Hello, mon petit choux. Welcome to GIRLS TYME aka Turkey Curry Buffet’s weekly recap of the HBO show GIRLS. This week’s episode begins with the awesomest of awesome mini montages: a shot of discarded Magnum condom wrappers (Nothing so thrilling as boldly sauntering up to the CVS checkout with a big ole’ box of Magnum Ecstasys; it’s tantamount to standing on a roof and shouting to the world, or at least the cashier, “AND HE’S GOT A BIG KNOOOOOOB.”) (PS Have you ever used Trojan Ecstasy condoms, Magnum or otherwise? If not, put down what you are doing, and go buy some. Right now. Trust me. Momma knows.) followed by a shot of a jar of Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter & Co, replete with spoons. The only two things I reliably had in my cupboard when I was 23 and living in NYC were Magnum condoms and that exact flavor of peanut butter, which is one of those things that moulders in the back of every NYC cupboard. Nothing so dispiriting as getting up for the fourth time on a Sunday night to see if any new foods have magically teleported themselves from Gristedes into your pantry and, welp, no, there’s still only that half-eaten crusty-rimmed jar of cinnamon raisin peanut butter, and definitely no bread to put it on. So you settle back down on the couch and dolefully spoon it straight into your mouth. GIRLS, you got this one right. (PS are you sick of me comparing my brief experience of living in NYC to that of the characters on GIRLS? TOO FUCKING BAD.)
Adam and Hannah are watching Adam’s old home movies in Hannah’s bed surrounded by this Saturday morning detritus. In this exhibit, kids, you’ll see the highly endangered Toxic Fuck Buddy-Turned-Boyfriend. Rarely found in the wild, we here at the Zoological Institute for the Study of Twentysomethings have bred Adam in captivity for research purposes. How on earth did we get him to commit to Hannah? We don’t have the first fucking clue, but like the giant panda or the pink albino dolphin, he is a thing of beauty and a wonder to behold.
Hannah makes a joke about Adam’s giant ears and Adam tackles her and they make out and at one point she calls him baby. Seriously, is there like anything better than spending the better part of a day off in bed with your other person? Like seriously. Just rolling around, climbing on top of each other, talking about everything and nothing and what happened the night before and this one time when you were a kid and I love your freckles and your skin is so soft, and sleeping and fucking and sleeping again, and everything smelling slightly of sweat and sex and contentment. Yes, a bed can be a little boat of happiness, adrift on a sea of dick. (Lesbians are, of course, welcome here at TCB, but Momma really enjoys her penile metaphors, and I hope that is okay with everyone.) However, I am of two minds about the word “baby”. There’s something a little infantilizing about being called “baby” or “babe”, no? Or something a little “Two Assholes” from SNL-ish?:
Yet some of my favorite couples call each other “babe”. I myself much prefer “baby” to “babe.” This digression is just me engaging in my favorite act of time-suckage, isn’t it? I.e. pondering potential relationship problems when I don’t even have a boyfriend, nay, at the moment not even a toxic fuck buddy upon whom to apply the solutions?
Cut to Marnie Facebook stalking her ex Charlie, who has apparently just gone on a trip to Rome with his new girlfriend of less than a month. Marnie is slumped in bed, in an old t-shirt, her hair up in a truly horrifying mullet-ponytail exactly like the one often birthing itself from the back of my head when I get up in the morning, flicking through Charlie’s Instagram-bewitched Fotos of Romance, crunching on something that is probably breaking into crumby bits all over her duvet, and listen to… wait for it… Skycrapers by Demi Lovato. SO PERFECT. I know last week I wanted to fellaish the costume designer of this show, but this week my objet d’amour is the music supervisor. Do you guys know this song? Sample lyric:
you can take everything I have/ you can break everything I am/ like I’m made of glass/ like I’m made of paper/ go on and try to tear me down/ I will be rising from the ground/ like a skyscraper!/ like a skyscraper!/ as the smoke clears/ I awaken, and untangle you from me/ would it make you feel better to watch me while I bleed?/ all my windows, still are broken/ but I’m standing on my feet
So basically this song is using September 11th as a metaphor for a breakup. Okay. Cool. So that’s a thing. That’s a thing that we are doing, now.
