The sixth and final season of Girls arrives in February, and HBO is gearing up the marketing machine in an effort to boost ratings that have begun to dip in comparison to earlier seasons. Though brief, the promotional footage sees the show’s most popular characters moving into the next phases of their respective lives, and implies that the lead – Hannah – is at something of a crossroads, feeling frustration and discontent with the time she has spent in New York City.
Created by Lena Dunham, Girls is said to be drawn from aspects of her own life and, indeed, the filmmaker also stars, co-writes, and executive produces the show, along with Jenni Konner and Judd Apatow. She is also the director of many of the 52 episodes aired to date. The story centres on her character – aspiring writer Hannah Hovarth – who finds her privileged position adversely affected when her parents withdraw financial support from her, two years after her graduation. She is then left to fend for herself, surrounded by her friends, in Brooklyn.
Those friends include Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams), who is initially her roommate; Jessamyn Johnson (Jemima Kirke), who is a much-travelled friend of Hannah’s that returns to New York; Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet), who is Jessamyn’s cousin and a student obsessed with Sex And The City; Adam Sackler (Adam Driver), who is Hannah’s ‘friend with benefits’; and Ray Ploshansky, who’s a friend of the group and a local coffee shop manager.
Girls has been criticized in the past for the distinct and glaring lack of people of colour within the cast, despite the show being set in a city renowned for its diversity. It’s also been criticized for hanging its entire premise on a clique of privileged, self-involved women. Despite this, it’s retained a significant, core audience over the years with its deft, raw handling of serious issues, such as addiction, abortion, relationships and mental illness.
Girls is an award-winning drama, nonetheless, with Golden Globes and Emmys in its display cabinet. We can undoubtedly expect to see Lena Dunham and her team build upon that with a view to making this sixth and final season a memorable one when it premieres on February 12th, 2017 on HBO.