I’m not sure what show “Flo” is an episode of, but it certainly doesn’t feel like Girls. For thirty full minutes, we’re introduced to a cast of fully fleshed out characters with personalities and problems entirely independent from Hannah’s. Cousin Rebecca feels like more of a human being than Shoshanna did for the entire first half of the season, and Lorraine’s sibling squabbles flesh out a category of female relationship that’s just as real and complex as that of a post-college clique. It’s a brilliant demonstration that Girls’s emotional range extends far beyond that of its main characters; Hannah might not be able to see beyond her own tiny world, but the people who write her sure can. So we get “Flo,” a one-act family dramedy slipped into a series about twenty-something friends. … Read More
Maybe that beach house blowup wasn’t a breaking point after all. Maybe it was a much-needed airing of grievances, dragging this friend group’s tensions up to the surface before they could break it apart. And now that everyone’s aware just what everyone else thinks of them, the Girls are free to have civil, uneventful parties like the one Hannah and Adam throw at the Gramercy Hotel. There may be a few uninvited guests—denim-on-denim wearing actor Desi, the anxieties Patti LuPone implants in Hannah’s already anxious head—but “Incidentals” is largely a happy, quiet episode. Which Girls is more than entitled to after last week’s drunken meltdown. … Read More
God bless Shoshanna Shapiro.
Girls has kept its sometime MVP on the sidelines for so long, I forgot how good it feels when the show puts her in her rightful place as the foursome’s resident Cassandra. She’s deployed to spectacular effect in “Beach House,” an episode’s that co-written by all three of the show’s heavy hitters. The idea of a vacation that strikes a friend group’s killing blow by ripping the group’s tensions out into the open has been done before, obviously. But Lena Dunham, Jenni Konner, and Judd Apatow combine their talents to render a chick-flick cliché in nightmarish detail. “Beach House” pulls this off by showing the way this particular group would implode, demonstrating such a perfect understanding of its characters and the dynamic between them that it’s easy to forget that Girls has been keeping its protagonists separated for so long. … Read More
It’s an occupational hazard of any writer writing about a writer trying to be a writer. Girls has never been as concerned with being “relatable” or “real” as some expect it to be, but any series has to have conflicts most of its audience can, well…care about. And Hannah’s venture into the world of sponsored content smacks of some serious inside baseball, a dilemma few people outside of a few hundred Manhattan media types even know exists. I kept asking myself just what percentage of this show’s audience even gets jokes about n+1 and advertorials. If it’s any higher than ten, I fear for its ratings.
One could easily say, and many easily have said, that the majority of the characters on Girls are “L8 CMMRS.”… Read More
Lena Dunham got a cute tattoo; cue the frivolous online debate that’s sure to ensue based on the “privilege”… Read More
When did Girls become a CW drama meets Community? Lena Dunham’s been on a meta kick lately, what with last week’s discussion of online snark, and Hannah’s narcissism has turned from something the audience is expected to call out on its own to a running joke on screen. “Only Child” brings the navel-gaze to a whole new level, culminating in Ray’s description of Marnie as a “sympathetic character.” That face-off exemplifies both the self-awareness that’s traditionally the bailiwick of a certain NBC sitcom and the increasing insularity of the show’s universe. The reshuffling of characters is fast approaching the randomness of a seventh-season teen soap, and it risks becoming just as unbelievable. … Read More
How does a self-absorbed young person deal with death? Hannah Horvath’s been shielded thus far from thinking of loss as a part of everyday life, both by her upbringing and her age. So when David, the editor we last saw celebrating “40 more good years” in a bar full of people half his age, is found floating face-down in the Hudson River, our heroine is totally unequipped to deal with the emotional fallout — or lack thereof. What follows is 30 minutes of my favorite kind of Girls jokes, the ones that poke fun at its main characters’ narcissism, at her expense. As per usual, too many people will assume that Lena Dunham isn’t self-aware enough to intentionally make her protagonist such an awful person. But that’s what Hannah is: a person forced to look her own self-centeredness in the eye, and who’s forced to make up fictitious emotions rather than let those around her see her authentic self. … Read More
Just when Girls has you convinced it’s gone full sitcom, it gives you the nightmare image of a pantsless Gabby Hoffmann shattering a glass with her bare hand. Hoffmann’s great at playing unhinged, but where her character in Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus was ultimately benign, Adam’s sister Caroline is a whole new order of instability. She’s the kind of whirlwind that shows up out of nowhere just to suck all the oxygen out of the room, leaving broken dishware and possibly damaged romantic relationships in her wake. And even though the show wrings some comedic value out of her craziness, no one’s laughing by the end of “She Said OK.” Least of all Adam.