This episode of Girls was the second-last in a relatively controversial season. The tone of this season of the show has definitely been different than the last, and I find most of my blogs on the show this year have led to discussions about the series overall rather than specific episodes.
I recently told a friend who is behind several episodes of the show to “expect a series of short stories, not a TV series”. I like what Lena Dunham has done here, but I can completely understand why many wouldn’t. I’m fascinated by every episode, every character, every story. I think this is an interesting way to tell a story, and each week I’m dying to see more of it. But it’s unconventional, and I don’t know that I can even make a strong argument that it’s good. I just know that I love it.
One major reason many viewers have been dissatisfied this season is because of how little the titular girls have interacted. But I actually find that more interesting. Jessa has disappeared because of Jemima Kirke’s real life pregnancy, but also because she’s Jessa. She has been described as an unreliable friend from the very beginning. Shosh is younger, Jessa’s cousin, a college girl with her own college girl friends. She has never been at the core of Hannah’s universe, it seems. So the real problem here is how Hannah and Marnie have been drifting apart since we met them, and what that’s done to each woman. I’m completely fascinated by how utterly alone each one seems, because it’s something I recognize.
When you’re in your twenties, you at times end up alone. You rely on your parents less because you’re trying to be an adult. Your romantic relationships aren’t necessarily the most solid. And your friendships are evolving. You were once in college with these people, you were all in the same place in your lives. But post-graduation, that changes – people scatter, both physically and figuratively. Some people have demanding jobs, others have tons of free time. Some people end up in relationships and others are single. Some are finding success, others have no sweet clue what to do with their lives. It can push people apart. It has pushed Hannah and Marnie apart.
It’s interesting to see how this isolation has really weakened Hannah’s mental state. This week, she pushed a Q-tip far into her ear – twice. She’s floundering with the book deal, with Adam, with her whole life. She lied and told her parents that one of her “12 to 15 incredibly close friends” would accompany her to the hospital, but she went alone. In a ratty old T-shirt and no pants. She is not doing well.
Neither is Adam. He seemed it, for a while, but he’d gone to that AA meeting for a reason. One accidental run-in with Hannah sent him out of control – he drank, he had the violent, weird (and to many, offensive) sex with his new girlfriend that he’d had with Hannah. He ruined it.
Last week, I was worried what kind of route Marnie’s aspiration to be a singer would take us down. This week, I couldn’t be happier with it. Her cringe-inducing, humiliating performance at Charlie’s work party was hilarious to watch. Hilarious, and it made me want to vomit out of sympathy-embarrassment. Charlie was right in calling Marnie out on being a mess, but it also makes sense that Charlie would be attracted to that. He’s that kind of guy. He’s the guy that’s turned on by being the bigger person, by being the successful one to swoop in and save the damsel in distress. Marnie’s “journey” to self-destruction makes him feel even better about himself than he already would. So much of this show is unrelateable to me, because I’ve never really been a typical twenty-something. But this, I feel like I’ve witnessed this.
We didn’t get much from Ray and Shosh this week (Shosh’s hairstyles from this season should – and probably do – have their own Tumblr, though). Shosh was weird around Ray because she cheated, and she eventually blurted out “I did something bad!” followed by “I held hands with the doorman.” What? Is that a euphemism or did she lie? Ray seemed unbothered. I’m guessing it was a lie.
Next week’s season finale was written by Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow, so I’m interested to see what that will be like. The only other episode he’s credited on is “The Return” from last season, where Hannah goes back to visit her parents in Michigan. It’s an episode I like very much, but the only one from the first season that is similar to how these second season episode have been – more like a short story than a traditional TV episode. I’m looking forward to seeing how this season wraps up. I’ll miss Girls once it’s finished.