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Girls Is Terrible, And Such Small Portions: How To Lose Friends And Alienate Everyone

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Hannah HBO Girls March 10, 2013

Last night's episode of Girls involved a cumshot, a broken q-tip and a possible rape. Which is why I feel okay saying it's the most uncomfortable episode ever.  Like, when I say uncomfortable, I mean I watched the whole thing through my hands like a horror movie. Things were viscerally uncomfortable with Hannah vs. the ass splinter/Hannah vs. the q-tip. Socially with Marnie’s Kanye sing-along. And ultimately, the sex between Adam and Natalya makes me seriously question the purportedly “feminist” thesis of the show. Did that feel like rape to anyone else? Did we really need to see that cumshot? Things were dark. If I were Jemima Kirke, I’d have been super relieved to be on maternity leave for this part of the season. But let’s just dive right into this, shall we?

Adam’s nice new girlfriend has him seeing rom coms starring Sandra Bullock, and being like a proper boyfriend. So we know she's totally lame! They’ve been dating for about a week now, so she has deigned him suitable to pass through her hallowed coital gates. The only thing is that she’s got like a thousand rules before he passes into the no-fly zone. No cuming inside her even though she’s on the pill and we should kiss for at least five minutes and rambling anxieties and OMG she’s like so uptight! Shame on her for being vocal about what makes her comfortable in the bedroom.

On to Hannah, who is clearly still dealing with grade 1 situational OCD because she needs to pick her wedgie exactly eight times.  She’s on her way to see her editor, who is there to challenge her bravery as an e-book author. His opinion of e-book draft number 1: Too many Jane Austen-y stories about friendship and not enough gritty boudoir snapshots of her “pudgy face slick with semen and sadness.” It’s so hard to maintain your creative integrity when everyone is just pressuring you to talk about your sex life like ALL THE TIME! Right, Leenz? You’re clearly sick of that…

But OMG, Shoshonna, HOW ARE YOU??? Just being like the best girlfriend ever to the most gracious extended houseguest, beloved boyfriend and human paintbrush Ray. Clearly, he’s getting super comfortable because he’s occupied her peace-sign robe and parked his life-size Andy Kaufman cardboard cutout in her living room. But we know Shoshonna is still dealing with the guilt of making out with shin-strap the doorman, and Ray is suspicious. Andy Kaufman was luckily there to point a damning finger at her hypocrisy.

Oh hey, Marnie! How’d you get into Charlie’s office building again? I guess you haven’t yet been placed on the security alert list. Well, good for you and your new wreck identity! You’ll just always be on the outside looking in on Charlie’s new life, complete with cute stylish female coworkers, drip coffee, and office bikes.

Also, as an aside, the way Charlie talks about the reaction of his staff to surpassing a subscriber milestone is too much. “Sorry, we just got to 20,000 MAU’s, and everyone was like ‘Ohhh fuuuuuuck, we did it!” Welcome to the deterioration of the English language, as brought to you by wunderkind millennials.

And back to Hannah’s problems. She’s so fucked up that she engages in a bit of light self-mutilation. It’s a battle royale, q-tip  against ear canal. So, she gets to the hospital, and we stick around to watch the doctor pull the q-tip out of her ear. This scene is truly superfluous. Realistic, in the sense that we have all taken those hospital trips that awaken the most pathetic kind of self pity. Free of real perspective and foresight, we’re like “Why me? My friends never get sent to the ER for stuff ike this.” And then we’re like, shut up self. This sucks, like really bad, but honestly. Some people have real problems.

And it sucks even worse because this just had to happen on the eve of Charlie’s party—which is essentially a gathering of the most embarrassing kinds of people who call themselves young professionals. There’s the awkward sway-dancing  guy, the girl drunk crying against a pillar, and the crowd of people testing the authenticity of anonymous girl’s boobs. Because these peeps are the free-wheelingest folks east of Bedford Avenue, and also, the dregs of humanity.

So naturally, this was thus high time for Shoshonna to reveal her forehead doughnut made of hair. And for Marnie to halt the party to sing Kanye lyrics. Which she felt totally comfortable with, because Ray assures her before this psychotic cry for attention that her voice is “Katy Perry good.” Allison Williams and Kitty Purr totally laughed about this line at their weekly Girls viewing party, because they’re pretty girl friends and have bonded over their perfectly symmetrical faces.

Meanwhile, Adam runs into Hannah on the street at Natalya’s friend’s engagement party. Cause she’s exactly the kind of beige girl who can’t take a poop joke and has friends getting married at 24. Hannah rambles on about seeing her middle school teacher at Kroger and we don’t care. But Adam really does. Like a lot. It makes him miss her so much that he runs back inside and takes refuge in the swaddling clothes of grain alcohol. And thus ends his recovery as an alcoholic.

And what comes next was honestly a bit shocking for me to watch, as I’m sure it was for many other viewers. We get that Natalya isn’t right for him. She’s a square priss who can’t deal with the clutter of his apartment, doesn’t get him and makes him feel judged. So he sets out to degrade her. He commands her to drop on all fours and crawl to his bedroom. He aggressively takes her from behind. He finishes on her chest in a move that is clearly not enjoyable for her.

And after it’s all over, she’s rightfully traumatized. What, was it 2 days prior to this that she laid out what she was comfortable with? And here he is, violating it all and taking her in a way that verges on sexual assault. In his convoluted, sadist brain, this is a punishment she incurs for not being who he wants her to be. We see, beyond the-flawed-but-generally-likeable character Adam has become throughout the course of the show, that he is a sexually violent chauvinist with the ability to cause some very real harm. And I’m not saying that sex should look any way in particular, but Adam’s move is a violation of Natalia’s trust and her body.  know I wasn't the only one watching and thinking “is this rape?” in my head.

So this is where we’re supposed to solve the brazenly obvious hangman puzzle that is Hannah and Adam’s relationship. They’re perfect for each other. Without Adam, Hannah lacks the degradation that feeds her art. She is bereft without the abuse of Adam, so she’s compelled to mutilate herself and ends up at the hospital with a hemorrhaging ear. Without Hannah, Adam takes his misogynistic impulses on girls who aren’t into that kind of thing. Meaning, he has the potential to really give a non-masochist person some PTSD fodder.

If I can’t say anything else good about them together I can say this. In their relationship, they keep socially well-adjusted people away from themselves. And whether or not it’s a Mariah Carey “We Belong Together” sort of thing, in the scheme of the show, they seem to be what each other is lacking in their lives right now to keep them from causing any more harm to the outside world. And although these characters are all terrible people, I guess I could say that I’d be happy with Hannah and Adam getting back together. Because emotional fuckwits like this really deserve each other.

(Photo: TVequals.com)

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