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.

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Season 1, Episode 8, “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too”

Episode 8, “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too” uncovers deeper information about each character on the show, but mainly Adam.  Though he is undoubtedly very weird (hence the episode’s title, I suppose), Adam becomes more of a three-dimensional character and starts to seem like a pretty nice guy. We also begin to see a bit of Marnie’s wilder side and the frustrations of businessmen living in Williamsburg. Prepare yourself, because shit gets real.

Adam talking to Marnie about her break up, uncovering his surprisingly empathetic side.

The very beginning of the episode shows Adam and Hannah lounging in bed and acting very couple-y, much to Marnie’s frustration. When all three are sitting at the kitchen table, Marnie announces how she upset and “dealing with the deeply painful fact that [she is] probably not going to end up” with Charlie. While Hannah is the first to point out how Marnie never wanted to end up with him in the first place, Adam chastises her, saying, “Hannah, don’t minimize. Shit’s really hard…When I broke up with my girlfriend from college…so sad. I lost 30 pounds and I couldn’t move or talk or get my dick hard. But it also made me go, “who am I and what do I want?” It was like boom, I know who I am. I wanted to switch majors and buy a circular saw and I promised myself that I’d follow my gut, no matter what. And I do what makes me feel good.” So apparently Adam does have feelings after all, despite the fact that he previously treated Hannah so horribly. But now it seems that he is emotional and he gets it; relationships can be hard.

Hannah accompanies Adam to his play rehearsal. It is an avant-garde two-man show, also featuring monologues performed by Adam. In one scene while Adam and his fellow actor are rowing a canoe down a river, his friend changes his lines in an attempt to be more comical (though he is painfully not). Adam gets frustrated with him for trying to sell out and passive-aggressively states, “Gavin there is a lot of complex stuff being expressed in what you wrote, a lot of pathos. Give people a chance to process that. Don’t be afraid that if they’re not laughing [then] they’re not feeling. Look, you owe it to yourself to try stripping that thing down.” His friend thinks about it for a few seconds, and calls him a hero and thanks him for “keeping him honest.” Geez, Adam is a deep thinker and quite an artist in his own right. Who knew?!

But, the immature Adam we know so well makes a return when he decides to quit the play, simply because he is frustrated with the other actor (who happened to invest $2,000 in the project, while Adam contributed nothing). Hannah seems a little taken aback and scurries off to follow Adam after he stormed out. While they are walking home, they are almost hit by a car. Adam goes ballistic and hits the hood of the car repeatedly. Hannah is even more worried and confused.

Meanwhile Marnie bonds with Jessa over Hannah’s flaky tendencies, and a whole other plot line unravels. Jessa tries to make Marnie feel better, as she has been moping around the apartment. Marnie admits that she doesn’t like being so uptight  and “sometimes being inside my own head makes [her] want to cry,” so Jessa suggests that she “get out of there for a bit.”

The two go out for drinks, where they meet a new businessman in town, who invites them over to his apartment to share some wine. Marnie is enthralled and drags Jessa along, who looks bored to tears and is outright rude to the man (who we learn is a venture-capitalist by the name of Thomas-John).

Marnie tapping into her more “free” side, with Thomas-John creeping behind them and trying to get in on the action.

When they first arrive, he seems to be just a very odd, lonely guy…but then he gets really creepy. Marnie and Jessa lay down on his carpet to listen to the music he is deejaying (Thomas-John has a hobby of creating bizarre mash-ups) and he lies next to them, beginning to touch them a bit inappropriately. Jessa quickly sits up and states this is their cue to leave, to which Marnie says no and begins kissing her, in an attempt to break out from her uptight ways. Thomas-John can’t believe this is happening to him and keeps trying to get in on the action, but they keep swatting him away. Eventually he tries to awkwardly touch Marnie’s breast, which startles her and causes her to spill her glass of red wine on the carpet. Then Thomas-John goes absolutely ballistic and launches into a rant about how they are entitled and he is basically unhappy with the world. It’s too good not to include, so here is a transcript of his angry speech in response to the spilled wine:

“Are you fucking serious? It’s a $10,000 rug. It’s a very fucking expensive rug. If you’re gonna spill on it you better look more sorry than that. You know what if you’re “very” sorry, then you better be planning to make this a very special night for all of us. Not just you and fucking “Missy Maloo,” all of us. And not just me watching you girls go at it for a bit and getting a little bit turned on. I want balls deep in something, I don’t even fucking care what it is. No more excluding me “Mary Poppins,” its not fair. I want to be part of the group…[And]do you even really know what its like to work hard? I’ve been under a lot of pressure, my whole life, to succeed. Daddy didn’t buy me this rug or this apt or this nose.  That’s not your nose, there’s no way that’s your fucking nose. There’s no cartilage in the world that exquisite. So it kind of ticks me off when I come to Williamsburg, after working hard all fucking day in the real world, and I see all these all these stupid little daddy’s girls with fucking bowler hats, what are you doing in a fucking bowler hat? It’s stupid. And then you come over and you flirt and flirt and flirt and kiss and kiss and listen to my music tunes and drink my beautiful wine and spill all over my gorgeous rug and laugh about it.”

