breakup.
But Marnie is hardly a blameless victim. The only deducible reason she keeps Hannah in her circle is so Marnie can have someone to feel superior to. Hannah's flaws are the definition of low hanging fruit, and Marnie will pick every last item. The end of the series sees Marnie having an apparent about-face, as she vows to devote her life to helping Hannah raise her child. But even that's an act of selfishness, because Marnie just wants to feel good about herself. If Hannah and Marnie ever got over themselves, would they still be friends? Likely not.
Loreen's collapsed marriage causes her to go into a downward spiral. Okay, more like a downward avalanche. So much of her identity was being a wife and now that part of her is just gone. But there's one role that Loreen can always be counted on to excel in: Mom.
There are many times when Hannah needs a metaphorical kick in the pants, and Loreen will always give it to her. It's Loreen's decision to cut Hannah off financially. Hannah isn't always receptive to her mom's tough love tactics, but she still turns to Loreen in a crisis. Hannah definitely gets her gumption and bravery from her mother.
People usually scream, "Run for your life!" during a horror movie, but viewers found themselves yelling in futility, trying to get through to Ray. While it's true, Marnie goes to him often for advice, it's because Ray's the dad of the group. They'd both be way better off if they realized it, but they mistake their heart-to-hearts as a meaningful romantic connection and so begins the show's most ill-fated romance.
Marnie may be a much better person than Desi, but on the awfulness scale, they're in the same ballpark. The disparity between Marnie the emotional vampire and Ray the kind old soul is much too great. As painful as this hellfire of a relationship is, it's even worse watching Ray continue to support Marnie when Desi refuses to step up. At least we can sleep soundly knowing that Marnie will never be Ray's final girl.
They may not have wound up together, but Shoshanna and Ray are all the better for their relationship, both as a couple and as friends.
In Season 1, Ray finds himself smitten with Shoshanna's frenetic energy. The two start dating and are easily the cutest couple of the show. But there's trouble in paradise when the upbeat Shoshanna grows tired of Ray's Eeyore attitude. Ray is crushed when she dumps him, but he's able to learn from his experience. Instead of bemoaning his various grievances to anyone who will listen, Ray takes action. This leads him to run for a seat on his community board. Of course, Shoshanna supports him every step of the way. Whoever said all millennials are selfish clearly never met Shoshanna and Ray.