Girls, Episode 8: Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too
So it’s official. Hannah and Adam are in love.
In a way, I’m disappointed that I was right. Adam morphed into a loving boyfriend, seemingly overnight. This is what I was hoping for, yet the result falls strangely flat. Why? Because it’s not credible. Dunham’s hamster got together with the collective female id hamster and brought Girls dangerously close to phony rom com territory. The result does not entirely satisfy. Still, I’m willing to go with the flow, because Dunham’s writing is so funny and sharp. This week, Girls was a guilty pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless.
John Cook at Gawker, a Girls hater, is less forgiving:
It bears noting that the angry woodworking actor, heretofore portrayed on the television program Girls as a feral, caustic, perverted narcissist, has been transformed into a male Zooey Deschanel—a Manic Pixie Dream Guy full of lovable quirks and eccentricities crying out to be domesticated and tamed by our heroine.
Yup, it’s that female taming fantasy again. We really can’t get enough of that.
Episode 8 Highlights
I. Adam’s Dirty Talk
One of my favorite moments this week (like most weeks) was Adam talking dirty - according to Dunham, they let Driver improvise these scenes, instructing him to come up with the weirdest dirty talk he can think of. He hasn’t missed yet.
The show opens on a still shot of at least 5 used Magnums and wrappers in a pile. Hannah and Adam are in her bed watching a film of him as a little kid. She teases him about his big ears, he gets turned on and wants to have sex again. (The fact that she manages to jog after all this friction is one of the less credible plot sequences.)
Marnie is in the next room, still throwing herself a pity party over the boy ex with a vagina, and has to listen to them go at it.
Adam: (moan) Would you have fucked a 4 year old me?
Hannah: (giggles) You were only 2.
Adam: How fat were you? Be honest.
Adam: That’s what I thought. You were probably a really late walker. And you were probably toilet trained really late.
Adam: Go go go go go go!
Hannah: (moan) I’m gonna come.
Adam: That was fast.
Hannah: Thank you.
Adam: Thank you.
Now that Adam is showing his caring, nurturing side, I’m worried that Hannah is going to lose interest. As you can see in the above clip, Adam is, er, socially challenged. His idea of a prank is to urinate on his girlfriend, and he is rather moody and self-indulgent about his “art.” He really is a weirdo – Jessa uncannily observes that he seems like the kind of guy who would masturbate in front of anyone. (BTDT!)
So far, Hannah has been a supportive and affectionate girlfriend. But I’m starting to feel like she has all the hand, and I don’t trust her not to abuse the advantage. I hope she sticks it out – Adam’s heart seems like it is in the right place, and besides, I can’t imagine any relationship providing more fodder for a budding writer.
Obviously, Dunham & Hamster will decide how it plays out. James Franco, a protege of Judd Apatow’s, put it very well:
Hannah can be as big a loser as Lena wants because, in the end, Lena is anything but a loser: she is a writer-director-actor spearheading a show on HBO. No matter how many stupid things Hannah says to strangers, how embarrassing her sex scenes are, how awkward she is with adults, or how little writing she actually does, Lena will always shine through as the admirable creative force behind everything on the television screen. Lena’s character never has to write her book because the series is her book.
II. It’s Been a Rough Year For Guys in Finance
You may recall Chris O’Dowd as the good guy cop in Bridesmaids, the guy who gets the girl after she’s had enough of Jon Hamm’s asshole shtick. In this episode, Dunham sends up the 1 Percenters, casting him as a douchey venture capitalist who’s just moved to a fancy doorman building in Williamsburg. Out by himself in a suit on a Saturday night, he sends Marnie and Jessa a drink at a fancy bar.
They agree to go back to his place, where he acts like a tool trying to impress them by DJing for a while. When Marnie starts making out with Jessa, who was just about to leave, he tries to get in on the action. Awkwardly, he moves around the pair, tentatively hovering his hand over a breast here, hesitantly opening his mouth like a fish there. Marnie knocks her glass of red wine over onto his $10,000 rug. When he doesn’t find her sufficiently contrite, he throws a painfully funny hissy fit.
Venture Capitalist Guy: You know what? If you’re really sorry you better be planning to make this a very speical night, for all of us. Not just you and fucking Missy Mallou. All of us! And not just me watching you girls go at it for a little bit and me getting a little bit turned on. I want to be balls deep! In…s-s-something! And I don’t even fucking care what it is!
(whining) No more excluding me, Mary Poppins! It’s not fair! I wanna be part of the group.
Jessa: Oof. That will neverrrr…happen.
VC Guy: (pathetically whining now) This isn’t right! Is it? This can’t be the way that this goes….
You just know that on Monday he’s going to send Marnie a link to Survey Monkey for feedback on what he did wrong.
Chris Jacelewicz, reviewing Girls at HuffPo, explains the appeal of the show to the average guy.
While yes, these women live in a very dysfunctional, chaotic world, and most people probably shouldn’t look up to them, it’s far better to identify with girls like these than the insipid flakes that populate shows like Gossip Girl. Your average guy would never want to watch Gossip Girl, but they may just want to tune in to Girls.
Why? As simple as it sounds, it’s real – on multiple levels. I personally know iterations of each girl on this show — especially Hannah, the hilarious, creative, yet socially hopeless woman without a clue about what to do with herself. She’s an everygirl. It’s also refreshing that these people don’t all congregate in some ridiculous apartment (ahem, Friends) that they could never feasibly afford, and we don’t see them rolling in money or lusting after handbags (as seen on the #1 guy repellent, Sex And The City).
…Perhaps the best aspect of Girls is it provides a window for guys to look through, to better understand the thought processes of women in relationships, and to see how their own potential douchebaggery might be interpreted by the women in their lives. Looking at it that way, Girls actually provides society a service, and we should all be thanking Dunham for pointing out that yep, all of us are a little fucked up.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.