(But do I nevertheless like Demi Lovato because she punched a girl in the face on an airplane? And now has lots inspirational tattoos to remind her not to do this again? And sings in the most tortured delivery imaginable about related dark experiences involving the hoovering of cocaine and the dating of Wilmer Valderamma? (Although, how dark can a man who helmed an MTV show entitled “Yo Momma” be, really?) Yes, yes I do.)
When I was plotting out this recap I swore to myself I would make it a more manageable length but here we are not even past the opening credits of the episode and already my word count is up to 884. Oh well. Apparently TCB has no time for triflin’ attention spans. Anyway, in the midst of this horrorshow of self-loathing, Marnie hears Hannah and Adam start to bang. The only thing worse than listening to your roommate bone someone is listening to your roommate bone someone while you yourself are going through a breakup. (Well, that, and using a September 11th metaphor to describe your breakup. Your breakup with Wilmer Valderamma) (FULL DISCLOSURE: would I fuck Wilmer Valderamma? Yes, yes I would.)
Marnie can hear Adam talking dirty/weird to Hannah, asking her if she would have had sex with a four-year old him, and how fat was she as a baby? Hannah moans. Okay seriously now: IS there anything worse than hearing another human’s moans when you yourself are not the cause of them? GROCE GROCE GROCERY STORE. Marnie bangs her closet door in frustration, and to signal that they need to shut the fuck up, and then breaks down sobbing. I felt so bad for her in this moment! I actually wanted to hug her! This is the kind of empathetic reaction network dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy or One Tree Hill are always trying to manipulate out of the withered death grip of your wizened little acorn heart by blasting Gavin DeGraw ballads over dialogue-free montages of size-zero actresses bolting slow-mo through the rain to find the male character with whom they’ve suddenly realized they’re still in love. Player please, lyrically, B I G be flossing, jig on the cover of Fortune, et cetera: when you suddenly realize you’re still in love with someone you don’t run through the rain to find them; no, any sane person climbs back in bed and Facebook-stalks them and then cries herself to sleep.
Okee doke. Onto the main part of the episode and we are at 1240 words and counting, folks. Hannah and Adam are jogging together. Evidently this was Adam’s idea because Hannah is protesting violently. Then, mid-run, Hannah lays down on the ground, takes off her sneakers, and chucks them at Adam. Yes! I loved this! I wanted to throw exactly this tantrum at mile 20 of the marathon I ran a month ago! Adam motivationally screams at her, “You have to get up! Charlie’s in the bushes!”, which I didn’t get. At the risk of sounding completely idiotic: was this a Vietnam reference?
They walk the rest of the way home and Adam has shirt off and holy fucking shit, you guys. His body is like cat gymnasium for vaginas. Hannah says “The ice cream truck is parked directly in front of my house! It’s like life is a dream,” a sentiment with which I could not agree more. Besides oysters, ice cream is my favorite food. Adam states he does not like ice cream which is a RED FLAG.
Inside they find Marnie in the same disheveled despondent state. Adam very thoughtfully listens to a brief summary of Marnie’s heartbreak and even criticizes Hannah for minimizing it, which she does by pointing out that Marnie didn’t really want to be with Charlie anyway. She says this while sitting on Adam’s lap and in between kissing Adam on the forehead. During this scene, Marnie should get up and riffle through the kitchen drawers in search of a paring knife with which to stab Hannah, but she does not. Adam points out that breakups are often a catalyst to help you figure out WHAT you love, because you are no longer allowed to avoid that question by focusing on WHO you love, and asks Marnie what it is she loves to do. Marnie says, “I like… reading.” Oh, Marnie. Preach, girl.
