Last night was the Girls season finale on HBO, and though there was some controversy throughout the season, there’s one thing that makes this show a success: the reality.

This is a column written by’s Senior Editor and writer John Thrasher. You can follow John on Twitter @jthrasher.

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 1, Episode 10 “She Did.”

It’s very rare that a show can win me over in its first season. I find it very hard to like a lot of the shows that most of my friends like, based on the simple notion that the storytelling is boring/uninteresting/unrealistic (sorry True Blood fans, I tried!). However, the new HBO series Girls was not only amazing for each of those reasons, but each episode seemed to get better and better.

This season was marked with various controversies. The first being its apparent notion about sexism and gender. A couple of weeks ago we posted this story on Hypable asking if the HBO series is really about girls at all, with the Hypable user suggesting that each of the main characters is dependent on the validation of the men in their lives. And yes, while that was somewhat true, it was also one of many points of realism the show reflected to the audience. What makes Girls so interesting is how it took an unconventional TV formula and made it a huge hit across multiple demographics. These days, to make a successful TV show, you have to have a male heroic protagonist or a sitcom/comedy full of pop culture references and one-liners (Mad Men, Glee, Arrested Development much?). Don’t even think about a show with a female lead that has something to offer beyond her body, though. Our society’s scope of what makes great TV is based on traditional masculine ideals.

Girls, written, directed, produced by and starring Lena Dunham, has turned a comedy series with a flawed (not heroic) female protagonist into a critical and mainstream success. The show reflects a group of girls, each dealing with their own struggle to maturity, at times cringe-worthy, but overall likable, interesting, and most importantly realistic. Are we meant to criticize Hannah when she takes the tip in the hotel room in the pilot episode or are we meant to take a deeper look at ourselves, the reality, and wonder if we’d do the same thing? In fact, I had this conversation as it happened with my friends (who ironically live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – the same neighborhood as Hannah and Marnie). At first they said, “Wow, I can’t believe she did that,” to which I responded, “Honestly, if I were in her position, I would have done the same thing.” Eventually we all came around and agreed that we would have taken all of the money if our parents cut us off in the same way. It’s unclear if we’re supposed to root for Hannah, criticize her narcissism, or look at all things and wonder how much of ourselves we see in her, even if we don’t say it out loud. And it’s that inner monologue with ourselves, that I only recently realized as being my subconscious, that makes this show a true piece of art.

We are part of a society where the masculine perspective of the blonde-bombshell or the femme fatale is the only “acceptable” way for a female protagonist to exist. Hannah is the character that most of these “acceptable” female characters make fun of or are used to contrast the differences between our perceived notion of what it means to be beautiful. Lena Dunham’s character Hannah breaks this all down with the audience finding her realistic portrayals of femininity, body issues and trust as reasons to celebrate rather than draw comparisons. As a feminist myself, and someone who loves successes like Bridesmaids, I couldn’t be happier and more celebratory for Hannah and what she represents.

That isn’t to say the show doesn’t have its season-1-style problems as well. Should the show bring in more diversity regarding race? Yes, I think so. And there are reports that Community’s Donald Glover has been seen shooting scenes with Dunham. The cast, supporting characters and guest stars have all predominately been white. That’s unrealistic, particularly in New York City… Or is it? Maybe there are social circles that are specifically white-centric, but not in a racist way. This show is more about realism and less about cultural expectations. There are tons of reasons this show could be criticized, whether it be about how doing crack is perceived as “fun,” or how the main characters depend on men too much, how the supporting characters (Shoshanna) are underdeveloped, or how certain demographics are underrepresented. There are an array of cracks to mend. However, the realism and perspective of the narrator present a story based more on the the situational realities of life and less on whether or not a female is dealing with them.

The season finale really nailed this unapologetic point-of-view regarding reality. Each character ended the season with their own personal version of maturity. Marnie, who on the outside seems like she has it all together, is arguably the least stable person on the show (yes, even over Adam) after her situation with Charlie, moving out of her apartment with Hannah, and then ultimately finding herself making out with the wedding host (played by SNL’s Bobby Moynihan). Shoshanna spent the entire season in a panic about where she is in life regarding her sexual maturity. We are meant to assume that she has overcome that hurdle (in her eyes, not mine), with Ray of all people. And Jessa, the resident hippie vagabond, randomly married the man who she was meant to have a threesome with, in what seemed to me like a clear attempt to take control of her otherwise uncertain whimsical life. Through various levels of realism, these portrayals of women and young people in general are arguably the most realistic depictions of real-life issues that are also not specifically about gender. Girls has turned the notion of women being objects of beauty, rather than having something to say, on its head and has done so on a mainstream level.

