Girls Episode 1.2 Review

So, you may have heard of this little thing on HBO called Girls. It’s directed, written, and stars Lena Dunham, who previously made the film Tiny Furniture (that just happens to be in the Criterion Collection despite its 2010 release date.) You couldn’t have avoided the post-premiere frenzy of the last week. “It’s racist/elitist/the result of nepotism!” screamed the Internet. Everyone’s got an opinion on Girls; It doesn’t really matter if they watch the show. It’s the best/worst show on television; the second coming and the seventh seal of the apocalypse. Like it or not, though, this Judd Apatow produced comedy has a full run on the HBO locked down.

So, let’s put together the pieces of what happened this week on Girls, whether you enjoyed it, were indifferent or indulged in some hate-watching.

Girls‘ second episode began with a cold open to Hannah and Adam (also known as Douchebag) engaged in some HBO rated sex. It’s excruciating to watch, and that’s exactly what Dunham wants. Unfortunately, her relationship with Adam is about 50% of everything we know about Hannah up to this point, and I’m really quite tiring of her willingness to put up with him — and it’s only the second episode. It doesn’t help that Adam gives her an STD. After leaving Adam to his apparently condomless (and tactless) existence, Hannah’s got a job interview! Yes! But she bombs! No! Her interview is an excellent run of dialogue, and her rape joke is unexpected, completely in-character, and Dunham’s attempt to save the conversation and make the joke seem flippant was palpable with regret.

The A-story of the night was Jessa’s abortion, with Marnie organizing a pseudo get-together at the abortion clinic for support/STD testing. Where Marnie and Hannah (though less successful in all endeavours) confront their problems head on, Jessa, chronically sleepy and aloof, has indulged in a life of international travel and pot. Commitment of any kind, even to make the decision between having an abortion or not, is difficult for Jessa. Her default reaction is inaction. It’s, therefore, not suprising to see Jessa skip the abortion party — it turned into a party when Shoshanna brought Dylan’s Candy Bar snacks — and down a few drinks with the crotchety old men Hannah praised during her unfortunate job interview. Then, of course, in walks some stranger who vaguely looks like Cillian Murphy in the shadows, and it’s a given sex will be had, and, oh, the pregnancy just solves itself. Apathy works sometimes, kids. This sentiment is later repeated with Hannah’s fear of AIDS, where she starts almost daydreaming about not having to pay her rent or keep a job; She could use AIDS as an excuse to get out of her commitments. This little deferment fantasy is probably the most telling portrayal of Hannah’s mindset thus far in Girls.

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Marnie’s become bored with her relationship with Marnie’s Boyfriend. He has a name, but it doesn’t really matter.  All the audience needs to know is the Marnie’s developed a distate for her “too great” boyfriend of four years. It looks like he’s been dumped, but the scene lacked a finality for a relationship of that length. Maybe he’ll return, or maybe Marnie will move on quickly to a better storyline. She really is the least developed of the characters. I still don’t quite understand what Marnie does for a living; She does have a scene where she’s in an office (But was it an office?) and could have been working. She was blatantly taking a personal phone call and talking about the gynecologist though. So, let’s not jump to conclusions. She’s probably employed, is all I’m saying.

Shoshanna, as a character, is in a very precarious position on Girls. She’s representative of everything I personally believe Lena Dunham despises: the “Girl Power,” yoga class-attending, Sex and the City-watching, hand-me-down view of young female adulthood that’s still very much prevalent — the image Girls is attempting to subvert. Shoshanna has grown up with these expectations and idolizes this culture of stilettos, bestfriendship, and sexual freedom — “I heard you were getting an STD test. Fun.” — but she doesn’t participate. Not really. Shoshanna’s a reluctant, twenty-year-old female virgin on an HBO series, and isn’t that surprisingly refreshing?

Oh, and another thing:

  • “So good. I almost came.”
  • I thought there’d be a title sequence this week, but there was nothing. I really hope this was just because of time constraints on this particular episode. If I had an HBO show and didn’t get one of their elaborately beautiful titles sequences, I’d be angry.
  • “I could not be more proud of you for getting this abortion.” I predict that Jessa and Shoshanna will probably be my favourite characters.
  • “Have you seen your nuts? Ew.” And then wait for it — “Ew.” The delivery of that last “Ew” was perfect.
  • I kind of want all of Hannah’s clothes in this episode.
  • “I am not a character from one of your novels. Stop staring at my face so hard.” At least Hannah’s not scribbling in a notebook like in Kicking & Screaming. I might need to reference Noah Baumbach in every Girls recap.
  • The underwear stains thing.
  • I really did think that guy that called his mother with Jessa’s “cellular phone” was Cillian Murphy. I honestly did. But it was just a hipster.
  • Marnie’s response to Shoshanna’s virginity is that she hit a dog with her car and only has a learner’s permit.
  • “It’s more of a Forrest Gump based fear.”

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