Although some of his complaints about entitled daddy’s girls are valid (which is basically the premise of the entire show), the man had clearly lost it so the two girls made a beeline for the door.

Hannah, happy to see Adam’s return to maturity.

Finishing up the episode, Adam wakes Hannah up in the middle of the night and makes her follow him to the corner where they were almost hit by the car. A building wall is covered with sheets of paper, with “sorry” spray-painted on each. Adam explains, “Sorry I yelled at the car. I wish I could apologize but I don’t know the driver, so I guess I’m going to have to just feel bad about it unless he drives by again…[And] I’m gonna do that fucking play. I’m gonna do it so you can watch it.” Hannah seems proud of Adam’s 180 degree-turn back towards maturity, and kisses him.

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 6, “The Return”

Episode 6, “The Return,” is particularly interesting because we finally catch a glimpse of Hannah’s childhood in Michigan, as the episode just follows her during her trip home for a weekend. Her relationship with her parents is explored in more detail, which is great since they were only featured for a few minutes during the first episode. Also, we are able to see the difference between how Hannah is treated by her friends from home, versus her New York crew.

Hannah’s parents driving her home from the airport.

While at home, Hannah bickers with her parents and broods in her room. Clearly not much has changed since we last saw her in New York; she is whiney and entitled. But the next day, we begin to see her unwind and act more confident…perhaps her lack of self-esteem has something to do with living in the city, and is not a personality flaw after all.

While running an errand for her mother, Hannah stops by to say hello to an old girlfriend from high school. She is bubbly and friendly, which leads us to believe Hannah used to be that way too. Apparently the city has hardened her. While catching up with her friend, Hannah learns that another girl from their graduating class (Carrie) went missing while on vacation, and is believed to be dead. The town is throwing a benefit to raise money for Carrie’s parents, so they can afford to hire a private investigator. Clearly this is a close-knit town, where people care about and want to help one another. Again, basically it is the complete opposite of Hannah’s dog-eat-dog life in New York.

Later, Hannah heads to the local pharmacy to pick up medication for her mother. The handsome pharmacist behind the counter recognizes her from their high school class and tries to start a conversation. At first it seems Hannah is caught off guard (someone actually being nice to her for once??), but quickly warms up to him. He is a genuinely nice guy, which is a good thing for her. To both Hannah’s and the viewer’s surprise, he asks her to be his date for the Carrie benefit that evening.

Hannah giving herself a pre-date pep talk.

My favorite scene of the episode (and possibly of the whole series thus far) is when Hannah tells her parents about her upcoming date. As she was visiting them for their anniversary, Hannah’s parents are upset since they already all had celebratory dinner plans. Hannah responds, “I don’t really think that you guys are understanding the severity of this situation. I have been dating someone who treats my heart like it’s monkey meat. I feel like a delusional, invisible person half the time. So I need to learn what it’s like to be treated well, before it’s too late for me.” Finally admitting her unhappiness with her relationship with Adam, it seems Hannah is making great strides. She is finally honest with herself how cruelly Adam treats her and that she deserves better. I wanted to jump up and down in my living room during this scene; Hannah is finally seeing clearly, it’s a miracle!

While getting ready for her date, Hannah gives herself a pep talk. While her self-esteem has seemingly soared since she has traveled home, her confidence is still slightly lagging behind. Looking in her mirror, Hannah tells herself, “You are from New York; therefore, you are just naturally interesting, ok? It is not up to you to fill all the awkward pauses. You are not in danger of mortifying yourself. The worst stuff that you say sounds better than the best stuff that other people say.”

Hannah awkwardly reacting to the pharmacist putting his arm around her

It appears that Hannah is a bit nervous and on edge, but thankfully she loosens up while eating pizza with the pharmacy guy. However, her awkwardness comes out in full force at the benefit, when he puts his arm around her shoulders. Poor Hannah looks shocked, horrified and like she going to cry all at the same time, which I found confusing. Shouldn’t she be happy someone is finally treating her well and respects her? Hannah ends up sleeping with him at the end of their evening out, but she is too forward and needy. It is awkward and uncomfortable to watch.