The season ended just as it began: with Hannah stuffing her face with food. This time, she clearly has her cake (and eats it too). A lot of Girls fans were wondering what it all meant. To me, after Adam rode off in his ambulance, it was all about her accepting where she is in the moment. The final scenes, which to me were a direct reflection of Adam’s “Time is a rubberband,” were all about Hannah accepting the realities, not over-thinking it, and simply admiring a moment alone on a beach at Coney Island after a rather dramatic last 24 hours.

Season 2 is in production with Dunham tweeting that she was excited for everyone to watch the season 1 finale because she was putting the finishing touches on the season 2 finale at the same time! No word on when Girls season 2 will premiere just yet, but I know I for one will be waiting to see how the circumstances from the finale fare and how Lena Dunham will continue to realistically challenge the notion of what it means to be a female on television in 2012.

After all that talk of inclusivity, Star Trek Beyond falls into the Hollywood trap of implied sexuality.

Mild spoilers for Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek Beyond, already a wildly anticipated movie, made headlines ahead of its release because of the franchise’s decision to introduce the first openly LGBT character: Mr Sulu, played by John Cho.

While this decision was certainly met with excitement, there was disappointment, too. The original Mr Sulu, George Takei, openly voiced his opinion that they should have introduced a new LGBT character rather than expand on original canon (as they have been the whole trilogy), while Simon Pegg beautifully argued that there was power in using an established character who wouldn’t be defined by his sexuality.

Then came the movie itself, and while the introduction of gay Sulu is still a great thing, we’re left sorely disappointed by Beyond‘s decision to depict the LGBT relationship — or rather, hardly depict it at all.

As reported by our friends at The Mary Sue, the scene featuring Sulu and his husband Ben depicts a “lukewarm” relationship, although Sulu is very affectionate with the pair’s daughter.

This is, unfortunately, a common problem in Hollywood when an LGBT couple — almost impossibly — makes it into a big franchise film. They’re allowed to be there, but having any kind of physical interaction even remotely resembling what a heterosexual couple might have still seems to be off-limits.

Related: Hollywood is failing the LGBT community: GLAAD slams Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros.

And, according to John Cho, there was actually a kiss filmed. “There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore,” he told Collider. “It wasn’t like a make-out session. We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough.”

Cho points out that Ben was played by a non-actor, writer Doug Jung, and says, “Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We’re two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view.”

And we wish we could have seen it. Introducing a major LGBT character in the Star Trek franchise is a fantastic first step, and depicting two POC actors raising a child together is a great statement — but, unfortunately, the decision to cut out their kiss (which was already chaste, by the sounds of it) is emblematic of Hollywood’s continuous phobia of depicting LGBT relationships and intimacy on the big screen.

As Screen Crush also points out, this exact same scenario played out in Independence Day: Resurgence, too. In Finding Dory, the lesbian couple are only implied, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence.

LGBT representation (when present at all) is always so subtle, evidently in fear of offending straight audiences while not totally erasing non-straight sexualities. And, sadly, even that is considered a big step forward — but maybe it’s time we start depicting humanity as it is, and not what society wished it was 100 years ago.

Here’s looking at you, Star Wars.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Present day Han Solo may’ve left the main Star Wars series after the events of The Force Awakens, but the character’s time in movie theaters is far from over.

The new Han Solo film from Lucasfilm — scheduled to hit theaters in May 2018 — might turn into a trilogy for the reluctant hero, according to the New York Daily News.

The paper reports that star Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-picture deal, suggesting that the studio intends to expand the Han Solo spinoff into a trilogy. “They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” a source told NY Daily News. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”

This makes a lot of sense given the popularity of the character coupled with his absence in Episode 8 and beyond. We also know that Lucasfilm and Disney have many, many grand plans for Star Wars in the years ahead: The very first Star Wars theatrical spinoff, Rogue One, opens later this year. Episode 8 then hits theaters a year later (2017), followed by Han Solo’s own movie (2018). Next comes Episode 9 in 2019, followed by yet another spinoff reportedly focused on Boba Fett in 2020.

As for 2021 and beyond? Only time will tell, but we expect more movies set in the worlds of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now Han Solo.

The Han Solo spinoff will be directed by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They’re currently deep into pre-production, as this tweet from Lord this morning shows:

“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said last July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”