Last season of Girls sparked quite a bit of upheaval in the girls’ lives, and season 5 picks up right where last season ended—emotionally. Time-wise, it’s like seven months later. If there’s one thing we can say for sure about this season, it’s that our girls are definitely growing up.
The season opener focused on micromanager Marnie’s wedding day. The ladies converge in upstate New York for the event, and the entire occasion is about as chaotic as you’d expect.
It’s high-time that one of the gals get married. It’s an event that every girl group faces at some point, so it’s poignant that we finally get to see how this particular bevy of besties handles it, especially since things have been a bit shaky with them lately (to say the least).
And let’s face it. We all pretty much knew it would always be Marnie because she’d never have it any other way.
And, frankly, the show nailed it. Weddings in your twenties, particularly in your mid-twenties, are a strange, strange thing. It feels a bit like children playing dress up. Wherever or whenever someone gets married, there are some undeniable universal truths:
1. No matter what the weather is on your wedding day, you’ll stress about rain.
We open to Marnie staring out the window, looking up at a fairly clear sky and fretting about rain. On cue, Hannah enters noting casually that it looks like rain, as if they’re just hanging out at a friend’s house and aren’t getting ready for one of the biggest events of Marnie’s life.
2. If you ask for a super calm atmosphere, it will never happen.
“Calm atmosphere” is like bride code for I’m completely stressed out and nervous that everything is about to go wrong. And uttering the phrase is basically like conjuring the exact opposite of what you want. You’ve jinxed your wedding now brace yourself.
When you’re Marnie and bossing everyone around, asking them to start “maneuvering the appointments”, you’re going against your own wishes, creating a tense atmosphere that seems to have a ripple effect on everyone and everything your wedding touches.
3. No one looks good in matching bridesmaids dresses.
Why do brides do this? Hannah, Jessa, and Shoshanna have very different bodies, so why does Marnie insist on forcing everyone to wear the same exact dress with the same exact cut? Being a bridesmaid means you will not feel like yourself the entire day. You are obligated to live in discomfort teeming with body consciousness because you are only there “to fulfill the bride’s vision”. It was impressive how the normally self-involved gaggle of young women actually rallied together and managed to make the day (mostly) about Marnie.
4. Boho brides are the most obnoxious of all the brides.
We get it. You’re chic and different and cool. If you told me four seasons ago that sheath dress-clad Marnie would have a bohemian-themed wedding in the vein of Edward Sharpe, I would have asked if we were watching the same show. Do you mean Jessa? I would politely ask.
5. Every bride has some super-specific, hard to pinpoint aesthetic for their wedding.
Having something like Laurel Canyon Classic leads to inevitable disappointment because no one is quite sure what you mean, even after you explain it.
6. No one likes being a plus one to a wedding.
Being a plus one sucks. As Hannah’s plus one, new boyfriend Fran is forced to hang out with Adam, Ray, Desi, and Elijah all day until the ceremony. Desi, the groom, doesn’t even remember Fran’s name. He brings beer that no one except to Ray wants to drink, and then Ray divulges that even if he could pull a Graduate at Marnie’s wedding, he can’t because the most noble thing he can do is sacrifice his own happiness for hers. It’s an awkward moment for Fran, but that’s the life of a plus one.
Eventually, he and Hannah manage to sneak off and have sex in Fran’s Ford Taurus, giving him just enough time to reveal to Hannah that Desi has cold feet and ran out the back door, shirtless, towards the woods. The plus one always seems to have the most wedding day dirt.
7. Your ex-boyfriend and best friend hooking up behind your back is a total shit move—even if they might be really good together.
Weddings are filled with all kinds of ill-fated and ill-conceived hookups. Marnie’s is no exception. When Adam and Jessa kissed outside the bridal suite, I was shocked. It felt like it was my ex and my best friend. Appropriately, thunder rolls in the background because even if this scenario doesn’t play out immediately, it will eventually and with likely disastrous consequences.
8. Nothing good ever comes from micromanaging.
Despite your best efforts to control every major and minute detail, you will still end up looking like “J.Lo at the Grammy’s” on your wedding day.
9. No matter how much your friends and you fight, they’ll be there when you need them the most.
Even though Hannah virtually ignores Marnie the entirety of the wedding day, when it starts raining and Marnie has a makeup meltdown, Hannah shows up, calms her down, and makes her feel better. After seasons of wondering whether or not their friendship is kaput, it seems like the duo has finally reconciled. And in that true BFF way, it wasn’t due to a long, contrived conversation, but a short, sweet apologetic one. It’s easy to make up when you’re both being sincere.
And then, Jessa—yes, Jessa—becomes the least likely hero ever and rescues the whole day by swooping in at the last minute to dry Hannah’s rain-soaked dress and fix Marnie’s makeup and hair.
The rain clears. The clouds part, and the quartet descends the back staircase and heads to the ceremony.
Season five is off to a promising start, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the episodes take us and how we wind our way towards the final season next year.