Season 1, Episode 9, “Leave Me Alone”

In this week’s installment, there are a lot of emotionally charged conversations and self-realizations, from the somewhat shallow to the very deep. And these words of wisdom come from characters that you would not expect.

The girls at Tally’s book launch party.

The episode begins at the book launch party of Hannah’s college arch nemesis, Tally. All the girls except Hannah are enthralled by Tally’s story, and Shoshanna describes it as “so sad. Her boyfriend killed himself on purpose by crashing a vintage car while on percocet.” Marnie even buys a copy, much to Hannah’s disproval. And then we learn why…because Tally is a huge bitch.

While politely saying hello and congratulations to Tally, she responds to Hannah with quite the condescending tone: “Well, I wish [writing the book] had been more of a labor actually, it just poured out of me…You know someone like you, you’re always really sweating it. You know, you’re really working at it and I really admire that effort to do something that is not maybe…uhm, the most natural to you.” And Hannah just smiled and took it. I know we’ve all been in situations like this, and that is just the polite thing to do when you actually want to punch them in the face, but seriously? Hannah just starting standing up for herself with Adam, why couldn’t she complete the transformation and stick it to Tally too?

Hannah later meets her old writing professor at the party, who supports her hatred of Tally when he overhears her talking to a friend, saying, “I want to be so skinny that people are going to be like, do you have a disease? Are you going to die?” Hannah and her professor share a bemused smirk, and then he invites her to a writer club, where they read their work aloud. Hannah’s unsure of whether or not to attend, and Adam later proves totally unsupportive. (Which I found weird, I don’t know about you.)

The next morning, Hannah has a big light bulb moment of self-realization while talking to Marnie. She was embarrassed for acting like a “freakish bitch” at Tally’s party and for even trying to trip her. She adds, “But then I realized, I’m not mad at her; I’m mad at me. For the fact that my entire life has been one ridiculous mistake after another…Tally took chances and put herself out there [and I never have].” Perhaps this will be a turning point?

Shoshanna’s internet dating profile confession to Jessa.

Next, Shoshanna and Jessa share a cute moment, complete with one of Shosh’s long-winded and incredibly fast-talking monologues, this time about joining a dating site. Here goes: “That paragraph I read in Tally’s book really made me thing. None of us really know how much time we have left…so I have to start living. I did something kind of crazy…I made an internet dating profile. Ok, I know, it sounds kind of nuts. But my nutrition teacher, who’s like so cool, met her boyfriend on Match.com, who’s like super cute and totally perf, and they’re the most happy together. And I joined ElectricHellos.com because it’s the most expensive subscription, and ugly people do Match, and I got this message from this kind of great-sounding guy. His name is Brice, which um hello, good name. He works in product development, which is like perfect for me because I love products! And he’s Jewish…I’m going on a day date.” Nothing more happens with Shoshanna’s online dating in this episode but this is my favorite scene, and Shosh always promises a good laugh.

Finally, one of the most emotional and moving scenes in the series so far takes place. Catherine (wife of Jeff, of the family Jessa used to babysit for) randomly shows up at Jessa’s apartment and asks her to come back to work for them. Jessa looks confused and unsure, and tells her she can’t. Catherine agrees and confesses that she just wishes she could help Jessa and mother her. Jessa points out that she doesn’t need her help, which is honest but kind of awkward. Then here comes the whopper and moment of crystal clear wisdom…Catherine replies, “Fuck it, I’m just going to say this. I bet you get into these dramas all the time, like with Jeff and me. Where you cause all this trouble and you have no idea why. In my opinion, you’re doing it to distract yourself from the person you’re meant to be…she might not look like what you pictured at age 16. Her job might not be cool, her hair might not be flowing like a mermaid, and she might be really serious about something. Or someone. And she might be a lot happier than you are now.”

Catherine talking to Jessa.

Jessa just stares at her, with this look of raw sadness and fear, though you can tell she is emotionally distanced from the situation. Perhaps, Catherine has tapped into the emotional drive behind each of the “Girls,” they are all lost and scared in the search for sense of self. Perhaps that is why everyone who watches this show feels some type of connection to the characters, whether they want to admit it or not; we are all just as confused and unsure as Jessa, Hannah, Marnie and Shoshanna. We continue trying grasp at anything at all, in a search for a sense of security. And when we find this doesn’t exist in the way we desire, we distract ourselves from “the person we’re meant to be,” just like Catherine points out to Jessa. This wisdom must come with age, but it sure would be nice if our generation could tap into it a lot quicker, and avoid all the growing pains and heartbreak of reaching adulthood. This scene made me tear up, and I think Catherine’s words are one of the most honest things portrayed on “Girls.”

