Season 1, Episode 4, “Hannah’s Diary”

Episode 4 is a disappointing tease; it finally seems like something good is going to happen for each character, but then things go horribly wrong.

Charlie singing excerpts from Hannah’s private diary.

Things seem to be improving between Marnie and her boyfriend, but then he sings a song based off things Hannah wrote in her diary about how they are wrong for each other and should break up. He storms off the stage at the song’s conclusion, clearly enraged. Marnie is shell shocked and throws her drink at Hannah, racing off to chase Charlie. Shoshanna reconnects with an old friend from camp and almost has sex with him, but when she mentions she is a virgin he bolts for the door. Jessa bonds with other nannies at the park, even trying to organize a union of child care specialists, only to realize while doing so, she lost the children.

And finally, we have Hannah. Adam “sexts” her a picture of himself, which seems like a step in the right direction towards normal couple behavior. Hannah is excited and makes a big deal out of it, even waking up Marnie and her boyfriend to joke about it. But then she receives another text from Adam, saying the picture wasn’t meant for her. She debates responding with Marnie, finally agrees with her not to write back…but then takes a picture of herself flashing the camera and hits send.

Once again, Hannah has outdone herself with pathetic, degrading behavior. While it is painful to watch, this portion of the series’ plot is important because it is relatable. Everyone has undoubtedly dated someone who didn’t appreciate them, yet they still kept coming back to them. It happens to the best of us. But “Girls” takes this dating ritual a step further, repeatedly dragging Hannah through the mud of emotional abuse and making her seem alarmingly pathetic… she just keeps coming back for more, no matter how horribly Adam treats her.

This part of the plot line seems jarring and unrealistic, because it so pitiful and heartrending. But then you start to think about it. Maybe viewing the situation as an outside observer is what makes Hannah’s decisions seem so sad and ridiculous…and maybe in the past, this is exactly how you appeared to others in a similar dating situation. Maybe you were in denial and were just as pathetic as Hannah, refusing to recognize the low you have sunk to. The thought is chilling, but this is exactly why I love “Girls.” The show raises issues like this, from the possibility of abortion to bad relationships, and makes you retrospectively consider and analyze them in a different light.

Hannah receiving an awkward and inappropriate massage from her new boss.

Things still aren’t finished for poor Hannah. She finally lands a job, but then becomes the target of her boss’ sexual advances. He inappropriately massages her and then cops a feel of her breasts. Hannah asks the other women in the office for advice, and they admit to putting up with his behavior for the consequential bonuses, like free iPods and gifts. It is interesting to see how Hannah is not okay with this type of treatment from her boss and balks at the women allowing it to happen, when all the while she allows essentially the same poor treatment emotionally from her boyfriend.Hannah bonds with the women at her job, telling them about Adam sending her the picture and then admitting it was for another girl. Just like Marnie and her boyfriend, the women react with horror. They cannot believe she would allow such cruel treatment and advise her to dump him immediately. You can see the wheels starting to turn in Hannah’s head, and you silently cheer for her when she is storming towards Adams door in the next scene. She tells him off, and it seems she is finally regaining her self-respect. You are so proud of her; this has been such a long time coming! …but then Adam kisses her and pulls Hannah into his apartment. And once again, Hannah is sucked back into an unhealthy relationship with Adam.

Like I said, this whole episode is such a tease. Hopefully things actually do get better in next week’s installment.

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5 thoughts on “Season 1, Episode 4, “Hannah’s Diary”

  1. I remember how disappointed I was when I saw Hannah’s behavior in this episode! But like you said above, it’s realistic and I know many girls who have been in this situation and kept trying for a guy who wasn’t completely interested.

  2. I’m torn, part of me finds a strange form of empowerment in Hannahs self-degradation, another part of me feels like she is only lying to her self and managing her reactions to others to fit her expectations…as seen in her speech about not wanting a boyfriend and then describing what she wants, which sounds suspiciously like a boyfriend.

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