February 17, 2014
In Girls this week, we got to honestly talk about what we’ve all been thinking: why are these people friends at all?
Or maybe a better question is, are they still friends? Can a weekend in North Fork save the foursome?
Groups of girlfriends are eternally complicated. What is it that holds them together? I think it’s familiarity; as Shoshanna says at one point, it’s her social anxiety that’s holding her back from meeting the people who might actually be right for her.
As I watched this episode, I remembered a similar weekend getaway that I went on with my group of college girlfriends, when we were around 25. We tried to find other people to hang out with, but failed, and ended up fighting and then watching TV in angry, drunk silence. So why were we friends at all?
Because that’s what we had, that was our thing, and breaking away from a group is in many ways harder than ending a romantic relationship. Hannah acted on this weekend trip like a girlfriend who isn’t into her boyfriend anymore — she found other people to join them, she tried to avoid serious talks. She wanted to just keep doing surface level stuff, like drinking and dancing and eating snacks. She didn’t want to get into the deep shit, cause she knew it wouldn’t be good.
And it wasn’t good, once it came down to it. Shoshanna, who was largely quiet for the rest of the episode, spoke up. She called Hannah a narcissist, and Marnie an uptight bitch, and Jessa crazy. She even threw around the term “mentally ill”. It was all on the table.
Meanwhile, in the other room, Elijah got too serious, and then tried to return to the surface so that he could keep what he had: a boyfriend. This episode seemed to be asking whether in the end, is it better to skate by in relationships, to laugh and drink, or to get into the shit which might tear you apart.
It may be a turning point, or it may not be. I don’t think this weekend will end this group, any more so than they’ve already ended. Already this season we’ve had most episodes focus on one character (and mostly Hannah), and that may be the direction we’re headed. After all, they’re 25 (or, Hannah is, I assume Marnie and Jessa are almost there). 25 is a time when those college friendships start to really show their wear and tear, and everyone has to try to make it on their own.
This episode was beautifully crafted, though. In the manner of party scenes in The Great Gatsby, it perfectly captured a long day of drinking; the laughter on the porch, the dancing, the two people breaking off from the group to have a heart-to-heart, the descent into the night, when things get serious. It was very artfully done.
It was also really funny. A lot of the humor came simply from the fact that Hannah wore that bikini the entire time — the ENTIRE TIME. Aside from her reaalllyy bad bus outfit, that was the only article of clothing we saw her in. Marnie, on the other hand, had one million outfit changes, which made sense because she’s been planning this weekend so entirely; of COURSE she thought of a different outfit for each section of the day.
A few stray things that I loved:
— One detail which was really well done was the simultaneous fights the boys were having while the girls were busy. “I spent 80 thousand dollars on a theater BFA, of COURSE I’m talented!”
— The dance, which was choreographed by Celia Rowlson-Hall, was epic.
— Marnie’s re-telling of the Charlie break-up story: “I grill the pizzas, and I wait.”
— Elijah describing Marnie as a “skinny Ms. Hannigan”. Perfect.
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