As you may or may not know, I’m a big fan of trash TV. From Catfish to TOWIE, it’s one of my more unappealing traits, at least to some. But genuinely, it’s the means I’ve used to switch off from the world.
One of my favourite programmes of recent years has been Lena Dunham’s masterpiece, Girls. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a ‘younger’ version of Sex and the City (another addiction) whereby four twenty-something girls are trying to find themselves in New York. Whether that be by establishing a successful career, finding a man to make their dreams come true (or not) or just plain supporting one another in a unique way that girls can do.
Just to catch you up, before I make my point, there’s Hannah – a self-involved writer who was dating Adam, Marnie – again, pretty self-involved but she split up with her long-term boyfriend and is now shacked up with her singer-songwriter partner named Desi, Shosh – previously with Ray, she has focused on educating herself and Jessa – out of rehab, she’s an un-reliable drug addict with a taste for fast relationships.
There you go, pretty much, three and a bit seasons in one paragraph.
Anyway, the crux of my post today is about the latest episode. At the beginning of season four, Hannah left Adam behind in New York to go to the University of Iowa for a prestigious writers’ workshop. She has now returned a few episodes later, having not taken to her course, and found Adam has built a relationship with another woman, in her flat!
Now, to give this some context, one of the key takeaways I get from watching these type of programmes is an odd need to compare the characters to someone in my own life. For example, since season one, I’ve always compared Adam to Joe (Green Ranger). Their basic nature is very similar; sweet, caring and slightly insecure. However, when I watched this recent episode, I was taken into another part of my life.
After Hannah had finished locking herself in a room and pretending reality wasn’t happening, she came out and had a conversation with Adam before leaving. The key moment were these words, ‘I don’t love you anymore.’
There I was, 10 years later after the break-up of my first serious relationship, experiencing exactly the same feelings I had previously felt. I can remember the night as if it were yesterday. I was on MSN Messenger, as you were in the early ’00s, talking to him and the next minute, out of the blue, the conversation took a dark turn. It came down to those five words. The worst five words you can hear in a relationship that you never want to end.
I froze in my desk chair, staring at the conversation window.
The next minute I know, I’ve left my desk, walked down the stairs, told my mum I’m getting some air and walked out into the cold cul-de-sac. I walked for a bit before sitting on a kerb for a long time, only a few minutes from my home. I couldn’t process it – why? Why after all this time did it have to end, nothing seemed different. I began to cry and vowed that I would ‘fix’ the situation. That it would soon be under my control again after feeling so helpless and at the mercy of another.
The next day came around and I couldn’t fix it. I spent the rest of the day bawling my eyes out in various places around my Sixth Form College, then at home.
But the point I wanted to raise is what a brilliant job had been made of that episode. For it to take me back to that exact moment and re-create those exact emotions. Well done, indeed, Miss Dunham.
Have you ever found a particular TV series you can relate to? What are your favourite TV shows?