While she is sleeping in her bed after returning home, Hannah receives a call from Adam. She pretends to be nonchalant about it, but it’s obvious that she is excited…especially after he says that he misses her and wishes she were there with him. Oh no, here we go again…Hannah is going to get sucked back in. Nevertheless, the rest of their conversation is interesting. Hannah tells Adam how everyone is different in Michigan and how nice it would be to live there. “It’s like why doesn’t everyone struggling in New York move here and start the revolution,” she says. “It’s like we’re all slaves to this place that doesn’t even want us.” Prophetic words indeed; hopefully she still feels the same way upon returning to the city, and doesn’t lose the sense of self that she has gained from her time at home.

Season 1, Episode 3, “All the Adventurous Women Do”

Theoretically, episode three is full of drama—Hannah discovers she has HPV, Marnie has a hot encounter with an artist and Jessa finally gets a job—but when you’re watching it, it feels like not much is going on. But still, like past episodes, there are some subtle comedic gems throughout the plot that keep you watching.

The most interesting part of this episode was Hannah’s HPV debacle. Immediately after receiving the call from her gynecologist, Hannah informs Adam. He denies giving it to her and turns the situation around, blaming her for accusing him, possibly giving it to him and claiming that he had been tested already and is clean. He’s quite a master manipulator, as we will later find out.

Mortified, Hannah calls her ex-boyfriend, Elijah, to meet her for a drink so she can break the news to him. Hannah seems pretty calm and in control when she first sits down with him at the bar, but then all hell breaks loose. Elijah mentions that he has come out of the closet and has a boyfriend, which throws poor Hannah for a loop. She is supportive but it is clear that she is very upset.

Elijah keeps making it worse, telling her that he liked her because she appeared masculine, he was attracted to boys even while they were dating and he believes her father to be gay. Hannah starts crying, but recovers. She tells him about the HPV and, just like Adam, Elijah gets offended that she accusing him. He bitchily informs her that Adam must have been lying because there is no HPV test for men and they do not exhibit symptoms. Immediately, you can see the sinking feeling in Hannah’s eyes and your heart goes out to her. Perhaps she is just starting to listen to her inner voice, suggesting that Adam isn’t the greatest person. As an outside viewer, it’s obvious that he is a horrible person, manipulative and borderline emotionally abusive, but Hannah either doesn’t care or is so desperate for affection that she puts up with it. But maybe things will change after this.

Marnie and Booth Jonathan talking on the high line.

Marnie is working at a gallery opening when her boss crassly introduces her to Booth Jonathan. He is rude and aloof, which she finds attractive since her current boyfriend has no backbone. They share a moment outside on the high line, and Marnie girlishly tells him that she won’t kiss him. Jonathan acts like she is crazy, but then pushes her up against the railing and tells her, “I want you to know the first time I f*ck you, I might scare you a little. Because I’m a man and I know how to do things.” Then he just walks away without a word. This is probably my favorite scene of Girls so far, because it is just so absurd and hilarious.

Shoshanna shares a cute scene with Hannah, in which they bond over television shows and secrets. Shoshanna is important to the show, as she provides a balancing source of propriety, normalcy and innocence. Without her to anchor it, I think Girls would just seem chaotic and make viewers anxious.

Finally, Jessa lands a job babysitting for a busy family. She surprisingly seems to have a good rapport with the young girl she is looking after, uncovering a different side of her. In this light, we remember that Jessa is still a young girl in her twenties, despite the fact that she seems so worldly and experienced. She smokes weed with the father when he comes home late at night, and it seems the two are flirting. It will be interesting to see what happens there in the future.

All in all, an interesting and pretty funny episode of Girls.

Season 1, Episode 2, “Vagina Panic”

In the second installment, it is painfully clear that Hannah’s “boyfriend,” Adam, is using her for sex and doesn’t care about her. Whenever Hannah tries to be affectionate or share a moment, Adam shoots her down with disgust. It is clear he wants nothing to do with her unless she is naked in his bed, and even then he emotionally distances himself. But Hannah is so emotionally needy and has such low self esteem that she allows Adam to treat her so terribly and is actually okay with it.

Marnie has the opposite problem; her boyfriend treats her wonderfully and she finds it unattractive. She complains about her boyfriend to Hannah, saying, “He’s so busy respecting me, that he looks right past me and everything that I need from him”—a statement that sounds self-involved and conceited, but rings oh so true to girls dating in their twenties. Despite how odd it sounds, it is hard to find a man that strikes the perfect balance between loving and hating you. A man who is obsessed with you and does whatever you want, like Marnie’s boyfriend, is a turn off, but so is Hannah’s “boyfriend” who emotionally abusive unless he is sleeping with her at the moment. Therefore, the type of guy who lives his own life and does what he wants, while still making a girl feel important and loved, is ideal.

In addition to relationship woes, the episode raises other tricky coming-of-age obstacles, like propriety and women’s health issues, with self-deprecating humor.

