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But as the finale approaches, it’s looking like the show will allow some of its characters a degree of self-actualization — and that at least for Hannah and Shosh, the characters who have evolved the most, finding oneself is as much about letting go as it is about building something new.
If this episode is Hannah’s version of the “Why I’m Leaving New York” essay, it’s Shosh’s take on “Why I’m Leaving the Friend Group.” Forced to step out of her own engagement party to legislate a friendship crisis between three people she barely sees, Shoshannasays all the things that viewers have said all along — that her friends are selfish and immature and toxic — and that she needs to leave them behind in order to become the person she wants to be.
The story of Jerry and Shoshanna is probably best told in a “The Game of Love,” published in March of 1994, which is positioned from the perspective of the world having taught itself to accept their romance.
“When Jerry Seinfeld fell for 17-year-old Shoshanna Lonstein, cynics snickered,” the subheadline reads.
For months now, Seinfeld and Lonstein have quietly gone about the business of getting to know one another.
At George Washington University in Washington, where Lonstein, now 18, enrolled in September, the couple walk arm in arm across campus when Seinfeld pops in for an occasional visit.
In choosing to leave the city and take the teaching job upstate (a life choice Elijah derides as “something your family makes you do when you’re too deep into crack to stop them”), and by breaking their contract “to suffer and be miserable in this godforsaken rathole together,” Hannah is finally, belatedly taking Shosh’s advice: to give up on what she thought her life would look like and listen to what she really wants.
Last season on during Shoshanna’s time in Japan, I wrote that it had finally become okay to “be a Shoshanna” — to identify with a character who had previously felt more like an amalgamation of quirky mannerisms than a fully fleshed-out individual.
For a show that has always reveled in ambiguity, this is a pretty clear closing statement. There have only been 12 scenes featuring all four main characters, and these group interactions tend to exacerbate the feeling that, as Margaret Lyons once put it, “there’s no way” these people would still be hanging out together.“So,” Stern said, feigning moral indignation, “you sit in Central Park and have a candy bar on a string and pull it when the girls come?”Amazingly, Seinfeld, master of his comedy domain, was flustered.“No more.”And yet, the article mostly focuses on Seinfeld’s quest to justify dating a woman 21 years younger than him. Schneider recounts an interview Seinfeld did with Howard Stern, in which Stern, as he would, jokes about Seinfeld being the sort of boogeyman in a windowless van that parents warn little children about.Howard Stern homed in on the May-August aspect of the relationship when the radio host interviewed his old friend last spring.