January 13, 2014
Ladies and Girls, we are back. I hope you all joined me in watching the double premiere of Girls last night instead of finishing the Golden Globes.
We had a strong start to the season, I think. Before I go into specifics, I have a few observations:
— In general, hair has really improved this season. Hannah’s hair actually looks decent, and Shoshanna’s hair looks SO MUCH BETTER. Thank you for not bringing back the insane bun, Shosh.
— Marnie’s name is actually Marnie Marie. Yess.
Now on to Part 1, Females Only
We start the season as we’ve started the previous two: with spooning. In the first season, Hannah spooned with Marnie (so that Marnie didn’t have to spoon with Charlie). In the second season, she spooned with Elijah, her ex-boyfriend turned new gay roommate. And this season, she spoons, at last, with Adam, her current live-in boyfriend. This jump to spooning with a genuine significant other might symbolize coming growth, but we’ll see.
Next we see Marnie, who is living at home with her mom (Rita Wilson). It’s clear that Charlie has left her, and it’s later explained that he simply disappeared one day after buying ingredients to make grilled pizzas. Which I guess is sort of what Christopher Abbott did in real life (left the show abruptly after doing last season’s finale as if he would stay).
We get a glimpse of Shoshanna next, and she’s obviously hooking up with a rando/being hungover in the library. And then we see Jessa, who looks like she’s in a dorm, maybe, or something.
The first real scene is a pretty spectacular one. At Grumpy’s, Adam runs into Shiri Appleby, aka Natalia of last season’s dirty rough sex. She’s with her bff, Amy Schumer (last season, this was the girl whose engagement party Adam and Natalia attended). There’s a huge confrontation that ends with Natalia telling Hannah and Adam to “enjoy your urine-soaked life.” It’s um, pretty spectacular.
The rest of the episode features the following revelations:
Marnie works at Grumpy’s now. But she actually looks sort of happy.
Jessa is in rehab. Her fellow addicts include Kim Gordon and Danielle Brooks (AKA Taystee from OITNB). It’s perhaps notable that the first female black actress to appear on the show is an addict who huffs lighter fluid. Luckily she also gets an amazing line: “I don’t want to tell anyone I’m a lesbian cause I’m afraid they’ll ask me to do sports.”
Since last season’s bleak finale, Hannah has miraculously made up with her publisher and her book is going to be great and amazing. She drinks from a cup made entirely of chocolate and is told that her book will premiere on Nerve.com. She and Adam have a dinner party and it’s much better than the disastrous dinner parties that began the last two seasons, despite the fact that Marnie spits out her taco un-chewed. After everyone leaves, they have sex and it’s actually really nice sex; they really know each other now.
Basically, things are good — or at least, things feel stable. Until Jessa calls.
Part 2, Truth or Dare
This is a road trip episode, and it follows the general road trip mold: singing in the car, stopping for a weird lunch, staying in a crappy hotel. The star of the episode is Shoshanna, because while she doesn’t really do anything, she has amazing one-liners like:
— ”Women maybe shouldn’t be president because menstruation like, COULD cloud their judgment.”
— ”I will never be bored as long as there is Halloween.”
— ”I’ll come back whenever the cum parade has like, paraded on by.”
— ”My friend Rachel saw a guy giving a girl full on cunnilingus on a hike just like this on a day just like this.”
Other than these gems, not much appears to happen on this trip — as Hannah says, “this road trip is not a metaphor, it just isn’t.” But with that in mind, let’s think about the title of the episode. Truth or Dare is a game played by middle school kids, and the end goal of either the truth or the dare is to get the subject to reveal something. On this trip, there are various truths revealed; Adam says that Hannah is his best friend. Hannah tells Shoshanna how deeply sad Jessa was in college, that she was desparate not to be left alone.
The dares all come from Jessa. She dares that old dude in rehab to come on to her. She dares Hannah to come pick her up, even after she’s been a terrible friend. She dares rehab to kick her out. She’s not really able to reveal any truths.
So this is a sad episode, despite how funny Shoshanna is (um, when she’s smoking a cig with the addicts and trying to somehow look as cool as them. Incredible). The final exchange between Jessa and Hannah is the explanation of the title: Hannah stands before her truthful, even too truthful, sort of bare and naked. Jessa dares her to believe she can change (but she might really just be playing a game).
Just want to end with a final thought, which is that Hannah’s transformation since last season is only explained via the presence of Adam. I’m not sure what this says about one’s ability to rescue oneself. Although maybe she rescued him too?
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