Lena Dunham’s six-season brainchild Girls was the ultimate guide in what not to do as a millennial. Concluding at the end of April this year, each character’s inability to assess the repercussions of their immaturities before acting upon them was an ongoing frustration. Underneath the overblown storylines, awkward moments and indulgent, dramatic scenes, the audience was forced to make peace with and reflect on their own flaws, confront their shortcomings and revel in the uncertainties that come with growing up.
During its run, opinion pieces and blogs lambasted the naivety and self-obsessions of characters who found difficulty in dealing with the smallest of First World Problems. But that’s where it was strangely therapeutic. Girls was self aware in projecting its own flaws onto the viewer in the most invasive way possible. If you cringed at any point whilst watching it, the show was doing its job.
It never had the New York rom-com, ‘gives you stomach butterflies whilst a HAIM song plays in the background’ moment, because it acknowledged that real life never happened like that. Instead, it had characters that, at age 28, blamed their joblessness on their parents and maintained friendships because of proximity over genuine connection.
Despite being distinctly modern and millennial, the storylines and actions depicted in Girls struck severe similarities with the archaic Seven Deadly Sins, the age old guide of what not to do…
Pride: “I think I’m the voice of my generation.” Only ever say this in an ironic Instagram caption. Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah Horvath, spent six seasons borderline humble-bragging about her abilities but doing little to showcase them. Instead, pride took precedence as she left a paid writing job at GQ to avoid selling out, almost sabotaged her friend’s wedding out of selfishness and channelled Basic Instinct during a meeting with a boss.
Envy: Each character was so imbued in what others were doing they forgot to work on their own faults, with jealously becoming a recurring theme of the show. Yes, it was heartbreaking to see Shoshana catch a glimpse of the life she could have had when running into successful old classmates, but blaming it on her friendship with the gang? That’s the green-eyed monster talking.
Sloth: The New York City sitcom trope of the underemployed yet affluent character has been played to death, however Girls took laziness to a new level. Epitomising the overqualified millennial stereotype, the mains spent more time prophesising about what they were going to do than actually doing it.
Wrath: Bathroom fights and heated exits took priority over compromise and logical discussion, putting the squabbles of the Real Housewives of Sydney to shame. Leaving an apartment, party or club alone after an argument is the exact opposite of what you’re taught during the ‘Safe Behaviours’ topic in Year 10 PDHPE.
Lust: Jessa and Hannah were best friends. Adam broke Hannah’s heart. Adam and Jessa got together. Never okay.
Gluttony: Emotional gluttony is where the Girls crew shine. Marnie’s constant need for approval saw her spend the night an ex after a minor frustration with her husband, without noticing his affliction with heroin until the morning. Without offering assistance, she fled. If something didn’t fit in with her personal journey, it was abandoned.
Greed: The final episode was unsatisfyingly perfect. Hannah and Marnie find themselves supposedly ‘grown up’, but remain in the rut of their selfishness that was introduced in the very first episode. It showcased an endless cycle of miscommunication, confusion and a desire to be their best selves whilst depending on the same behaviours. Growing up never seemed so stagnant.