Monday, April 30, 2012

GIRLS Recap: Week Three: The STD

I'm taking a different approach with this week's recap in an effort to determine whether I like or hate this show. In previous weeks I've watched the show then slept on it before writing the recap. I usually wake up feeling kinder and more thoughtful about what the writer/creator/direct is attempting with this piece of art. Last night I just wrote it all down as I was watching. As a result, you'll note a significant difference in my mood. I still don't know what this ultimately means. R maintains that I want to hate this show and can therefore see no good. This might be still be true. Let's read what I wrote while I watched, then come back to R's potential point.

-Marnie is mean to her boyfriend after he shaves his head for someone who has ovarian cancer. WHY DOESN'T SHE BREAK UP WITH THIS GUY SHE OBVIOUSLY HATES?!?! Or, better yet, why doesn't he break up with her? Oh right, because this is a show about people who aren't quite sure how to properly live life yet.

-Hannah dresses up like a weird goth slut and goes to hook up with tall Justin Long.While hooking up with TJL, she lets him jiggle around her belly fat, and then they have a conversation about her belly fat and her weight in general. Every time I want to cringe at this strange pale boy and his terrible/weird sexual behavior I remember that Hannah/Lena likes it/asks for it, and then I feel terrible about/sad for her. Please god don't let there be tons of girls out there who let guys jiggle their belly fat and get away with it - PLEASE.

-Jessa prepares for the first day of her babysitting job while Soshannah watches/says things in her annoying Facebook voice. Jessa is wearing a see-through white dress with hot pink underwear under it because she comes from a place (Paris?? London?? We still have no idea) where it's perfectly fine to have your lingerie showing as you get paid to foster the development of young people. This pretty much sums up how 20-something Americans feels about Parisians, so I guess it makes sense.

-Jessa goes to babysit for this documentary filmmaker played by Kathryn Hahn (who is literally in every TV show they're making these days, which is great because she is great). She's a documentary filmmaker who has two adorable little girls. That's all that happens in this scene.

-Hannah gets a call from her gyno while in bed playing jiggle-the-belly with Adam. Hannah has HPV. She freaks out because she doesn't know what HPV is. She sort of blames Adam for potentially giving it to her. He says he's been tested, so there's no way he gave it to her. She apologizes a thousand times, asks if he's angry and asks if he still wants to sleep with her. This scene felt very realistic, and that makes me sad.

-Hannah calls Marnie to tell her she has HPV. Marnie cries. In previous episodes there were small things I liked about Marnie and her acting. Right now there are none.

NOTE TO READERS: I admit it's not the show's responsibility to accurately describe HPV, how common it is, where it comes from, and how it can be treated. In fact, it's totally likely that none of these girls would have a clue because STD education isn't particularly strong in schools. So here is a link for more information on this very treatable and common issue from the Center for Disease Control. Daily kind deed, done.

-Hannah is now at Jessa/Shoshannah's apartment in a new outfit. I think she's looking for Jessa. Shoshannah is there wrapped in a Snuggie from The Limited Too and watching this (fake?) TV show called BAGGAGE. It's some game show where women put small, medium and big pieces of "baggage" into suitcases that men open on the show and then determine if they still want to date the women despite their baggage. I'm not totally clear on the rules, but it worked as a good device to get Shosh and Hannah to talk about their own baggage. Shosh's is that she's a virgin. Hannah's is that she has HPV. Shosh tells Hannah that Jessa has HPV too. Shosh says that Jessa says all adventurous women do. Right now Shosh is my favorite character on the show for some reason. Maybe it's because she's being considerably less annoying than she usually is, which is tricking me into a false acceptance of her?  I don't know. Hannah/Shosh decide that Hannah should tell the ex boyfriend who she thinks gave her the HPV that she has the HPV. Hannah says she's afraid that if they're in the same place they'll end up having sex. Shosh says that's fine because they both have HPV. Oh the logic of a virgin wrapped in a peace sign Snuggie.

-Marnie is at a gallery opening where her completely over-the-top art-world boss tells some hot artist named Booth Johnson (or something equally ridiculous but totally realistic, thank you Dash Snow) that he should stop f-ing some girl and F Marnie instead (impressionable young people read this blog too, you know). The artist is played by Jorme from Lonely Island. This show is good for New York-based actors. Marnie compliments Jorme/Booth about his art. He says, "try to give less of a shit." I roll my eyes and tell R I think I do hate this show.

-Hannah and ex boyfriend get together at a bar so she can tell him that he gave her HPV. I turn to R the minute this guy sits down and say, "he's gay now," but R is asleep. I think the boyfriend's name is Sebastian. He is an assistant to a curator of dance, of course. No. It's Elijah. Aaanndddd, HE IS GAY NOW. One thousand points for me!!! Hannah cries. I think, girl now that your parents cut you off, you have HPV and your ex is gay, you're finally like the rest of us! Also Elijah tells Hannah that TJL lied about not having HPV because men can't be tested for HPV. Will this move FINALLY make Hannah stop hooking up with him??? Not a chance.

