Marnie Michaels, I Love You Maggie Jankuloska

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

comments

Please help us maintain positive conversations by refraining from posting spam, advertisements, and links to other websites or blogs. we reserve the right to remove your comment if it does not adhere to these guidelines. thanks! post a comment.

  1. This isn’t a very deep or insightful comment, but does anyone know who designed the striped maxi dress that she was wearing in the beach house episode this season? I’m a little bit in love with it.

  2. People are never one dimensional. The reason why the show works is because it potrays characters who are realistic. Women with flaws. We are all flawed, but we love to judge other people, especially other women. I can’t dislike Marnie. Her character is complex, the many layers of her personality and the difficulties that she is facing in her life strike an honest chord. If you can’t empathize with Marnie, I feel like you’re probably missing out on the show entirely, and that’s a real shame cause its a great show.

  3. I don’t like Marnie. I think she is very judgemental and rude. I also think that she is a pretty shitty friend. Yes, it was amazing of her to organise a party for Hannah’s b’day but she turned the whole think into the Marnie show. She is just as narcissistic as Hannah, but a little better at hiding it. She forced Hannah to sing at her b’day party after Hannah explicitly expressing that she didn’t want to, just because Marnie wanted to show off her talent. She stood up at Charlie’s work event (she had no association with the work place) gave them a brief congrats on their hard work and then sang a random song in an attempt to show off her music talent and hopefully launch her stardom. She told the girls that they would have had a good time at the beach house if they just did the activities she had planned. But I think the most selfish thing she has done thus far is sleep with Shosh’s ex-boyfriend. The guy that Shosh lost her virginity to. She is also trying to actively hide from Shosh. All in all, I am really glad that I don’t have a “friend” like Marnie.

  4. I agree — Marnie isn’t so bad!!!! Shosh remains my favorite because I’m neurotic like she is, haha. But I understand Marnie’s frustrations in stumbling and constantly being pushed down.

    Laura Donovan | 3/04/2014 03:03 pm
  5. Honestly, all of the characters in GIRLS are mostly unlikeable. I think we can relate to them because we’re like, “oh, totally been there!” but this doesn’t make them “good.” Which is totally okay! I don’t think every female character needs to be likable in a story. Marnie is extremely flawed; she’s selfish and completely oblivious to her surroundings and Ray, for instance, can see right through that (hence, why that didn’t work out).

    I love GIRLS, but I think the point of the show is to create a parody of young adult New York/the human condition, not to evoke empathy from its viewers.

    • I don’t like Marnie. I think she is very judgemental and rude. I also think that she is a pretty shitty friend. Yes, it was amazing of her to organise a party for Hannah’s b’day but she turned the whole think into the Marnie show. She is just as narcissistic as Hannah, but a little better at hiding it. She forced Hannah to sing at her b’day party after Hannah explicitly expressing that she didn’t want to, just because Marnie wanted to show off her talent. She stood up at Charlie’s work event (she had no association with the work place) gave them a brief congrats on their hard work and then sang a random song in an attempt to show off her music talent and hopefully launch her stardom. She told the girls that they would have had a good time at the beach house if they just did the activities she had planned. But I think the most selfish thing she has done thus far is sleep with Shosh’s ex-boyfriend. The guy that Shosh lost her virginity to. She is also trying to actively hide from Shosh. All in all, I am really glad that I don’t have a “friend” like Marnie.

  6. I used to adore Marnie because I saw a lot of myself in her, and I could relate to the progression from uptight perfectionist at the start of Season 1 into the hot mess she became in Season 2. My favorite Marnie moment was one time in S1 where she was flipping through Charlie’s Facebook and sobbing while listening to Skyscraper by Demi Lovato.

    Gurl, we have ALL been there.

    In Season 3 though, I still see similarities between Marnie and myself, but mostly in a way where she has all of my most annoying, obnoxious traits, and they are magnified x100. I want to love her and have her get her crap together, but she can be so terrible.

    I think if Girls was real life, it would do Marnie a lot of good to get away from Hannah & Co., because she really has nothing in common with them. Be free, little Marnie, BE FREE!

HelloGiggles Podcast