Girls: Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2

girls-s3It’s back. The only thing I would interrupt my relentless Breaking Bad marathon for: Girls.

In a nutshell:

  • Shosh is loving the single life
  • Marnie is moaning about everything (as per)
  • Hannah and Adam seem to have finally got it together
  • Jessa has been located – she’s in rehab (being kooky)

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‘Together’ – Girls, Season 2, Episode 10

In a nutshell:

  • Shosh and Ray call it a day (sob!)
  • Marnie and Charlie, on the other hand, get back together (meh)
  • Hannah reaches out to Adam, as she realises she needs help
  • Jessa is still off somewhere unknown, no doubt being kooky

The details:

Season 2 of Girls has been disappointing at times (and, let’s face it, a bit weird), but it’s been getting back on track in the last few episodes, and the season finale didn’t let me down. I admit, a small percentage of my enjoyment is down to it being another Jessa-free episode. Continue reading

‘On All Fours’ – Girls – Season 2, Episode 9

In a nutshell:
– Marnie takes cringe to a whole new level
– Shosh tells Ray about her encounter with the doorman (kind of)
– Hannah accidentally shoves a cotton wool bud in her ear and ends up in hospital
– Adam’s weird side resurfaces
– Jessa is still MIA

The details:

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It’s official: Marnie has lost the plot. But it kind of makes for compulsive viewing..and I can’t imagine it’s just me. Really, nothing more needs to be said on the matter except that she did an impromptu performance of Kanye West’s Stronger this episode at a huge party celebrating Charlie’s company’s success. Grabbing the mic and randomly belting out a song at any such occasion is pretty awkward but…Kanye West? Really, Marnie? Continue reading

‘Video Games’ – Girls, Season 2, Episode 7

In a nutshell:
–       Hannah and Jessa take a trip to visit Jessa’s Dad
–       We consequently learn why Jessa is such a pain – her dad is equally dreadful
–       Hannah sleeps with yet another randomer

The Details:
For the third week, Girls tries something a bit different – first with the Hannah/Joshua episode (which I was distinctly ‘meh’ to), then last week’s episode which devoted a lot of time to the boys of the show, for a change (which I thought worked well). In theory, I rate Lena Dunham for not getting complacent with Girls after the success of the first season, and trying out new ideas. Having said that, I’m not sure they always work. I preferred this episode to the pretty much pointless 30 minutes I wasted watching ‘One Man’s Trash’ but that isn’t saying much.

It’s a Hannah and Jessa centric episode, and seeing as I find Jessa unbearable, this probably didn’t set me up with having much of a chance of giving it a rave review. Anyway, Hannah kindly offers to accompany Jessa to visit her Dad and his wife Petula, in Manito, near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. While waiting for the train, Hannah is desperate for the toilet due to her latest ailment – a UTI. For someone who spends a large amount of her life naked, she is pretty concerned about exposing herself in on the traintracks while she goes for a quick wee.

They arrive in Manito and are, eventually, met by Jessa’s dad. Pretty much instantly, we can see why Jessa is the way she is – her dad is as equally pretentious/annoying/ridiculous as she is – if not more so.

For the first time, Jessa discusses her failed marriage. She tells her dad: ‘He didn’t wanna work on it…It was like he didn’t even remember that we took vows.’ To which he replies, ‘Well maybe on some level you wanted it, because you know we’re not like other people.’ Quite a pretentious and ridiculous thing to say, if you ask me. Clearly she gets her ideas about being a kooky, free-spirited kind of gal from her dad.

Meanwhile, Hannah is off laying the groundwork for another awkward sexual encounter. She meets Petula’s son, Frank, who she compliments on the way he’s folded down his turtleneck – saucy stuff.

Later on, Hannah and Jessa go out with Frank and his friend Tyler. Jessa had wanted to spend time with her dad, but he has other plans. Jessa is being her usual ‘free spirited and kooky’ self, so covers Tyler’s eyes (who is driving), nearly getting them all killed in the process – she sure knows how to have a good time. Hannah is outraged by this reckless behaviour and gets out of the car. Frank follows her and before you know it they have sex for eight seconds in a graveyard – needless to say, it’s as awkward as it sounds.

Later on, Jessa and her dad have a deep and meaningful chat on the garden swings. We see the vulnerable side of Jessa and I even felt sorry for her. She breaks down and questions why he’s been such a terrible father to her. For all her claims about being different, Jessa – just like everyone else – needs someone to rely on and to support her.
Her dad promises to make it up to her with a family dinner of bangers and mash. However, he bails on this, and Jessa isn’t really surprised.

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Just when I was feeling sorry for Jessa, she abandons Hannah with nothing but a note that says ‘See you around my love. X.’ I know she’s had a tough time of it, but Hannah did come all the way to this dreadful house with her to be supportive. Plus Jessa probably only left like that to reaffirm her status as ‘free spirited and kooky.’ For a brief moment I wondered if that might be the end of Jessa forever…but I doubt it.