While Jessa’s scene with Catherine was the best part of the episode, I’ll quickly wrap up everything else because this post is already too long! So, Hannah goes to the writers’ club and reads a story she made up on the train, because she second guessed herself and her talent, thoroughly embarrassing herself in front of her peers.

When she gets home, Hannah tries to talk about it with Marnie, who doesn’t seem very interested. The two start a fight, and Marnie hits the nail on the head, yelling at Hannah, “You judge everyone and yet you ask them not to judge you.” Then Hannah tries to make us feel bad for her (which doesn’t work, because all she ever does is whine and act pathetic), responding, “That is because no one could ever hate me as much as I hate myself. So any mean things someone’s going to think of to say about me, I’ve already said to me, about me, probably in the last half hour.” Though Hannah admits this in anger, we finally see the driving force behind her crippling lack of self-respect; another big light bulb moment in Hannah’s character development.

Hannah and Marnie in the middle of their fight.

Finally, Marnie continues the fight with Hannah, turning it into the “who is a better friend territory.” But Hannah yells back, stating how being a good friend isn’t important to her right now because she has “bigger concerns.” All the emotion and color drains from Marnie’s face, and she becomes sadly calm, saying, “You know what? Thank you. That is all I needed to hear. I’m done…I do not want to live here anymore, not with you.” The two storm off and slam their doors…and that’s the end of the episode, but hopefully not the end of their friendship too.

Craigslist Ad Offers “HBO Girls Living Experience”

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According to an article on The Huffington Post and E! Online, some creative roommate-seekers on Craiglist tried appealing to “Girls” fans, promising an authentic “‘HBO Girls’ Living Experience.”

Could you be real-life Hannah’s newest “Marnie” or “Shosh”?

The $1,500 rent covers a room in an originally 2 bedroom but flexed to 3 Williamsburg apartment. In true prententious 20-somethings style, it’s advertised as “livable and trendy but trashy-enough-to complain-about-apartment.”  And according to the posting’s authors, “living with us is essentially the real life version of the TV show,” complete with “one roommate named Hannah (for reals) with the fashion sense of a homeless kindergartener” and a “gay roommate, with a penchant for backhanded compliments.” Could you picture these as your two potential roomies? Sounds like they would definitely prove interesting…

Wondering about their description of your soon-to-be bedroom? According to the post, “it’s a room. There’s a window. What more are you looking for?” And if you want to see a picture, don’t stress because “they’re going to be instagramed.”

Also, it’s important to note that they are only looking for “Shoshanna”s or “Marnies,” and obviously “bonus points if you’re related to Brian Williams.”

Obviously this Craiglist ad must be a joke, but don’t worry…they cover that too. “You may be asking yourself ‘is this post ironic?’ Yes, yes it is.” And in true Lena Dunham writing style they throw in a funny kicker at the end, stating, “But no not really, we actually do need someone for that spare room.”

Are these Craigslist hopefuls hilarious or duds? Would you move in with them? Share your thoughts in the comment section, seriously curious to hear what “Girls” fans think of this stunt…

And last, but not least, here is a copy of the ad:

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Season 1, Episode 7, “Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. the Crackcident”

Shoshanna is by far the best character on “Girls,” and if you don’t agree, you sure will after watching this episode. Zosia Mamet’s portrayal of hilariously innocent Shosh is spot on. Though she is not the star of this week’s installment, she undoubtedly shines brighter than ever, securing Shoshanna’s placement within the series as a necessary and more flushed out character.

Shoshanna’s plot line in this episode is the most funny and interesting, but other also developing with the ladies. All of the girls attend a party in Bushwick, which turns out to be quite a rager.

Marnie picking a fight with Charlie and his new girlfriend.

