Anyone on the internet last night may have felt a great disturbance in the pop-cultural force, as if millions of thinkpiece writers suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. That’s because Lena Dunham let slip to E! that she would be pulling the plug on her HBO dramedy Girls, always a reliable generator of strongly-held opinions, after it completes its sixth season. Fans of the show and fans of levying judgement on Lena Dunham alike were disappointed to hear that the show — scheduled to return to HBO’s airwaves on Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. — had begun its endgame.
Any despair fans may be feeling should come with a few caveats. For one, the season slated to commence next month is only Girls‘ fifth, meaning that even after the upcoming pack of episodes, everyone’s still got one more season to look forward to. So at the very least, any and all panicking can be pushed back to 2017. But what’s more, six is really a fine number of seasons for a TV show to last before closing up shop. When a TV show comes to an end, it can either do so gracefully at the behest of its creator when the time is right, or it can continue to perpetuate its own existence season in and season out until it collapses from exhaustion and dies. Hard to believe anyone would wish for a world where Girls runs in perpetuity until it gets bad enough to be cancelled. And even though we may be hurtling toward a world without Girls, it’ll be a long time until we live in a world without Lena Dunham. The woman’s got no shortage of plans, and she’ll surely deliver unto the masses a markedly Girls-like project once her time has been freed up.
The only appropriate way to process this development would be how the girls of Girls handle bad news: worry, call your friends, weep in public, buy clothes you can’t really afford right now, have sex with someone you only kind of like, call your friends again, weep in a bath tub, and then move on with your life.