The episode ends with Hannah calling her parents. After the terrible display of parenting from Jessa’s dad, she wants to tell her parents how much she appreciates them supporting her as a child and an adult. At the same time as sharing this lovely moment with her parents, she is again urinating by the train tracks.

However, it turns out it’s not such a lovely moment as her parents are suspicious of her over the top display of affection. This scene did make me laugh, but I also despaired on Hannah’s behalf – she’s trying to reach out to her parents AND she’s in agony from her UTI – and her mum is fuming at her for no apparent reason.

All in all, not a bad episode, but not a great one. I’d like to see Girls returning to episodes where all the characters get some air time – especially my fave girl Shosh. Failing that, if we have to keep having solo character-centric episodes, can we please have a Shosh-centric one?!

My highlights:
Hannah on Jessa and her dad doing cockney accents:
‘What accents are you doing? Just cos I don’t like not getting jokes.’

Hannah and Jessa discussing Hannah’s encounter with Frank in the woods:
H: ‘But didn’t you have sex with Tyler?’
J: ‘Not at all.’
H: ‘Wait, but like, I thought that’s what we were doing.’
J: ‘No, we weren’t.’
H: ‘Okay, I wish you would have told me that.’
J: ‘Really, Hannah? You really had no idea that this was not supposed to be a sexcapade?’
H: ‘I thought this was fully a sexcapade, I thought you brought me on a sexcapade! That was fully just me trying to have continuity with you.’

‘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.’

‘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.’

‘Bad Friend’ – Girls, Season 2, Episode 3

In a nutshell:

–    Elijah and Hannah get all coked up and he tells her about him and Marnie
–    Marnie sleeps with that weird art guy
–    Shoshanna doesn’t get enough airtime (boooo)
–    Jessa…doesn’t really do much (and that’s okay by me)

The details:

In this episode, Booth Jonathan returns, the conceptual artist who appeared briefly in Season 1. A few qualms with this character – first of all: what kind of name is Booth Jonathan? Secondly, he’s an absolutely awful combination of cocky, pretentious, and creepy. In my notes for this episode I have written ‘this artist guy is a pretentious idiot’ – an insightful point I think you’ll agree. Anyway, this Booth Jonathan character bumps into Marnie at work in her ‘pretty person’ job, and whisks her off back to his apartment. He proceeds to trap her in his art installation – essentially a barricade of TV screens with crying babies and maggots – it’s all quite trippy, and Marnie clearly buys into it as, on being released she declares: ‘you are so fucking talented.’ Then they sleep together and it’s all pretty awkward and weird.

Meanwhile, on a trip of their own – Hannah and Elijah embark on a coke-fuelled evening of debauchery. This all starts with Hannah meeting up with an editor to discuss freelancing, who has this pretentious sign on her office wall:

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She has a few suggestions on how Hannah should achieve this ‘magic,’ – including having a threesome with people she meets on Craig’s list (basically America’s Gumtree), or taking coke for the first time. Hannah opts for the latter. Whilst I admit this made for entertaining viewing, it was a bit odd that, for a person who had decidedly not taken coke before, and who is no stranger to over-analysis, Hannah was quite easily convinced into this.

That aside, it made for a hilarious episode with some great moments. First of all, the fact that Hannah gets this coke from Laird who lives downstairs, and is in fact a recovering drug addict, who then proceeds to follow Hannah and Elijah round all night on said evening of debauchery. Laird says he wanted to protect her ‘like the Mum in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ – which is somewhat reminiscent of the whole crack spirit guide thing from Season 1.

At first, it’s all fun and games for Elijah and Hannah on coke. The scene in the club is filled with funny moments – particularly, Hannah swapping her already awful top for an even worse top – a string vest, no less:
Original string vest owner: ‘Wanna exchange shirts?’
Hannah: ‘Are you kidding me, are you a mind reader?’

Although, it all eventually ends in tears (lesson learned kids: don’t do coke) as in a coke-induced desire to share, Elijah tells Hannah about sleeping with Marnie. They then turn up at Booth Jonathan’s apartment and Hannah proceeds to lay into Marnie about being a bad friend; kick Elijah out of her apartment; and then get it on with her ‘guardian angel,’ Laird.

My highlights:

During Hannah’s brilliantly awful dancing with string vest guy:
Hannah: ‘You’re a really good dancer’
String vest guy: ‘So are you’
Hannah: ‘Thanks, I know’

The fact that Hannah used ‘circa’ in a way that doesn’t quite work (as said in my last post, I approve of this):
‘Is there any rule that says we can’t just start doing the coke right now, circa 4pm’

Marnie: ‘What are you wearing?!’
Hannah: ‘Oh, a shirt’
Marnie: ‘You are being very rude right now.’
Hannah: ‘Well you know what maybe I don’t care about being polite okay because it’s a Wednesday night baby, and I’m alive.’

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