As soon as Marnie hears that Charlie’s band is playing, she rushes off to say an “obligatory” hello. Once his band finishes their set, she greets him and acts extremely patronizing during their conversation. When Marnie realizes things aren’t going the way she wanted, she tells Charlie that “all [she] ever wanted for [him] was to find satisfaction outside of [their] relationship.” You can see Charlie reacting to her statement emotionally and angrily through his expressions, though he remains silent. But he breaks into a smile when his new girlfriend comes running over and jumps into his arms. Marnie then tries to pick a fight with him over the fact that he has moved on so quickly, even trying to drag the new girlfriend into it, angrily asking her, “You’ve never heard of me?” The girl is obviously innocently happy-go-lucky and genuinely asks her, “No, should I have? Are you one of those Real Housewives?” Marnie screams at both of them and storms off, into the party’s cloak of anonymity. The interesting thing about their encounter is the obvious contrast between overly serious, calculating and boring Marnie, and how genuine and happy the new girl seems to be. I think Charlie deserves to be happy too, and Marnie shouldn’t be trying to drag him down to her miserable level. During the rest of the episode, Marnie is shown complaining about this to anyone who will listen (or happens to be passed out and she thinks is listening).

Hannah’s plot line is a little deeper and more meaningful, though. She spots Adam at the party from afar, remarking to Shoshanna and Jessa, “I’ve never seen him outside of his house. I’ve never seen him with a shirt on…he hasn’t returned one of my texts in two weeks, and I was just coming to terms with that he was dead.” She seems jealous, upset and sad all at the same time. When Adam sees and calls out to her, she walks away, pretending she didn’t hear him. A little later, Hannah meets one of Adam’s lesbian friends, Tako, at the bar, who asks her if she met him through AA. Hannah is obviously stunned and doesn’t answer. The girl nervously fills the silence, saying, “I just blew his anonymous, oh shit…Don’t tell him…I just assumed that everyone that knew [Adam], like really knew him, knew that. It’s like the main defining thing about him, isn’t it? Well that and his love of books.” Hannah remains quiet and looks like she is going to cry.

My favorite part of the entire series so far, Shoshanna finds Jessa in a hallway chatting with Ray, and immediately starts rambling about kickboxing and how she smoked weed while in line for the bathroom. (Click on the photo to the left to see a clip of this scene! So hilarious.) Little did she know, but Shoshanna accidentally smoked crack. Her response to this realization is THE BEST. After Jessa breaks the news to her, Shoshanna says, “Oh my God, don’t tell my mom. Don’t even tell me. I’m matriculated at NYU and I just smoked crack, what is going to happen?” Jessa assures her that she will be her “crack spirit guide,” but then recognizes Jeff, the father of the family she babysits for, and runs off to damage control, passing along the “crack spirit guide” duties to poor Ray. Shoshanna pauses for a second after Jessa leaves, and then just turns around and bolts off. For the entire rest of the episode, all Ray does is chase her all over creation to make sure she “doesn’t jump off a roof or get fingered by a beat boxer,” as Jessa put it.

Jessa talking with Jeff at the party.

Jessa’s portion of the episode is not as interesting or funny. Basically she had responded to an unknown number in a text message, telling them to come to the “best party ever.” It turns out, it was Jeff who had sent her the initial message. She talks to him about why he came, tells him that he should tell the truth to his wife and stop pretending to have a job, and then winds up in the emergency room with him, because he got punched in the face. Now back to the more entertaining characters.

The episode wraps up fairly quickly after this part. Eventually Ray catches up to Shoshanna, who has not pants on anymore for some reason. Thinking the “man in plaid” was chasing her so he could rape her, she does some kickboxing moves on him and knocks Ray to the ground. Snapping back to reality and realizing what happened, she tried to help him by massaging him “in a nonsexual way” since she “took sports therapy last semester to meet jocks, but it was mostly Indian girls.” They seem to share a moment but Shoshanna is awkward and will look anywhere except at Ray while she massages his groin area.

At the same time, Adam drives Hannah home by allowing her to sit on the front of his bike. She yells at him to slow down and stop because she is getting scared, but he jams on the breaks and she flys onto the ground. They start to fight when Hannah asks why he never told her about AA, which is finally broken up when Marnie arrives in a cab to bring Hannah home.

Hannah finally happy for once, during the cab ride home.

