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5 character arcs we want to see on 'Girls' next season

Season four of Girls just ended, but we’re already looking ahead to next year. Here are five developments we hope to see on season five.

5. Shoshanna kills it in Tokyo.

Shoshanna Kills it in Tokyo (HBO)

For the first three seasons of Girls, it was easy to write off Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) as “the ditzy one.” She was younger than all the other characters, she was obsessed with her image and with impressing everyone else, and each of her scenes included more “likes” and “ums” than all of Mean Girls. But in season four, Shoshanna graduated NYU, and emerged as the most ambitious and self-assured (if naive) Girl of all. In the season finale, she was offered her dream job in marketing … in Tokyo.

Disregarding the implausibility that a fresh college grad (whose entire resume consists of the phrase “summer-camp counselor”) could land such a position, Shosh would actually excel at this job. She understands branding (see Ray’s campaign) and how to cater to a millennial clientele, and she’s driven. Most important, she’s the only character who’s demonstrated that, at this stage in her life, her career is the most important thing to her.

Sure, Girls could go the expected route and feature a few comical scenes in which Shoshanna bungles Japanese cultural customs and confounds the citizens of Tokyo with her rapid-fire diction and crazy hairdos (though those will probably fit in well in the fashion-forward city). But seeing Shoshanna conquer would be far more satisfying.

4. Ray and Marnie take a chance on each other.

Marnie and Ray (HBO)

The show’s most controversial pairing, Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Marnie (Allison Williams) have been circling each other for seasons now, hooking up briefly but never quite making it official—mostly because Marnie wouldn’t allow herself to see Ray, 30-something barista that he was, as a viable romantic option.

But Ray upped his game in season four. He read right through Desi’s (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) flimsy excuses, which the musician was masquerading as some sort of deep spirituality. Ray has always been the only character who supported Marnie’s musical dreams unconditionally, and he’s given her more sound advice than any of her cooler friends—including in the season finale, when he gave her the confidence to perform solo.

Ray and Marnie are an admittedly odd couple, and maybe she doesn’t deserve him. But Ray loves Marnie, despite his better judgment. Their potential as a real partnership is worth exploring.

3. Hannah experiences life with a (semi-)normal boyfriend.

Hannah Experiences Life with a (Semi)-Normal Boyfriend (HBO)

One of the sweetest, simplest scenes of Girls‘ fourth season came at the very end: a dialogue-free moment of Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Fran (Jake Lacy) kissing as snow fell softly all around them. It bodes well that this was the final shot Dunham chose to leave us with, a sign that the Hannah of season five will have a less sensational (if somewhat less exciting) love life.

Adam (Adam Driver) is the best character Girls has produced, but it seems that his and Hannah’s paths have finally diverged. After four grueling years of wild ups and downs (and acrobatic sex acts), it will actually be interesting and new to see Hannah try to make it with a “normal” guy—well, as normal as Fran can be and still date her. Our main character’s circle is very small, and filled only with people who think like her, or who, at least, are familiar with that worldview. Seeing Hannah step outside her liberal arts/artistic/über-liberal comfort zone will be a whole new adventure.

2. Tad moves to New York.

Girls Tad Season 5 (HBO)

One of the reasons this season succeeded was because the Girls universe grew a little larger. Whereas before every scene featured at least one of the four main characters, season four included a multi-episode plot line that focused exclusively on Hannah’s parents, Tad (Peter Scolari) and Loreen (Becky Ann Baker), and particularly on Tad’s coming out as a “proud gay man.”

For once, Hannah didn’t make her parents’ struggles all about her. She was actually pretty mature about the whole thing—well, as mature as she could be and remain recognizable as the Hannah we’ve been watching for four years. If Tad and Loreen finally split—an inevitability—then Tad could move to New York and the storyline could fit in with the rest of the show even more smoothly. Plus, the movie lends itself perfectly to that cringey-funny tone the show is known for. Imagine the possibilities: Tad spends a month on Hannah’s couch; Tad tries to fit into Brooklyn’s gay scene; or even Tad and Elijah (Andrew Rannells) hook up (gasp!).

Hannah and her father are currently at nearly the same level of experience when it comes to forming functional relationships with men. Watching them navigate those choppy waters together would be a compelling twist.

1. Jessa becomes a productive member of society (for a few episodes).

Girls Season 5 Jessa (HBO)

Shoshanna wasn’t the only character to have a career-related epiphany during the finale. Jessa (Jemima Kirke) realized that, despite her surly demeanor and general carelessness, she actually wants to help people by becoming a therapist. On the surface that might sound like a terrible idea, but it actually has its merits. After all, the only jobs Jessa has had were as a nanny and as Beadie’s (Louise Lasser) caretaker.

Sure, she doesn’t have the best track record (she helped Beadie attempt to kill herself), but she has potential. All Jessa needs is the right environment to share her skills. It’s impossible to imagine her character nodding mutely while rich New Yorkers drone on about their problems, but she has the perfect tough-love approach (not to mention the life experience) to work at a rehab clinic. Yelling at addicts to get their lives in order seems much more her speed, and something she could even excel at.

Of course, most of Jessa’s charm comes from her complete unwillingness to compromise, or even to take trivial things (like others’ feelings or societal norms) into account. It would be a shame if the character completely reformed. A few episodes of her treading the line would be the ideal amount.

What are you looking forward to next year? Let us know!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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