When Hannah interviews for a new writing job, she seems to be hitting it off with her potential boss. They talk about living in Brooklyn and favorite bars, which puts Hannah at ease…but too much so, as she then makes a joke about rape. All good humor and friendliness drains from her interviewer’s face, and he tells her that the position “isn’t going to work out.” While hopefully most people do not crack jokes about rape at job interviews, the scene highlights the difficult line that must be navigated during conversation with superiors, something all viewers can relate to at some level.

Jessa, Hannah and Shoshanna share a moment on a park bench before Jessa's abortion appointment. // source: www.pajiba.com

Jessa, Hannah and Shoshanna share a moment on a park bench before Jessa’s abortion appointment. // source: http://www.pajiba.com

Picking up from last episode’s pregnancy confession, Marnie schedules an abortion for Jessa at a Soho women’s clinic. However, Jessa is either too nervous or absent-minded to make the appointment, instead choosing to drink milk at a bar and make out with a stranger who asks to use her cell phone. Things get heated with him, and he informs Jessa that she “is bleeding.” It’s unclear whether this means she is actually not pregnant, or is having a complication with her pregnancy. Nevertheless, she never makes an appearance at the women’s clinic. Marnie is frustrated beyond belief by this and exclaims to Shoshana and Hannah how “there is seriously nothing flakier in this world than not showing up to your own abortion.”

While at the clinic, Hannah takes the opportunity to get tested for HIV, as she has “a Forrest Gump-based fear about AIDs” and the “stuff that goes up around the sides of a condom.” She is convinced she may have some type of STD, but refuses to admit to herself it is because she knows Adam isn’t faithful. She would rather fear “the stuff that goes around the sides of a condom” instead of the reality of her situation, and the very little respect Adam holds for her.

-Danielle Kaslow

Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

HBO’s award-winning series, Girls, is centered around four twenty-something girls following their dreams in New York City, one mistake at a time. The show first began airing in April 2012, and has begun its second season a couple weeks ago. I decided to review the series episode-by-episode, starting with the pilot.

Hannah at dinner with her parents. // source: http://www.toledoblade.com/image/2013/01/12/800x_b1_cCM_z/Lena-Dunham-HBO.jpg

Hannah at dinner with her parents. // source: www.toledoblade.com

 

The first episode begins with the main character Hannah, played by series writer Lena Dunham, getting cut off from her parents’ financial help. The scene was interesting and captivating, because the portrayal was so honest. As a twenty-something myself, this is a situation I am not looking forward to and hence was something I found relatable. The scene is also important, as it introduces the subtle style of humor used throughout the series. Although Hannah is panicking and arguing with her parents in the scene, it is still quite funny as her mother quips back and is somewhat harsh. The way in which Dunham structures the dialogue in this scene, and all the rest to come in the series, uncovers how the characters are not purposefully trying to be funny; they are just responding naturally to conversation, and as viewers we see the humor in the truth of the situation. It’s similar to humor of when a young kid says something hilarious but has no idea of their comment’s comedic value; as viewers of Girls, we are privy to the comedy of the characters’ lives while they are busy taking themselves too seriously.

And they really do seem to take themselves pretty seriously throughout the pilot episode, in addition to appearing endearingly arrogant and entitled. Hannah is confounded by her parents cutting her off and not being able talk her way back into their money. She receives this harsh bit of reality, followed by another when she is fired from her unpaid internship at a publishing house, and another when her “boyfriend” continually ignores her text messages. Things seem to just get worse and worse for her, especially when she gets high off opium tea, bursts into her parents’ hotel room and then passes out in front of them onto the floor.

In the midst of Hannah’s melodrama, we are introduced to her beautiful roommate Marnie, whose biggest problems in life are her dislike for her devoted boyfriend and a rude dinner guest. Somehow Dunham is able to successfully express how these things seem like the end of the world to Marnie while still making her relatable to viewers and seem like the most level-headed, responsible one; quite a feat indeed.

Finally, we meet Hannah and Marnie’s free-spirited, British friend, Jessa, has recently returned from France to live with her younger Sex and the City-obsessed cousin, Shoshanna (a nod to the many critics who believed Girls would become HBO’s new version of Sex and the City, which it thankfully is not. The show is much too honest for that; the sex is bad, the girls are poor, and it depicts just how unglamorous life in New York City can be). We do not see much of either during the pilot episode, but both have huge personalities that are sure to mesh humorously well with those of Marnie and Hannah.

Taken as a whole, Girls seems to be a melancholic and realistic look into the lives of girls beginning their adult lives in a big city. Realistically, everything that happens in the first episode is downright depressing, from Hannah allowing herself to be treated badly by her man due to her low self-esteem, to Jessa revealing that she is pregnant. But it is the small doses of humor quietly infused throughout the episode that make watching the show enjoyable, and less like a long, hard look in the mirror.
-Danielle Kaslow

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