Miranda: A Brief Encounter

Miranda Cast

If you haven't seen the Miranda season 3 finale yet, turn your eyes away now! (And if you've never watched Miranda, you should absolutely check it out!)

The last two episodes of Miranda this year were some of the most painfully hilarious (and sometimes just painful) comedy I have seen in a good while. Other people wanting to make genuinely funny, non-offensive comedies about women and romance should take note. In the penultimate episode, Miranda struggled to say "I love you" to her boyfriend, before realizing that, as everyone has known since the beginning, she is still in love with long-time friend Gary. In true farcical Miranda style, her resulting attempts to figure out her feelings and express herself to Gary leads to turning random customers into agony aunts, fake!Take That tribute bands, and rampaging geese, before she finally blurts out her feelings in a fit of anger in front of him. In the final episode, Miranda positively goes into hiding, too embarrassed to face Gary, and declares that her new, adventurous, totally-over-him spirit is going travelling. More hilarity and emotion ensues.

There was lots to love about these two episodes, but the key moment, for me, wasn't funny at all. It was Miranda standing up for herself in a way that I'm not sure I've seen on TV before. Miranda is, in many ways, a reclamation of the sitcom trope of the crazy, needy single woman. In the first five minutes of this finale alone, she goes into seclusion, has pillows with Gary's face on them printed up, and sweeps around her apartment singing On My Own from Les Miserables. It's obviously very exaggerated and ridiculous, but it also sets up this scenario as something for us to laugh with rather than laugh at or deride completely. We're all in on the joke -- not that Miranda is completely dismissively crazy, but that we can all be a bit ridiculous sometimes (who hasn't had the urge to sweep around to On My Own in a fit of melodramatic angst?!), and that doesn't stop her from being a likeable, relatable character with proper emotions. So when Gary says that he's afraid he can't meet her needs, and she tells him off, saying that she's not needy, and that she only seems so because he never affirms. If he told her that he loved her, instead of holding back and leaving her hanging and confused, she wouldn't be so emotionally confused and uncertain, and she wouldn't be "needy" at all.

And as far as the proposals go? I hope Miranda accepts neither of them. She doesn't truly love Mike, and Gary is only proposing in a fit of panic. If she accepts him, she will never be able to stop doubting him and his behavior. He needs to grow up before they can truly be happy together. But despite the rather soap-opera-ish ending to the season, I have complete faith that the show will handle it in a way that is true to its characters, and, despite its somewhat farcical elements, true to life.