‘Boys’ – Girls, Season 2, Episode 6

In a nutshell:

– Adam and Ray have a short-lived bromance
– Hannah gets commissioned to write an e-book in a month
– Marnie’s ‘relationship’ with the ewok in capri pants – otherwise known as Booth Jonathan – comes to an end
– Jessa makes a short appearance to complain and benefit no one
– Shosh is great as per

The Details:

After the previous Hannah-centric episode, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this episode. However, (perhaps luckily – for the viewer’s sanity) it doesn’t really acknowledge anything that happened in the previous episode. Hannah is even back working at Grumpy’s with no mention of her having quit in the previous episode on the grounds of a ‘toxic work environment.’ This complete disregard for any events of the previous episode makes me wonder if it even happened. Perhaps it was meant to be a dream-like sequence, to explore Hannah’s character – as if she’s not at the forefront already.

In a convoluted turn of events, Ray turns up at Adam’s place to retrieve his copy of ‘Little Women’ (borrowed and left there by Hannah) – the book is held hostage in the bathroom by a vicious dog. As a result, Ray and Adam set off to Staten Island to return the dog, which it turns out Adam stole.

I liked the scenes between Ray and Adam, they make quite a good double act. Ray points out that the two of them aren’t so different – ‘Maybe it’s because we’re both honest men’. Adam has a different theory – ‘Maybe it’s because we’re both kind of weird looking’ – a more valid point, in my opinion.

Either way, the boys are getting along just fine until Ray tells Adam he never really ‘got’ his infatuation with Hannah. In pretty much standard Adam behaviour, he gets disproportionately angry about this (similarly to Ray in the previous episode now that I think about it – perhaps rage problems is another thing they share, as well as weird looks.) Consequently, their bromance is short-lived and Adam sacks off their mission to the return the stolen dog, leaving Ray to go it alone.

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Ray finds the girl whose dad owns the dog, who tells him she doesn’t want the dog back (although in much less polite terms). She goes on to promptly insult Ray in every way possible. She asks, ‘Why aren’t you at work old man? Probably because you don’t have a job, you fucking loser.’ To which he replies: ’You don’t know that…Maybe I’m a creative type who doesn’t abide to a 9-5 schedule.’ But it’s clear this random girl has inadvertently hit home with Ray. We leave him sitting with the dog, to whom he admits ‘I’m nothing’ as he begins crying.

Meanwhile, back on solid ground in Brooklyn – the girls also have reason to be tearful. The whole ‘grass isn’t always greener’ idea seemed to be a theme in this episode – as although the show’s tagline is ‘almost getting it kind of together’ – none of the girls are doing so, despite outward appearances.

Shosh and Ray may have declared their love for each other and are at least now both aware that they are co-habiting. But she’s finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that her first real boyfriend is a 33 year old man with no prospects or aspirations. She complains of $4 taco dates with Ray which are lacking in romantic ambience in her opinion – ‘there should be mood lighting.’

Shosh is in awe of both Hannah and Marnie. Hannah’s been commissioned to write an e-book, to which Shoshanna reacts ‘it’s so adult and intriguing.’ Never mind the fact that she’s only got a month to do it in and is spending her time deleting everything she writes in favour of looking at helpful articles such as, ‘fruits that will make you fat.’

Shoshanna and Marnie discuss Marnie’s relationship with Booth Jonathan, in a particularly telling scene about how girls can completely misread things when it comes to boys. Shoshanna clearly compares her own situation with Marnie’s, viewing her own relationship in a negative light in comparison. As far as Shoshanna is concerned, Marnie is in an exciting relationship with a successful man – ‘you’re like Bella Swan from Twilight, and I’m like her weird friend who doesn’t understand how fabulous your life is because my boyfriend won’t spend $4 on tacos.’

In reality, Marnie is in a non-relationship relationship with the pretentious arsehole who goes by the name Booth Jonathan, which just has to be made up because who would name their child such a ridiculous thing. Anyway, Marnie thinks they are ‘like, totally’ an item, and that things are happening on a ‘nice level.’ Sadly for Marnie, she is incorrect.