Hannah lingers and Adam shouts at her, “Look kid, I don’t know what you f*cking want from me. Do you want me to be your boyfriend? You want me to be your f*cking boyfriend, is that it?” The next scene is the cab ride home, with an angry Marnie bitterly staring out the window on Hannah’s left and an exhausted and frustrated Adam stuffed into the backseat with his bike on her right. And for the first time ever, Hannah is happily smiling.

Season 1, Episode 5, “Hard Being Easy” – Part 4

This is the fourth and final live-blogging post, reviewing episode 5.Marnie is miserable without Charlie, and is determined to get him back. She goes to the coffee shop where his roommate, Ray, works and gets their address—a hint towards how self-absorbed and selfish Marnie had been. She had never even been to Charlie’s apartment, so clearly he was putting forth most of the effort in their relationship. She argues back and forth with Charlie about getting back together, and during this the two remember how the first met.

Marnie visiting Charlie’s apartment for the first time.

In a flashback to their time in college, Marnie is freaking out about being “stuck to a pole” after eating pot brownies with a jello shot on top. Jessa is talking to her, asking her how she is feeling—if the music is going “wow-wow-wow” and if “it feels like her heart is going to fall out through her vagina.” In response to Marnie’s worried agreement to her statements, before running off Jessa says, “then I’m getting me one of those.” Hannah fawns over her distractedly, but ditches her when she wants to dance with her boyfriend. Not much has changed in terms of the three girls’ characteristic quirks—Marnie is still uptight, Hannah is self-absorbed and always puts herself first, and Jessa is a wild child and free spirit. Finally, Marnie meets Charlie, who hugs her and tells her everything is going to be okay.

Snapping back to the present, Charlie makes fun of the bangs Marnie had in college and tells her that he was convinced she was “the girl from sophomore sluts,” a porn video, and had to go back and watch it to see if it really was her. Marnie is horrified and caught off guard, as she didn’t know Charlie even watched porn…clearly evidencing the disconnect in their relationship.

Eventually Charlie agrees to get back together, after Marnie grovels and says she will do whatever he wants. They begin having sex, during which Charlie tells Marnie all the ways she needs to change and things she shouldn’t do anymore. It is clear that she is yes-ing him to get what she wants, and is just going along with it. But when Charlie continues with even more things and tells her to say “I love you,” she abruptly sits up and says she wants to break up. Perhaps she will now be able to figure out what she wants in a relationship and can be happy. Guess we will see next week!

Season 1, Episode 5, “Hard Being Easy” – Part 1

This will be the first of four posts, live-blogging a review of episode 5.

Hannah reading her diary entry aloud.

This week’s show picks up right where episode 4 left off. The opening scene is one of the funniest parts of the whole episode, and is hilariously quote-worthy, thanks to Hannah’s tactlessness. Charlie makes Hannah read her diary entry aloud for Marnie to hear, which starts a whole new slew of arguments back and forth between the two lovers. Like usual, Hannah is incredibly self-absorbed during all this. In the midst of their fight, she makes it all about her and interjects, “Ok, I don’t want to split hairs here but it’s actually a journal not a notebook; it’s notes a notebook, like notes for a book…I’m just saying journal implies like a thirteen year old girl who rides horses and is obsessed with her mom, and that’s not what I’m doing.” Marnie responds with a terrifying glare and Charlie loses it, leaving the apartment. Now left alone with Marnie, Hannah callously pauses a few seconds and asks, “Hey Marnie, if you had read the essay and it wasn’t about you, do you think you would have liked it? Just as a piece of writing?” Marnie does not even dignify Hannah with a response and slams the door to her room.

Marnie’s death glare at Hannah’s self-absorbed comments.

The next morning, Marnie seems to have cooled down a bit and the two girls are having breakfast together. Marnie resolves to win Charlie back, which Hannah scoffs at and reminds her that she didn’t seem very happy when she was with him. Marnie quips back at Hannah that she just doesn’t understand because nobody has ever loved her that much. Realizing an awkward pause and that she may have been a little too harsh, Marnie quickly adds, “…as much as me, I love you. And your dad. And your boss.” Hannah thinks about it for a second, and responds, “I hate everyone that loves me.” Though this seems like an impervious response, it is telling of Hannah’s worldview and lack of self-esteem. She doesn’t even love herself, in fact she hates herself, and therefore hates anyone who feels differently—a possible explanation of why she repeatedly takes emotional abuse from Adam and never stands up for herself at work.

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.