-Marnie and Booth run up to The Highline entrance, but it's closed. She acts crazy awkward and dumb around him, and I want to shake her and say, "GET IT TOGETHER AND ACT LIKE AN ADULT!!! Then I remember that this show is called GIRLS, and I think I finally get the entire point of it. Maybe.

Marnie says, "you know I'm not going to kiss you." and then Booth gets really close to her and says, "The first time I fuck you I might scare you a little because I'm a man and I know how to do things." Then I rolls my eyes so hard that I develop an instant headache. Conversely Marnie is like YYESSS because she wants a bad boy, and then she goes and fingers herself in the bathroom of the art gallery.

-Jessa smokes pot with the Dad of the kids she babysits. She will eventually have an affair with this man. It is as obvious as the fact that Hannah's ex is gay. 1,000 future points for me!!!

-Hannah tweets incredibly dumb shit while an awesome Robyn song plays. I realize that sentence is short and mean, but at this point it's all I've got. My primary thought at this moment is: this girl needs a job SO BADLY.

-Marnie comes home, and she and Hannah laugh about the gay guy and dance to the good Robyn song like best friends. Neither of them can dance, but this shouldn't be held against them.

-I went to iTunes and downloaded that Robyn song while the credits rolled.

Guys, I don't know. I still just don't know. Does it make me stodgy and old if I don't remotely relate to these girls?? Do I hate them because they're living a version of a New York City life that I envy?? Do I long for the youth that they take for granted?? Am I just a jerk with bizarre standards/tastes??

Or does my opinion have zero to do with who these girls are portraying and everything to do with the overall quality of this program? I didn't relate to the FREAKS AND GEEKS cast, but I loved that show. I don't related to NURSE JACKIE and find her fairly deplorable, but I love that show. The examples go on.

Here's what I think: I think there is a segment of the population who will love this show no matter what happens because they're inclined to love the tone/characters/world/etc. For the rest of us, this show needs to work harder. It can't just be an artistic expression of a slice of life for a small, small segment of the population if it wants to be broadly appealing. It has the do what most/all other TV shows do: create interesting stories, reveal dynamic characters, set up and pay off plot lines, and give a glimpse of where we're going, and why. That is, that's what it needs to do for me.

Where do you stand?


  1. I only watch this show so I can read these reviews.

  2. I read these reviews so I don't have to watch the show.

  3. I tried, I really did. But I just cant watch it anymore. It's not ineresting enough for me. I really hope my friends and I weren't this annoying.

  4. to be perfectly honest i never watched an ep of sex and the city, mostly because i took one look at Carrie and the rest of the main female cast and knew that could never be me. my life can never revolve around carrying that many shopping bags and loving pink in my 30s. im aware that's a unfair assessment but that's the tone i receive from the show when i see Carrie in a photo all glitzed up. i happen to really enjoy girls. granted i hate these characters at some points, particularly Hannah of course. but i didn't not like the show and was dumbfounded as to how i could like a show but hate the main character. then it occurred to me, it was the honesty and the balls it takes to center a show around a totally unlikable character that represents who every woman doesn't want to be. a woman who can barely call her self a woman. she is a vehicle to express our venerability, our most shameful moments and in an odd way ignorance that plays out like innocence when Hannah on screen sometimes. i am in fact a 20 year old woman and i live in New York. whats attractive about girls is how much i see my messed friends in these girls from time to time. the harsh and inappropriately hilarious conversations like the ones in the abortion episode sealed the deal for me, personally. i like seeing that on tv, seeing woman not be weepy about it on tv, cause not everyone is, me and my friends sure arent and its nice to see something that resembles my thoughts on abortion or my attitude towards it on tv, its just refreshing. i like that i can turn on the tv and see a girl who has a degree and cant find a job, similar to the boat im in. i love the desperation of youth in this show. to be on the edge of the rest of your life and not knowing which way ur gonna fall, but still being able to be unapologetic and hilarious about it. girls has this protagonist that although she makes decisions i never would so far, i know another bitch who would. and also even though i would never want to, i feel like i can put my face on hers cause even though im not as ignorant as she is or whatever else, i can relate to her in the biggest way and possibly the most important way, (especially in this society with all its imbalance) i am in fact lost, i have no clue if theres a job waiting for me when i get my degree, im not even sure if finishing my degree would be worth it and id have to pick money over passion, my eyes are open yet terribly blinded, im being shoved into this "adult-world" with a rough outline in my hands, i have no idea who i really am and most of all its scary as fuck. hannah embodies all this with a goofy smile on her face, and so do the other girls as they try to find a suitable path in life.