Episode 6 “Free Snacks”
‘Sup guys? How was your weekend? Mine was good. My roommate cooked a delicious Israeli dish using a “cook book.” I ate some cheese over the sink.
Every moment is a night cheese moment for Elena.
Now let’s get down to business. What happened to the gang this last episode of Girls?
We first check in on Hannah at Café Grumpy’s. Hannah apparently has a new job! No, she really means it this time, Ray. This isn’t a bullshit job. She’s working for GQ! All right fine, so it’s not in the editorial department, it’s in the advertorial section sponsored by Neiman Marcus. THERE. Are you happy now, you cynical sack of crap?
For those not in the know, advertorials are advertisements that are disguised as editorial content. While they look like normal articles or TV segments reporting on a new trend, advertorials are in fact sneaky paid advertisements trying to sell you that very trend. Now, not all advertorials are this stealthy. Some are very obvious about trying to teach you about how you can become a killing machine who keeps squirrels off the bird feeder and shoots “ky-oates”.
At work, Hannah befriends Joe, played by dreamy Michael Zegen, of Rescue Me and Frances Ha fame. Just how dreamy is Michael Zegen? Enough for me to have now both followed him on Twitter and done a “Michael Zegen girlfriend” Google search. I’m not sure if the Twitter account I followed is actually his or that of a weirdo trying to lure young women who are attracted to Michael Zegen into their basement, but I’m willing to take that risk.
Joe informs Hannah that there is ongoing war between GQ’s editorial (aka “artsy”) and advertorial (aka “sell-out”) writers. In my head, this war will one day manifest as a Westside story-esque letter-opener fight that will only be diffused by the power of dance. I anticipate this story will be more interesting than the other modern day retelling of Westside Story, Boogie Town.
Joe starts becoming life partner potential when he introduces Hannah to the snack room. Like Hannah, the moment I heard “snack room,” everything blurred. Did Joe forget to mention that these are FREE snacks? No, he did not, because Joe is perfect.
Editor Janis, played by real-life J. Crew creative director and general bad bitch Jenna Lyons, chairs Hannah’s first team meeting. Janis tasks the writers to come up with eight urban male types that a clever advertorial could be written around. So far on the list? “The Millennial Man’s Man,” “Mr. Midnight,” and something that phonetically sounds like “The Gowanus Yachtsman.” These sound like the crappiest superheroes ever.
Hannah has two very well-received additions:
“Kewl Dad”: Dad who is not trying to be cool, but has so comfortably embraced vintage Bill Cosby dadness that he has come all the way around to actually being cool. Sorry. Kewl.
“The Kabballer”: A little sleazy. Looking for sex. But wearing a kabbalah bracelet so you know he’d fuck some serious enlightenment into you. So basically Matthew McConaughey with a red string on his wrist.
This segment made me wonder about what urban male types would be included in a Toronto advertorial. Perhaps…
The “Post-Grunge Filmster”: Found in Ossington, this type will scare you with how futuristic his style is. He’s beyond beards and tank tops. Sheer mesh and flannel is the future. He’s working as an art director and wants to text you a screencap of his newest project. Surprise. It’s a black and white photo of his penis. Female version last seen wearing multiple pigtails, a fur hat, gold armbands, and baseball jersey, all at the same time.
The “Bay Street Jim Halpert”: Found on Bay Street (duh), this type is an endearing best friend or a possible romantic connection. He’s cool enough to both rock and know what a skinny tie is, but not cool enough to not grow a less-than-impressive moustache for Movember and SnapChat you pictures of himself as a robot made up of office supplies.
Like the “Mod Hatter” suggested by GQ writer Kevin, these are perhaps less types, and more guys I’ve seen and/or dated.
I often find it frustrating when shows tell us things about characters rather than showing us, so it was great to see Hannah demonstrate how skilled she can be at writing tasks. When our girl gets back home, we learn that Adam went on an audition, but tanked it because he doesn’t care about getting a job. Nope, he cares more about the challenge of reading emotional cues from strangers in a high-pressure situation. Hannah then points out that something cooler than behaving like a sociopath is actually getting a job!