Booth fires his assistant for eating a spoonful of his rose water ice cream (need I say more?), prompting him to ask Marnie who is, you know, a hostess – to host his party that night. She thinks they are hosting together as a couple, while he thinks he’s literally hired her as a hostess. It all comes to a head later when Booth offers to just chuck her $500. She says he doesn’t have to pay him – she’s his girlfriend, to which he responds that he didn’t realise he had a girlfriend.

Marnie starts crying as, usually when she thinks someone’s her boyfriend they are, apparently. Marnie admits that maybe she fell in love with the idea of him. At which point, Booth gets enraged, saying that this always happens. Oh, and that he hates all of his friends – I’m sure the feeling is mutual. I’m pretty sure that’s the end of Booth Jonathan, at least I bloody hope so.

Elsewhere, Hannah, who made a brief appearance at the party before being ignored by Marnie and opting for a swift exit, is at home with writer’s block. Marnie calls her, presumably to talk about what happened with Booth. However, both Hannah and Marnie lie about how they are feeling – fuelling the whole ‘grass is greener’ mentality. Hannah says she left the party because she was inspired, while Marnie fabricates that the party is going great and they are watching fireflies in Booth’s garden – pretty niche lie but an appropriate pretentious activity for Booth’s garden. It’s a short phonecall which ends with Hannah saying ‘talk soon?’ – with neither of them discussing how they really feel, it seems they are likely to grow further apart.

Oh I haven’t forgotten Jessa, who makes a brief cameo in this episode – just long enough to tell Hannah that nobody cares about her book.

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My highlights:

Adam: ‘Is that why you’re being so coy?’
Ray: ‘Coy? Is that your first time using that word?’

The scene between Shoshanna and Marnie where they are deciding what Marnie should wear. Although it involves Marnie being annoying and self-centred, Shoshanna is just abbreviating all over the place – which obvs I totes approve of – ‘no presh but like, that’s a really big deal.’

The fact that Hannah has a sticker on her laptop that says: ‘I used up all my sick days so I called in dead.’

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Oscar Pistorius: the trial of a cultural icon. What makes us care so much?

The trial of Oscar Pistorius might not necessarily seem like a ‘cultural issue’ per se. But the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were arguably one of the biggest cultural events of last year. After months of complaining, it’s fair to say that the majority of Londoners got pretty swept up in both the Olympics and Paralympics.

This public engagement with both the Olympics and Paralympics was due in no small part to those athletes who emerged as real ‘characters’ of the games. This was a notable year for the Paralympics, and perhaps one of the most high profile Paralympic Games to date. Channel 4’s brilliant campaign presented the Paralympians as ‘Superhumans.’ Instead of viewing the competitors as somehow inferior to the athletes from the Olympic games, the campaign elevated them above the average human.

What was clear from the games this year, was that the Paralympics weren’t viewed simply as an after thought to the Olympics – the two were on equal footing. It’s fair to say that no athlete embodied this sense of equality more than Oscar Pistorius, or the ‘Blade Runner’ as he became known.

Despite controversy over his prosthetics, Pistorius fought his case to compete in the Olympics alongside able-bodied athletes. Regardless of nationality, it seemed like everyone was rooting for him. After all, this was a pretty inspiring story. Pistorious was the first double amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics, and through this he generated unprecedented interest in disability sports.

There was drama in the Paralympics, when Pistorius was beat out by Alan Oliveira of Brazil in the 200m. However, when Pistorious finally achieved his gold medals in the 100m relay team, and the 400m, the general public reaction seemed to be one of joy – the Paralympic ‘poster boy’ had gone for gold and won.

As a result of all this, Pistorius has become a cultural icon. His story was one of inspiration and triumph in the face of adversity.

When I originally heard the news about the events of 14th February, I had to believe it was a mistake. I wanted to believe he was innocent. Speaking to other people, it seemed it wasn’t just me. The question is, why?

