GIRLS Recap (Season 1, Episode 9): Girls has a bad episode
The promising HBO show falters with a truly weak episode.
There must have been a solar eclipse this week, or a ripple in the timelines. Just as I thought GIRLS was reaching the territory of “great television,” it falls back down a few pegs with an exceptionally trite, boring and overall pretty weak episode. If I didn’t know any better , I would say this week’s GIRLS was the worst episode to date. What was so bad about it? Well, I guess, simply nothing interesting happened.
If you read back through my track record of enjoyment with this show, my “happy-meter” is directly proportional to the level of humor, quirkiness, and a balance of male and female characters. In order to have a show about GIRLS that shows what girls are all about and picks at the feminine brain, there needs to be a balance of male characters. If there was a show called GUYS, I think the presence of female characters would be the heart, soul and selling point of the entire show. I’m not for a second declaring GIRLS to be sexist, or saying I don’t enjoy it as much because there needs to be more men–I’m just saying that when Hannah is the focus of an episode spouting ‘writer theories’ for the sake of calling herself a writer, I’m not terribly amused.
For some reason, the Hannah character just doesn’t do it for me. Something about her irks me. Maybe it’s the fact that she lies to her friends about being able to pay rent. Maybe it’s the fact that she puts her own problems before anyone else’s, over-reacts and seems to object doing anything. Maybe she’s emblematic of all the cliché problems that seem to make certain girls unlikeable? It’s hard to get a handle on and yet, there are still some very genuine traits about her character. You’ve met people like Hannah. We all have, and yet when you see these things transferred to a TV screen, it all feels very flat and transparent.
Anyway, in this week’s episode, Hannah has to do a reading about herself to impress some sort of hipster poetry club. It almost reaches a point of self-parody when the poem/story she reads is terrible, short and awkward. She tries to make it meaningful and about death, but it just leaves people staring at her uncomfortably. Later, Hannah and Marnie hash it out because they’re both convinced that the other one is more selfish. Hannah declares that Marnie does nothing but bitch about her ex-boyfriend. Marnie says that Hannah doesn’t care to listen. One of the best lines in the series to date–which showcases their staggering pettiness– is Marnie saying, “This is why you have no friends from pre-school,” to which Hannah replies, “I have plenty of friends from pre-school, I’m just not speaking to them right now.” This furthers the rift, turning their meaningless scuffle into an existential debate about the value of friendship. Marnie is boyfriend-crazy and Hannah just wants to go on about her nebulous writing career.
Hopefully the finale will be better. And oh yeah…Jenny Slate is in this.
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