Which Guy On "Girls" Is The Most Tolerable?

In the first season finale, the men on the show, who had been entirely awful for nine episodes, finally showed their softer sides and didn’t act like complete jerks. Which one turned out to the least awful?

Two weeks ago, I wrote that as much as I enjoyed Girls, I found the male characters unrealistically terrible. They peed on women. They tried to force girls into threesomes. They refused to have sex with virgins. But in the season finale, they all simultaneously turned a 180, and became loving husbands and caring friends.

The drastic changes in all the male characters, just in time for the end of the season, felt a little forced, but I guess it’s better than if they’d just gone on acting like creeps for ever and ever?

Anyway, let’s have an end of season look at these guys:

2. John Thomas

We’ve only met John Thomas once before, and we knew him as the businessman with a luxury apartment and delusions about his skills as a DJ, who tried to have a threesome with Marnie and Jessa and who also went ballistic when Marnie spilled red wine on his expensive carpet. In the season finale, he appears at the altar, where he will marry Jessa. We are led to believe they’ve fallen in love.

From the outset, it was clear that John Thomas was pretty much a nerd looking for acceptance amongst Brooklyn cool kids. When they rejected his threesome and were unimpressed by his pricey belongings, he went on a diatribe against them. In the previous episode, Jessa’s boss told her she needed to grow up — and the shotgun wedding feels like Jessa’s way of saying, “Okay, I’m grown up now,” which leads me to believe she hasn’t really “fallen in love” with John Thomas.

That said, John Thomas thinks Jessa, the beautiful blonde carefree hippie girl, has fallen in love with him, and he feels like he finally belongs.

John Thomas was a jerk because he felt like an outsider, and now that he’s included he seems to be nice. Does this make him tolerable?

3. Charlie

Charlie started out as Marnie’s clingy, meek boyfriend — a real wet blanket. He was sweet, but impossible to like. Once they broke up, he somehow turned into a cool guy in a band who has a hot new girlfriend, which was confusing, but of course is always what happens when you break up with a guy who’s too nice.

It was almost cute in the finale, when Charlie asked Marnie if she wanted to go have sex in the bathroom, because “that’s what people do at weddings” and because his new girlfriend was “blogging about a tortilla festival in Santa Fe.”

The problem was that Charlie took this seriously, and Marnie didn’t. Instead, she decided to make out with the awkward wedding officiant, played by Bobby Moynihan, which a sad-faced Charlie spotted.

At the end of the season, Charlie’s back to where he was at the beginning: he’s sweet and very much in love with Marnie. Does that make him nice and charming, or annoying and predictable?

4. Ray

Ray’s acted like a pretentious know-it-all for much of the season, but his relationships with women on the show up until now have been fairly platonic (aside from that clueless girl he brought to a party in episode 1). Ray’s tendency in general is to be gruff and to the point, and he has little tolerance for girly antics, but if you think about it, his rude comments — like the time he made fun of an innocent customer’s sweater in the coffee shop — are more absurd than they are cruel. He’s been pretty forgiving of Hannah’s ineptitude at the coffee shop, and after some initial rude comments (“I’m not JAP Daycare”), he was actually pretty nice to Shoshana as she tripped on acid. He’s also been a very devoted friend to Charlie and Adam.

Though Ray was portrayed as the token impatient, pompous dude, he actually turns out to be one of the better men on the show. It’s actually not a surprise that he’s incredibly thoughtful and compassionate as he deflowers Shoshanna in the end of the finale.

So, is it better to be a jerk on the outside and a nice guy on the inside? Probably, but still ugh.

5. Elijah

Hannah’s now-gay ex-boyfriend Elijah has had some bitchy moments throughout the season — like when he slapped Marnie and when he told Hannah her father was gay. But he redeemed himself in the final episode by maturely admitting to Hannah that he in fact did give her HPV. Way to go, Elijah.

Then again, if admitting you gave someone HPV is the best you can do, well.

6. Adam

Oh, Adam. First you were completely manipulative and distant and non-committal, then you were kind of nice for a minute, and then you peed on your girlfriend, and then you started to act a little obsessive, but still nice.

In the second half of the season, Adam demonstrated one thing we weren’t sure of in the first few episodes: that he did in fact have emotions. There’s no doubt that Adam has feelings, both about life and also about Hannah. When he decides to commit, he says, he really does commit. With time, he’s been humanized, and his repelling grossness factor has subsided.

But I still don’t really like him.

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