For someone who generally only manages to watch a couple of hours of TV each week, I watched a lot of series finales over the weekend. Here are my thoughts on the series finales of Homeland, Girls and Broadchurch (all reviews are spoiler-free for the finales).
Homeland’s season six brought the show’s focus back to the U.S., which in the homeland universe, had just elected Elizabeth Keane as its next president. A series that isn’t shy of tackling difficult topics like Carrie Mathison’s bipolar disorder, Homeland dealt with a number of new topics this season, alongside its usual line-up of national security, terrorism and intelligence. These topics included the repercussions of Peter Quinn’s injuries, Carrie’s relationship with her daughter, and the spread of “fake news”, a topic which is also prominent in our own media.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m becoming better engaged with the subject matter, or because Homeland has become simpler, but for some reason, this season felt a lot easier to follow and comprehend than previous seasons. The first half of the series began slowly, but by the final few episodes, my eyes were glued to the TV, and this week’s finale felt particularly shocking. It felt filled with danger and excitement, and even concluded on a shocking twist, setting the scene for the seventh season.
I’m pleased that Homeland has managed to keep things interesting and diverse despite being six seasons in. It does a great job of being an adrenaline-filled series without feeling like one-dimensional, and the character of Carrie Mathison has been a refreshing and inspiring presence on television. Overall, this was a really great season for Homeland, with the final couple of episodes as clear highlights. I’m looking forward to seeing if the show can maintain this same pace for the next season.
This Sunday was also time for the last ever episode of Girls, Lena Dunham’s witty and candid comedy about a group of twenty-somethings living in New York. Over its six seasons, I’ve watched the characters struggle with frienddships, romance, employment, and mental health. To me, the humour in Girls has always come second to its honesty. I’ve appreciated the glimpse into the lives of these ordinary, but messy and complicated young people, and felt reassured by the fact that they didn’t have everything worked out yet.
In the final series, I hoped to gain some kind of closure. I’d hoped to see how the girls had evolved over the past few years, how friendships and circumstances have changed, and how they’ve grown as people, overcoming the obstacles that had been thrown their way. In some ways, the final few episodes gave me this. The dynamics of their friendships had completely changed, along with their priorities.
The penultimate episode was one of my favourites: it made it clear how much Hannah’s friendships had changed, as she realised her friends weren’t there for her when she needed them the most. It also saw her wondering if she’d “made her mark” on the city of New York, and if she was ready to let it go. This episode said goodbye to her friendships, and to the city.
Meanwhile, the final episode focused on Hannah and Marnie, and their life away from Brooklyn. I liked seeing how in some ways, Hannah had matured, but still maintained a lot of her same quirks, flaws and passions. I liked that it ended by giving Hannah, who’d always been portrayed as a little selfish, and absorbed by her own issues and insecurities, learning to take care of someone else. But at the same time, Hannah and Marnie still felt like they were making some of the same mistakes, and struggling with the same uncertainty that they have since the beginning.
Overall, it was a quiet, untraditional finale for an untraditional series.
Girls wasn’t the only series delivering a last-ever-episode this weekend. Monday meant it was time for the Broadchurch finale. This episode concluded the plotline of Trish’s rape, along with giving us a final look at the Latimer family, who we’ve followed since the original Broadchurch mystery, Danny’s death, back in season one.
Broadchurch is a series of which I’ve enjoyed every episode. The pairing of Olivia Colman’s Ellie Miller, and David Tennant’s Alec Hardy has been fantastic to watch throughout the series, as the characters have gone from rivals begrudgingly working together, to friends, still somewhat begrudgingly putting up with each other. This season has been difficult to watch, tackling a difficult and serious subject in the rape of Trish Winterman. The writers handled this subject incredibly well, with tact and consideration, whilst still providing the usual mystery and complexity that leaves viewers frantically trying to join the dots.
This ending itself was fantastic. As usual, the reveal of the perpetrator felt shocking, but without being made for shock factor alone. It also provided a last look at Beth and Mark Latimer, finally giving a little bit of closure to their ongoing storyline.
I’m’ not usually someone who watches a lot of crime drama, but thanks to the smart writing and dynamic and witty duo of Miller and Hardy, Broadchurch has been one of my favourites.
So, my three current series have just ended, meaning I have a TV-shaped gap in my life to fill. I’m hoping to use this time to catch up with the second seasons of The Path and Mr Robot, along with the first season of Preacher, which I discovered a couple of months ago, but haven’t had the time to catch up with. Hopefully, along with weekly episodes of Doctor Who, and plenty of Critical Role to catch up with, this should keep me occupied.
What are you watching at the moment?