Girls: Season 4 created by Lena Dunham (Apatow Productions)
Starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet.
*Spoiler Alert for Previous Seasons*
When millennials think about work, the question of pay arises among a crowded group of factors. In many ways, the millennial generation grew up observing its parent’s generation reaping the rewards of capitalism. These baby boomers operated behind the Friedman philosophy of profit maximization.
For many of the millennial generation, this philosophy rings hollow. In its place, we see the rise of social enterprise; we encounter philosophies around multiple bottom lines and stakeholder theory.
There’s more to business than a dollar; there’s more to work than a paycheck.
For most of the Girls storyline during its entire run, the protagonist, Hannah (Lena Dunham) has pursued vocation. Her life in New York orbits her desire to be a writer. We’ve seen her obtain well-paying jobs, surrounding her passion for writing, but the occupational aspects of the work kill her creativity.
A Capital “W” Writer
She wants to be a capital “W” writer.
Which makes the narrative arc of Season 4 so fascinating.
Especially in the first half of the season, we see Hannah coming to grips with her identity. Free from the pesky requirements of making a living now that she’s been accepted into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Hannah begins an existential break with her identity as the capital “W” writer. Is it possible her calling lies somewhere else?
Unbearable Journeys of Selfishness
Back in New York, the rest of the girls continue their almost unbearable journeys of selfishness. Marnie (Allison Williams) has formed a band with Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), making pretentious indie-folk.
Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is unmoored and mean to just about everyone.
And Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) can’t find a job now that she’s graduated.
Girls has made a living out of ringing comedy out of barely tolerable people. As these friends move further and further away from the people they were in college, the friendships inevitably become distanced.
This season, more than ever, the viewer saw these characters in their own settings, pursuing their own goals. Where Girls heads from here will be interesting, as Season 4 focuses on Hannah’s vocational pursuits, pushing everyone else to the periphery. The purpose pursuits of these characters make sense given the millennial milieu. The questions of vocation cause much thought throughout the season, but now what?
Verdict: 4 out of 5