It got me thinking about cultural icons and celebrities. We attach this narrative to a person, when really we know little about them. Oscar Pistorius’s image projected hope, strength, and an inspiring story. But when it comes down to it – what do we really know about these people in which we invest so much?

Clearly, Reeva Steenkamp is the victim here, and I’m not disputing that. Nor am I saying that Pistorius did or didn’t purposely kill his girlfriend – all I know is that I want to believe that he didn’t. Regardless of the outcome, I hope that none of the positivity of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is undone by this tragic turn of events. Either way, it makes you realise how often we project a set of ideals onto these cultural icons, while in reality we know little about them. The sad truth is that, one way or another, they can never really live up to our expectations.

‘Di and Viv and Rose’ – Hampstead Theatre

Having been slacking a bit on the theatre ticket front, I managed to go to two productions in one week. First was Tina In the Green Dress, at the Roundhouse, and next up was Di and Viv and Rose at the Hampstead Theatre.

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Di and Viv and Rose features a great cast – Anna Maxwell Martin, Gina McKee, and Tamzin Outhwaite. Their real ages span from 35-48, yet they are completely believable as undergraduates fresh out of school.

The play tells the story of their friendship, from university up to 2010. We first meet the girls in their halls of residence. The dialogue captures the experience with complaints of breezeblock rooms, and the exciting but uncertain time of establishing new friendships.

Rose is posh but kind, if a little promiscuous – she discovers at university that ‘if you ask a boy to sleep with you – he will.’ At the other end of the spectrum, Viv is a serious intellectual, writing an essay on the corset and how the female waist is a male construct, apparently. She also ‘dresses like she’s from the war’, Rose observes. Somewhere in the middle is Di – obsessed with sports, and a lesbian, but only in term time in the safety of her university world.

The first act covers how their friendship blossoms up to graduation, whilst the second half shows how their friendship changes post-university – relationships, careers, misunderstandings. I won’t give anything away, but it’s an accurate depiction of the contrast between carefree student days, and life afterwards which is never quite what you thought it would be.

The staging of the play is effective in moving the story along quickly. The backdrop of the set features three squares through which we see different scenes of their initial university experience. We learn a lot in a short space of time through Rose’s phone calls home, and different conversations between the characters in various settings. The production also makes use of a projection of the year to inform us when time has moved on.

As well as effective staging, a great cast, and a fast-paced script, the show is energised by its brilliant soundtrack, including songs from The Cure, Eurythmics, and Prince. One of the best scenes presents the girls returning from a night out and dancing around like lunatics to Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ – I have a not-so-distant memory of a similar scene in my own house at university, with the minor alteration of Beyonce instead of Prince.

The play finishes at Hampstead tomorrow, but is likely to transfer to the West End – it’s a production definitely worth seeing.

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Tina in the Green Dress: The Experience – The Roundhouse, Camden

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I recently went to see Tina in the Green Dress: The Experience – an immersive theatre production, at the Roundhouse in Camden. Having never been to any kind of immersive theatre before slash not entirely knowing what such a thing entailed, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Part of me was envisioning it being similar to sitting on the front row of a stand up comedy show and constantly being picked on – luckily this was not the case.

The concept of Tina in the Green Dress: The experience, is to immerse yourself in music, bringing it to life, in an age where music is so rapidly consumed. As aptly summarised by the creators of the production – TwistedHip – ‘great new music deserves more than an instant download.’

The music in Tina in the Green Dress: The experience comes from a band called ‘A History’ and ‘Tina, In the Green Dress’ is their debut album – inspired by a suitcase of old letters they found in Coney Island, which tell the love story between Tina and Jimmy – a soldier in Vietnam. The letters are all from Jimmy, so their songs imagine the otherwise unknown side of the story from Tina’s perspective.

So now you’re up to speed on the concept of the production, here’s how we were ‘immersed’ into it. First, we were given a number from 1-4 and instructed to line up in separate groups. We’re then given headphones and taken into some darkly lit tunnels, where we promptly have a bag of sand thrust upon us to carry. If you’re thinking – well that sounds kind of unpleasant, I’m not gonna lie to you, it was – and this was one hell of a heavy bag of sand.