Besides being a cynical crap bag, what’s Ray doing this episode? Apparently, calling Marnie from his place of work in the middle of the day. I’m assuming Marnie is at home in the middle of the day watching reality shows because she’s so exhausted from sending out millions of job applications.
Ray tells Marnie that he’s checking in to make sure that sleeping together didn’t ruin their friendship. Marnie astutely points out that he has nothing to worry about.
Ray insists he’s following a gentlemanly protocol, but he seems to be forgetting whom he’s dealing with. While Shosh may have needed nurturing after her first sexual experience with Ray, Marnie is much more secure, and tells Ray as much when she remains unimpressed with his gallantry.
To prove to Marnie that he actually wants to spend time with her (what is HAPPENING), Ray comes over to Marnie’s home, where they proceed to watch Real Housewives and have sex. The sex is just as steamy as last time.
The next day, the unlikely pair goes out for lunch, where a blowup over the ethics of international aid to Africa almost causes Marnie to walk out. When asked why she should stay, Ray gently says: “Because you have no one to eat lunch with. And neither do I.”
At first I thought Ray phoning Marnie was just a booty call extension (thought she can be awful, Marnie is gorgeous). The restaurant scene, however, made the logic behind this friendship click into place. Both characters are trying to get over someone, and both are surly enough that no one wants to be around at the moment. Additionally, both find it difficult to admit they’re going through a rough time. Will Ray and Marnie develop a weird little romance? Perhaps. Will this storyline lead up to a confrontation involving Shosh? Very likely.
Speaking of Shosh, our little undergrad seems to have tired of penis wandering, and is now pining after Ray. Current Ray is much more successful than the Homeless Ray she dumped a season ago, so this feeling is understandable. Shosh tells Jessa that she’s decided that her pining is a signal that her penis quota is up, and that she is now ready for a solid, mature relationship with someone who understands her goals and values. Shosh soon realizes, however, that the guys she is currently dating are basically a mashup of all of the dumbest questions ever put into Google. By the end of the episode, home girl dumps her latest boy toy mid-bang.
Back at GQ, Hannah tries to convince the other advertorial writers that there is a fundamental difference between them and her: Hannah wants to work at GQ only until her big literary breakthrough. What she discovers, however, is that the others never intended to be corporate shills. Like Hannah, they all made a mild splash in the literary community before being seduced by a dental plan, money, and free snacks. Hannah then has a horrifying realization that she’s landed the most dangerous job of all: The job that is not so great that you feel spiritually fulfilled, but not shitty enough to give you the urge to quit.
Hannah tries to prevent herself from being stuck at GQ by quitting. Hannah un-quits, however, once she realizes how coveted her placement is and how little money Adam’s dreamcatcher-based Etsy store will bring in. Joe, being amazing, comforts a distraught Hannah by reassuring her that a regimen of writing every night and on weekends will shield her from GQ’s sexiness.
When Hannah comes home later that night, we find out that Adam got an acting gig! Hoorayyyy!
Overall opinion: For the most part, I enjoyed this episode. It was great to see the new actors be given characters that meshed so well with their comedic talents. I hope that The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams gets lots more screen time. I’m also interested in seeing how Joe’s character plays out. Will he tempt Hannah away from Adam? Will I fight Hannah for Joe later? (Spoiler: I am scrappy and would win that fight hands down).
While I liked the playful interactions between Hannah and the other writers, the focus on GQ meant less time spent with Jessa and Shosh. I’m growing particularly concerned with how little focus Shosh’s storylines have gotten. Has she been relegated to a supporting player? As funny as it was to hear her say “no need to terminate sex just because we’re not meant for each other,” I found her breakup with Dum Dum McVneck robotic and uncharacteristically cold. While I love Shosh’s quirkiness, her detachment in the past few episodes unsettling. No me gusta. Serious points off.
Favourite lines: Man, there were so many, I couldn’t pick just one favourite. In no particular order:
Joe, in a meeting: “Fedoras are worse than genocide.”
Ray, at work: “It’s a cappuccino, Dean. Not a cup of chino. Fucking animals.”
Marnie: “Which Real Housewives locale is the most intriguing to you?” Ray: “The one set in Prague?”
Overall rating: Two and a half adult children out of five.