Hannah and Adam go to Adam’s play rehearsal, and Marnie returns to her Facebook-stalking, which act is basically like cutting yourself with the internet. I know that on this blog– even within this very post– I have given a lot of things the title of “Worst Thing Ever,”, but Facebook stalking is ACTUALLY THE WORST THING EVER OF ALL TIMES. WHY DO WE DO IT? I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY I DO IT. IF THERE’S NOT AN ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS ABOUT FACEBOOK STALKING, THERE SHOULD BE.
OH REALLY. SO THEN WHO IS THIS BITCH POSTING ON YOUR TIMELINE? HER PROFILE PICTURE IS A BIKINI PHOTO AND SHE HAS “WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS” TATTOOED ON HER STOMACH! I THOUGHT YOU SAID IT WAS A “BOYS-ONLY” WEEKEND? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, JUSTIN FUCKING BOBBY? NOT IN MY HOUSE, ASSHOLE. OH. OH. THAT’S YOUR COUSIN? OKAY. OKAY. SHE’S LOST SOME WEIGHT. I DIDN’T RECOGNIZE… OKAY.
Jessa comes over because she thought she had plans with Hannah but, since Hannah has left, Jessa and Marnie hang out and kind of shit-talk on Hannah, as girlfriends are often wont to do. Jessa also talks about how her thighs have been rubbing together and are red and raw and how she wishes she had a wheelchair for all of June and July. In summertime in NYC, this is like the bodily equivalent of cinnamon raisin peanut butter: every woman has it. Except for size-zero network drama actresses whose thighs are contractually not allowed to touch, of course. Jessa compliments Marnie on how beautiful she looks without makeup, which she in fact does. Marnie says, “I’ve never been this miserable in my life.” Jessa says, “It’s totally working.”
Adam rehearses his play which is some sort of sad sexual memoir being put on at a teensy improvish black box-with-bar kind of venue. The monologue we see Adam give is actually pretty riveting. But then Adam becomes angry with the other actor in the play for going for cheap jokes. Adam explains that there’s a lot of pathos in what they’ve written and tells him “don’t be afraid that if they’re not laughing they’re not feeling.” Do you feel like maybe this could have been an actual argument between Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow? I do. Also, that’s good life advice. When I get nervous or find myself in an awkward situation or am having a heated argument with a manfriend I am like a canary in a Chilean mine and jokes are my oxygen. But sometimes, you just have to let it burn.
Then Adam quits the play in frustration and storms out. QUITTERS R SEXY. I don’t like dating dudes with bad tempers. It sucks having to tiptoe around someone who’s all screamy and man-bag-throwy and easily frustrated. Like, get over yourself, clown. REAL MEN R EMOTIONALLY WITHHOLDING, and besides, only one of us gets to be moody, and that is moi. Hannah is trying to talk Adam down from the ledge while they are walking home– he’s barely waiting for her as he goes along, by the way– and a car nearly hits him as he is crossing the street and he screams at the driver about how “I’m walkin’ with a woman, here!”, and pounds on the hood of the car, and it’s all very Midnight Cowboy, and, even though I just complained about the unsexiness of man-tantrums (mantrums?), this one is a little bit sexy in that it is a little bit chivalrous. Don’t you kind of like when your manpiece gets all angry on your behalf? I am a delicate flower who must be protected:
Hannah and Adam get back to his apartment and she is clearly still unsure as to how to react around this ticking time bomb of testosterone. So she gets in the shower. Adam follows, then starts laughing. Why? Because he is peeing on Hannah. Hannah screams and screams and is angry and leaps out of the shower. Then, in what is one of my favorite lines of the whole show thus far, Adam says, very practically, “It doesn’t make sense to get out now. There’s pee on you.”