But, we don’t carry them for very long, and it turns out they are part of the set that transports us to a warzone-like environment. Fair enough then that we are momentarily uncomfortable as, you know, a war is going on. We watch for a while, behind these sandbags, as if we too are part of the war, before we are transported on a ‘boat’ which takes through another tunnel to a speakeasy bar.

This was probably my favourite part of the production. The band, A History, are on stage performing, their lyrics providing the story. While at the same time, the cast, which includes four couples who each represent Tina and Jimmy, provide the action. The scenes in this speakeasy bar are particularly enhanced through the concept of immersive theatre, as we are experiencing the story on two levels – visually and musically, as well as being part of the action ourselves.

Tina in the Green Dress: The Experience is an interesting concept, and has definitely inspired me to try out more immersive theatre (now I know what it is). The production had a great cast, impressive musicians, as well as brilliant staging. The show had a limited run at the Roundhouse, but there are talks of it moving elsewhere.

You can find out more information about the project, here.

The BRIT Awards 2013

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The BRITs opened with an impressive performance from Muse, complete with what can only be described as a tiered orchestra – all in all pretty visually spectacular – as award openings should be.

Taylor Swift then took to the stage to present the first award, so naturally the camera did a particularly un-subtle cut from Taylor Swift to Harry Styles, who was keeping a decidedly low profile.

The first award was for:

British Female Solo Artist

Amy Winehouse
Bat for Lashes
Paloma Faith
Jessie Ware
Emeli Sande – WINNER

I still haven’t quite forgiven Emeli Sande for her dreadful performances at the Olympic ceremonies where they insisted on repeatedly wheeling her out – just saying.

Up next was Robbie Williams performing ‘Candy’ against a monochrome set with the musicians in matching monochrome outfits, keeping Robbie centre of attention in his electric blue suit. I don’t care what anyone says, he’s a crowd pleaser.

The next award up for grabs was:

Best British Group

Mumford and Sons – WINNER
Alt-J
The XX
Muse
One Direction

Followed by:

Best British Breakthrough – presented by Nick ‘I have trouble with an R’ Grimshaw

Jake Bugg
Jessie Ware
Alt-J
Ben Howard – WINNER
Rita Ora

Bless him, it was a bit of an awkward acceptance speech, but hey, we can’t all be good public speakers.

Next up on stage, it was Mr JT (whatcha got for me) looking suave in a tux and performing Mirrors, the second single off his new album, The 20/20 Experience. It was good to see JT back in action, although I’m pretty thankful he didn’t perform the distinctly mediocre Suit & Tie.

Then we cut to Paloma Faith gushing in her annoying voice about her own album, before moving on to:

Best British Male Solo Artist

Plan B
Richard Hawley
Ben Howard – WINNER
Olly Murs
Calvin Harris

At which point I thought, congrats and all Ben, but now we have to sit through another awkward acceptance speech, and I think that was only forgivable once.

Next Tom Odell got a mention for being awarded the Critics Choice Award (but we knew that ages ago).

Sharon Osbourne and Dermot turned up to present the next award. And Sharon made it immediately awkward by making a joke about the contents of Harry Styles’ undercrackers, with reference to Harry Potter and his ‘magic stick’ – leave it to the comedians Shazza. Anyway, they were presenting:

International Solo Female Artist

Rihanna
Alicia Keys
Cat Power
Lana Del Rey – WINNER
Taylor Swift

Following Lana Del Rey’s speech, One Direction took to the stage with their monstrosity of a cover of Blondie’s ‘One Way Or Another’ “mashed up” with The Undertones’ ‘Teenage Kicks.’ It may be for charity, but the fact remains: it’s dreadful. By all means release your own cheesy pop songs 1D (and I will no doubt sing along if they come on the radio, through no fault of my own), but don’t ruin a perfectly good song. I honestly would acknowledge it if it was a good cover, but it’s not. Moving swiftly on. (I actually wrote that without meaning to create the perfect opportunity for a Taylor Swift joke – insert your own here).

