Girls‘ Marnie Michaels is more than she seems. She may be beautiful enough to have a “pretty person job” and she is constantly praised for her commitment to hygiene, but underneath her Real Housewives-worthy exterior, Marnie is a young woman who is crumbling and trying her best to get up. Marnie suffers, she realizes life is not what it could have been, but she is not giving up – and this is why she’s admirable as the show progresses.
We are introduced to Marnie as a young Brooke Shields doppelganger who is unsatisfied with her meek boyfriend Charlie. Their relationship breaks down, not only once but twice, with Marnie being told she was not loved by him. Next comes a career setback, sex with a gay man, her tryst with Booth Jonathan and an embarrassing YouTube video. Marnie is forced to reexamine her life and evaluate what she truly wants. It is a fall from grace and Marnie knows it.
Despite their incompatibility and past fights, it is Marnie who is constantly reaching out to narcissistic Hannah, who is as self-absorbed as ever in season three. It is Marnie who calls, organizes birthday parties and weekend vacations and it is Hannah who is complaining. Who hasn’t tried to resuscitate a friendship which is going nowhere?
Marnie is often condemned for her perfectionism, and perhaps her seriousness when compared to the likes of her friends. She is often called uptight and she has addressed this after her break up with Charlie: “Sometimes being stuck in my own head is so exhausting it makes me want to cry.” It is something she tried to lose as she attempted to be free and kissed Jessa and Jessa’s wedding celebrant. However, someone has to be the responsible one and pay the bills while Jessa is hustling and Hannah is whining and making petty observations. Marnie is the level-headed friend we all need and too often it is easy to dismiss her when we compare her to the craziness around her.
Yes, Marnie is changing or “transitioning” and trying to make the best of a bad situation. She has to catch the bus, works at Ray’s and is still not jaded enough to stop singing or pursuing her talent, despite cringe-worthy past moments. Who can forget Marnie singing a Kanye West song or her more resent Rent rendition? Despite it all, Marnie has a ‘never say die’ attitude and this is admirable. She is trying to be the best person she can be and not blaming the world for her problems. That’s what girls need to focus on, instead of judging her for being too perfect or dull.
Marnie’s perfect bubble has burst and she sees the world in a new light. Ray is a character she has abhorred and judged, but suddenly he is the only form of stability in her life and his is the opinion she values. After getting over the stun of their pairing, viewers realize that Marnie can be herself in front of him, her true self. She can eat pizza and have her wall down and be honest about life.
While characters become stagnant, Marnie is being reborn and frankly, she is a better person than she was when first introduced to viewers in season one. She has lost the tailored suit, admits to being lost and at the end of the day, would still be there to support her friends. She may watch bad TV and annoyingly organize everything, but Marnie Michaels is a tenacious fighter who is not admitting defeat. That’s the kind of girl we need on TV.
Featured image via CinemaBlend