The first great thing you can do as a writer / producer is come up with a great concept for the show; the next is turning it into a reality, and then also knowing how to sustain it. There are dozens of showrunners who do this well, but only a select few who take on the next step properly: Knowing when it is right to say goodbye.
For “Girls,” this is something that Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner should be thinking of as the season 4 finale airs tonight. It’s not that we think that the show is taking a steep decline in quality; as a matter of fact, we feel like this is a marked improvement over season 3. Hannah has grown up tremendously by taking a real job, and the Ray and Shoshanna stories have been in particular interesting. Even Jessa showing off a vulnerable side was something fantastic that has been at times lacking.
So why end things now? The real reason from our vantage point is that there is only so long that the title for this show is still going to make sense. “Girls” is a term for someone who is not fully grown up, and as these women get closer to their thirties, the expectation is for them to become truly that. As much fun as antics are, would it start to become sad if Hannah stays stagnant for so long that it feels like “Groundhog Day”?
Also, the feeling here is that you want to go out on top. “The Office” in the UK was a fraction of the American version. “Extras” had a tiny run. One of our favorite shows of all time was “Fawlty Towers,” which had just a handful of episodes over the course of many years.
Maybe you can get another two seasons out of the show after the finale tonight, but for the sake of posterity and for seeing what other projects Dunham and Konner can handle, it may be a good time soon to pack up and try something new.
Do you think “Girls” should end next season? Share with a comment.