Next award on offer:

British Live Act

Coldplay – WINNER
Mumford & Sons
The Vaccines
The Rolling Stones
Muse

Followed by a lengthy list of nominees for:

British Single

Hot Right Now
Feel The Love
Beneath Your Beautiful
Impossible (why is this up for a BRIT?!)
RIP
Next To Me
Skyfall – WINNER
Black Heart
Candy
Princess of China
Too Close
Spectrum
Mama do the Hump
Domino
Troublemaker

After plenty of jokes referring to Adele being cut off last year, Taylor Swift was back on stage performing in some kind of bizarre wedding dress. Just when I was wondering if this was a weird kind of Miss Havisham look she was going for, she went all Sandy from Grease on us and stripped out of her white frock into a little black number. This coincided with what I suppose they imagine was a ‘dubstep’ interlude – Taylor swift: what a badass. That being said, there’s no denying this song is a guilty pleasure – there I said it.

No cutting to Harry Styles this time, but straight onto the award for:

International Group

Alabama Shakes
FUN.
The Script
The Killers
Black Keys – WINNER

Then Ben Howard demonstrated how much better he is at performing than award-speech-making. Next, on to:

International Male Solo Artist

Jack White
Goyte
Michael Buble
Frank Ocean – WINNER
Bruce Springsteen

YES. I love Frank Ocean – pleased he won this.

Next came the Special Recognition Award, for War Child. Complete with an appearance from Damon Albarn, who despite seemingly being off his face, doesn’t seem to have aged much.

And finally, the biggest award of the night:

British Album of the Year

Emeli Sande – our version of events – WINNER
Plan B – Ill Manors
Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Paloma Faith – Fall to Grace
Mumford & Sons – Babel

Not. Impressed.

Then they showed a load of clips of girls in countries around the world who love One Direction – this means they won the Global Success Award, apparently. Fair enough.

James Corden wrapped up the night sitting on Grimmy’s lap. Meanwhile on stage, what kind of ceremony would it be if they didn’t wheel out Emeli Sande again to close the show.

‘One Man’s Trash’ – Girls, Season 2, Episode 5

In a nutshell:
This episode was a bit weird.

The details:
This episode wasn’t what I normally expect from Girls. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t make me laugh all that much. It started off normally enough, with Hannah discussing with Ray how she has invented the term ‘sexit’ – to make a quick exit from somewhere in order to have sex. Reading that sentence back, I wonder if a conversation about ownership of the term ‘sexit’ can really be conceived as normal, however compared with the bizarre turn of events that followed I’d say it was pretty mundane chat.

Hannah and Ray are at work at Grumpy’s, when a guy who lives next door comes in and complains that they are disposing of their rubbish in his bin. Ray responds in a disproportionately angry way, which prompts Hannah to quit on the basis that she doesn’t want to be in a ‘toxic work environment.’

Hannah proceeds to turn up at this guy’s front door, insisting that she has to tell him something. He invites her in, and although she briefly hesitates – ‘I don’t think that’s a very good idea, I mean you’re basically a complete stranger to me so, you know, I could really be putting myself in like a Ted Bundy situation. He also looked handsome, clean…and probably had a brownstone’ – she then gladly strolls into this random guy’s house for a glass of lemonade.

Hannah explains that she’s the one who’s been using his rubbish bins, as she’d lost her key and was afraid to tell Ray. She goes on to say that, in true Hannah-style, she then got a bit obsessed with the idea of using someone else’s rubbish bin so just kept doing it.

In a pretty random turn of events, she kisses him and they end up sleeping together. Later on, Hannah is about to leave when Joshua (not Josh, NEVER Josh) asks her to stay. Hannah asks him to beg her to stay, which he does, which is in itself a bit weird considering they just met. The next day, they sack off work and play naked ping-pong – side note: not the most graceful of sports to play without clothes.

