HBO’s Girls ended its first season Sunday night, and like the nine episodes that preceded it, viewers either loved it or hated it. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m one of the many people who can’t stand the show or star Lena Dunham, yet I still forced myself to watch the entire season (mostly for Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna, the only genuinely funny and good part of the whole show).
But I don’t want to write about how unlikeable Dunham’s character is. Dunham did a good job of that in the second-to-last episode when Hannah got into a huge fight with her roommate, Marnie, and Marnie said everything I’ve wanted to say to Hannah before moving out, making me like Marnie a whole lot more.
Instead, my question is about Hannah’s love interest, the perpetually shirtless Adam. Is he mentally unstable? And I don’t mean in a quirky, funny way, I mean in a potentially schizophrenic way.
All season long, Girls has been a weird love story between Hannah and Adam, but as the final episodes have had the two get closer, I’ve noticed that Adam’s behavior isn’t just amusing. In one episode he snuck into the shower with Hannah and peed on her leg for no apparent reason. In that same episode he was going to star in a surreal play he co-wrote, then walked out of an audition and quit, then gave his partner permission to perform the play anyway.
Adam’s ability to change his mind so quickly and his dramatic mood swings seem to suggest some deeper pathology. Maybe it’s as simple as bipolar disorder (he alternates between intense bursts of energy and moments of solemn reflection). Or maybe he’s a full-on schizophrenic, losing all touch with reality as he screamed at Hannah while standing in the middle of the street, almost inviting a car to hit him.
In his final scene, he continued to chastise Hannah even as he was loaded into an ambulance. This doesn’t seem like the action of a man in total control of his mental faculties.
So I ask: Is Adam mentally unstable? This is just another one of the stumbling blocks I have with the show. I have no idea if we’re supposed to think Adam is a great guy, Hannah’s soul mate who is just genuinely in love with her, or if he’s a severely disturbed individual whose actions suggest that he should be committed to a psychiatric institution.
Perhaps the reason I dislike Girls so much is that I think it’s the latter. Adam’s big speech about how Hannah is a good writer and a good friend and that he’s in love with her wasn’t moving to me. Instead, I found it disturbing, like he was a raving lunatic in the streets who, like a broke block or a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters, happened to stumble onto a moment of humanity and truth.
What do you think of Girls‘ Adam? Is he a wonderfully romantic, spontaneous boyfriend, or a mentally unstable wackjob?
(Image courtesy of HBO)