Film & TV

The ‘Girls’ Finale and the Internet’s Worst Writing This Week

Film & TV

The ‘Girls’ Finale and the Internet’s Worst Writing This Week


It’s been a great couple of days for bad writing on the internet. Aside from my own unending deluge of reliably hacky and lazy blog posts, on Friday CNN published what has to be the worst lede ever written in the history of music writing. They’ve since edited it out, wisely, but here it is in case you missed it.

The rest of the piece didn’t get much better from there.

A follower on Twitter alerted me to another pretty strong contender from a few months back that I had missed.

While those are both certainly commendably, superlatively shitty, last night a new victor emerged in our daily struggle to banal-bludgeon one another to death on the internet in a recap of the Girls finale posted on the WSJ‘s Speakeasy blog.

Writing recaps of television shows the night they air, especially widely-covered ones like Girls, is a lot harder than it looks. It’s something I learned myself last month throwing my hat into the ring with some #strongthinking on True Detective for Esquire. Not only are you on a tight deadline, working late on a Sunday night, but you also have to contend to with the fact that literally every one of your competitors has someone trying to squeeze word-blood out of the same content-stones. A show like True Detective, rich as it was with allusions, bullshit or otherwise, makes things a lot easier. Girls, on the other hand, is somewhat more transparent. So while I sympathize with the pressures of the task, I sort of expect someone writing for such a prominent publication to at least put in a modicum of effort.

It’s kind of hard to pick out just a few sentences from this one. It’s almost sort of admirable in its commitment to literally recapping the plot of the show and nothing else. Here’s a taste:

Hannah goes to visit Adam at his show. Hannah says she’s so proud of him and goes into some speech that seems well meaning. Adam says he loves her and Hannah reciprocates. But then Hannah tells him she got into grad school in Iowa (in my head, I’m screaming, ‘bad timing!’) Hannah has the worst timing. Like Marnie before her, she makes it all about her. This is why those girls can’t get along – they are both so selfish.

Hannah says this is a great thing but Adam looks pretty upset and crushed.

Hannah, Ray and Elijah are waiting for the show to begin. Marnie and Shoshanna show up. Shoshanna tells Ray they are going to have a chat. It is clear to him that she knows what’s up.

All of that did happen. This too:

At intermission, Elijah says he’ll miss having Hannah in the city. Elijah then tells Marnie (after Hannah walks away) that the show won’t get good reviews. Marnie tells Elijah about the kiss with Desi. Elijah, while wearing a suit that has suit-shorts, tells Marnie he doesn’t have a good feeling about it.

I just copied and pasted that paragraph here. I didn’t have a good feeling about it. Then I went outside. I stared at the sky for a while. The sky is big. It’s also blue.