They are temporarily completely caught up in each other and blissfully ignoring the outside world, however this is brought to a stop when Hannah passes out in the shower and then pretty much pours her heart out to Joshua. Somewhat creepily, he asks, ‘What is it sweetie?’ Hannah answers: ‘Please don’t tell anyone this but…I wanna be happy.’ She goes on to explain, ‘I made a promise such a long time ago that I was gonna take in experiences, all of them, so that I could tell other people about them, and maybe save them, but it gets so tiring trying to take in all the experiences for everybody.’

Through this revelation, the fantasy ends as Hannah reveals the ‘real’ her. Consequently, Joshua becomes pretty standoffish and it’s clear that that’s the end of that. The episode ends with Hannah waking up in his place alone, taking out his rubbish and walking off without a trace.

I appreciate that this episode is an attempt from Lena Dunham to mix it up a bit in Girls, which isn’t something to be criticised. Having said that, it didn’t really do all that much for me. The episode revolved around Hannah and Joshua, yet it seems unlikely we’ll ever see his character again. It kind of felt like the entire episode was a prelude to Hannah’s realisation that she wants to be happy – something which I’m not sure deserved an entire episode dedicated to it, because don’t we all want that? And hasn’t she realised this before?

I get what Dunham was trying to do by showing how easily Hannah could slot into Joshua’s world. But it all seemed a bit Pretty Woman to me – except without the prostitution, or the happy ending (or the dressing room montage scene if we’re really picking faults).

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Another reason I felt a bit disappointed by this episode was that so much happened in the last episode to all the other characters, leaving us keen to find out what happened next, yet this yet this episode ignores all of that and focuses on Hannah. Perhaps this was deliberate – reflecting Hannah’s tendency to be a bit self centred – but personally I wanted to see how Ray and Shosh are doing in the wake of their subway declaration of love, and I even kind of wanted to see how my least fave character Jessa is doing since she opted out of her ridiculous marriage.

Speaking of things that were missing from this episode – there’s something I have to get off my chest. I’ve been waiting patiently for Sandy to reappear, and I thought I’d give it a few episodes, as I understand, there’s other stuff going on – breakups, people inadvertently cohabitating, oh and let’s not forget the whole coke thing. But now I just have to ask – where the HECK is Sandy? I defended Dunham against criticisms of her inclusion of Sandy’s character as a simple fix to the whole race backlash against Girls. And, to be fair, he may still reappear.

However, if he doesn’t, I can’t help but feel a bit let down. There is so much potential to explore with his character, not to mention the opportunity to discuss race and political issues. I find it difficult to accept that he’s just fallen off the face of the planet and Hannah hasn’t even mentioned him in any subsequent episodes.

All in all, a bold move to try something different with Girls, however, to me it felt like I was watching some kind of indie short film about a kooky whirlwind romance. Most of the things I love about Girls – the awkward moments; the laugh out loud dialogue; oh, and Shoshannah – were missing from this episode.

My highlights:
Normally I pick the moments that make me laugh the most, but as mentioned this was not really a lol-a-minute episode. The only bit that really made me laugh was Hannah’s response to Joshua asking her if she thought she was beautiful:

‘No I do, it’s just not always the feedback that I’ve been given’

‘It’s a Shame About Ray’ – Girls, Season 2, Episode 4

In a nutshell:
–    Elijah moves out of Hannah’s apartment.
–    Jessa and Thomas-John finally call it a day on their ridiculous marriage.
–    Ray & Shoshanna exchange those three little words.
–    Marnie finds herself in the middle of a domestic between her boring ex-boyfriend Charlie, and his annoying girlfriend Audrey.

The details:
This episode sees Elijah depart from Girls, which is a shame – he was a pretty entertaining character and would often tell Hannah when she was being ridiculous. Elijah isn’t too happy about the departure either – he tells Hannah as he packs up his stuff, ‘I am LIVID that it has come to this.’ I’m sure this won’t be the last we see of Elijah but I will miss his presence on the show as a regular character.

