boyfriend Charlie (Christopher Abbott) during the second season,
Marnie finds renewed agency in a new apartment, diet, and
workout regime. Finding renewal in the private, domestic life
even when accomplished without a man providing the finances for
it underscores the location of women’s happiness in domesticity
rather than in their public, professional lives.
In a related fashion, all of the women face significant
professional failures and hold underwhelming jobs throughout the
series. Hannah begins the series as an unpaid intern, loses two
book deals, and quits all of the significant opportunities for a
successful career a lucrative job in advertising at GQ, an MFA
program in creative writing at Iowa, and a job as an English teacher
before they can genuinely manifest in professional fulfillment for
her. Marnie is fired from the art gallery where she works and
spends time working as a personal assistant for a less-qualified
woman while pursuing a career as a folk singer. Jessa works as a
babysitter and a store clerk in a baby’s clothing store. Upon
graduating from college, Shoshanna fails at interview after
interview. Most interest and disappointing, in terms of the
depiction of 20-something career struggles, is that every failure
seems to come down to a personal character flaw possessed by
each of these women. Hannah is a narcissist. Marnie is uptight.
Jessa is flaky and a junkie. Shoshanna is annoying and naïve. Every
woman in Girls seems fundamentally incapable of thriving in the
professional world. Is anyone successful professionally in this
show? Yes, in fact, Ray (Alex Karpovsky), Shoshanna’s 30-
something ex-boyfriend and male friend of others in the group.
In addition to underwhelming careers, hyperdomescitiy,
and a return to the hometown, Negra points to time crises as a
narrative trope of postfeminist media. Hannah faces several time
crises, particularly concerning writing deadlines, and the final
episode the second season, “Together,” centers on Hannah’s
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