To celebrate her newfound independence, and getting paid for her freelance work, Hannah hosts a dinner party. She invites Charlie & Audrey, Ray & Shoshannah, and also invites Marnie as a ‘gesture’ – but as she actually shows up, the meal becomes pretty awkward. In light of their huge argument, Hannah is taken aback by Marnie turning up, and tells Charlie that ‘it is frankly psychotic of her to show up.’ However, she resolves this awkward situation by deciding that nobody should leave: ‘don’t go…and you don’t go…nobody go.’

Despite this, the dinner is filled with awkward moments and bitchy comments. Topics of discussion at the dinner table range from ‘butt plugs’ to Audrey starting her own mustard company (complete with gushing enthusiasm from wet blanket Charlie). Eventually, Marnie has a sly dig at Audrey asking: ‘so where do you get your headbands’ (to be fair – she looks ridiculous in that headband, I rate her for asking.) This results in all hell breaking lose between Marnie and Audrey, who shouts across the dinner table: ‘I’m tired of being polite, you’re a fucking stepford psycho and I’m tired of seeing you around everywhere!’

One of them has to leave, but Hannah leaves it up to Charlie to decide, at which point Marnie storms out, closely followed by Charlie. He joins Marnie on the roof and tries to kiss her, but she stops him, telling him that she’s seeing Booth Jonathan. At this point, Charlie says the only funny thing he’s ever said – referring to Booth Jonathan as ‘that little ewok in fucking Capri pants.’

Back at the dinner table, Shoshanna is discovering that, unbeknown to her, Ray and she are living together. It’s clear she’s been caught off guard about the fact that she was unwittingly co-habiting with Ray, telling him: ‘I would have liked to have been informed of that fact so I could’ve like, you know, bought some new sheets or called my aunt for advice about living with a man for the first time.’

Later on in the episode, Ray and Shoshanna have a pretty intense chat while waiting for the subway. They talk about the fact that, at age 31, Ray should have his own place, and more interests. Ray admits that he’s a loser and asks: ‘what makes me worth dating? What makes me worth fucking anything.’ Shoshanna finds herself replying, ‘that I’m falling in love with you.’ At first, Ray reacts badly, mumbling that it’s way too early for her to say that, and Shoshanna holds back the tears and tries to apologise. Just when I was getting ready to hate on Ray for making Shosh cry, he mans up and says ‘I love you so fucking much’ – albeit terribly timed to coincide with a load of subway noise as a train pulls in.

This scene is a great example of how Girls presents something that could be cliché, but portrays it in a realistic way. Ray and Shoshanna could have said they loved each other for the first time over a romantic candlelit dinner, but that would be a very ‘Hollywood’ view of life – instead they say it in the middle of an argument in a grotty New York subway station.

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Elsewhere, Jessa is meeting Thomas-John’s parents for the first time, and banging on about the fact that she’s travelled the world; dropped out of school; and went to rehab for using heroin. Understandably, Thomas-John is pretty angry about the first impression that Jessa leaves on his parents, which culminates in him and Jessa having a huge row and finally facing the fact that their marriage was a huge mistake.

With nowhere else to go, Jessa turns up at Hannah’s apartment while Hannah is in the bath, singing Wonderwall to herself – apparently everyone seems to have a key to Hannah’s apartment. Jessa promptly joins Hannah in the bathtub and starts crying. At this point, I did kind of feel sorry for Jessa. However, tears soon turn into laughter, as Jessa ‘snot rockets’ (exactly what it sounds like) into their shared bath.

My highlights:

Hannah: ‘Marnie we need to get it together because this girl’s starting a mustard company and what have we ever done with our lives that’s so great.’
Marnie: ‘Nothing that great, nothing with condiments.’

Hannah, after being told that she needs to grow up:
‘Um excuse me I am grown up, that’s why I cooked all this food!’

This isn’t really a highlight but a choice quote that captures everything that annoys me about Jessa: ‘I only eat meat when I’m menstruating.’

Shoshannah: ‘We can talk about it when we get back to our shared home, which we apparently share.’