Hannah remains angry at Adam later that night as he is cooking them dinner and for some inexplicable reason they are both wearing adult footy pajamas that give them both front and back camel toes and make them look like Max from Where The Wild Things Are (and perhaps this was a Maurice Sendak tribute?). Although I felt at first like she was overreacting (I mean, if you have to be peed on, the shower is the best possible place. Trust me. Momma knows.), I later realized that if Adam had just put me through that afternoon of childish behavoir (fucking over his friends, screaming at strangers, and not waiting for me to catch up while walking) and then after all that, in order to cheer himself up, he PEES on me, in the immortal words of Mike Lowry: I’D BE PISSED. And I was glad she was being surly towards him because I was a little worried that, having found herself with her very own Miracle Baby that is the Toxic Fuck Buddy Turned Boyfriend, she was going to treat him like some sort of delicate newly birthed Jurrasic Park velociraptor, cradling him betwixt her hands and allowing him to bite off her thumbs and shit all over her and finally eat her entire family because she’s terrified that if she makes one wrong move or overly pushy criticism he’ll once again disappear into the jungle mists of his sex addiction, and this time forever. But no! Not our Hannah! Hannah gets pissed at Adam because she knows it is bullshit when a grown man acts like stompy cranky Max from Where The Wild Things Are. Hannah tells him that he is a terrible apologizer and that his play was in fact really good and encourages him to stick with it. And Adam listens, and says “I’d rather do nothing for the rest of my life than be mediocre,” the sentiment behind which I understand, I really do, but that is a REALLY shitty attitude to have, because if you do nothing with your life, you’re worse than mediocre; you’re worthless. I thought the dialogue between them in this scene was really wonderful. It was honest and sweet and filled with silence– not the kinds of silence they edit into to confrontations on The Hills to make everything look more awkward, but real silence, the kind that craters across the surface of any intense conversation you have with someone you love, so that sometimes you feel they’re as far away from you as the moon, but then you remember they’re your moon, shining a light.
Jessa and Marnie are still talking and Jessa is encouraging Marnie to be more adventurous, get outside of her own head a little. They put on lipstick and go out for martinis. Baby steps, I guess. Turns out Marnie lost her virginity before Jessa: Jessa was 17; Marnie was 14 and “put a towel on the bed.” Groce. A guy down the bar sends them drink and then comes down to join them. He is wearing a expensive-looking light grey suit and travels a lot for work (Marnie brings up the Middle Eastern studies class she took one semester in college as a way of relating to this and if you don’t know what’s wrong with that, I don’t have time to tell you) and lives in a new Williamsburg high-rise and says things like “little boys room” and “tinkle.” In other words. this guy is groce, even though he is played by the same actor who was the supercute Irish cop in Bridesmaids. Yes, the same guy you wanted to talk in brogue against yo’ woman’s mound. But as this character, you don’t want him, see? This all leads me to my next point. There are just some things no man should say. Unless he is a drag queen. These things include but are not limited to the aforementioned “little boys room” and “tinkle,” and also “tee-tee;” “mommy” in reference to his own mother after he is a certain age; “dude” in reference to the woman with whom he is currently on a date; “bra” or worse, “brotha” in reference to anyone, even ironically; “no fatties;” “I totally woulda done the same thing if I were Tiger Woods;” “that place has sick bottle service;” and “don’ta stompa your last season Prada shoes at me hoony.” I’ve known and loved men that have said some of these things; they’re not deal-breakers. I’m just saying you (yeah, you, the one guy in the universe reading this blog) should be advised. Hey, I say tits. We all have our flaws.
Marnie and Jessa go back to his apartment, which looks a window display for Design Within Reach. He starts DJ-spinning his “mash-ups” which are comprised of a single sound effect (babies crying, monkeys hooting) played over TERRIBLE pop songs– I mean, the worst: Steal my Sunshine by Len, followed by Slave to Love by Bryan Ferry. If I am saying something is a terrible pop song, then it is a REALLY terrible pop song, because I can love some truly awful music. Like, Jon Secada. I’m sayin’. Anyway, these are the kind of men who live in these Williamsburg high rises, aren’t they? Guys who want to be hipsters and DJs but didn’t have the balls to take a pay cut? So of course, he tries to get them to have a threesome. Marnie, in an effort to be more adventurous, takes his cue and starts making out with Jessa, who is a little more conservative than perhaps she lets on. But, after some surprise, Jessa rolls with it, and they tongue kiss for a while, and the loser guy tries to get in between them to no avail, until Marnie knocks over her wine on his expensive rug and he gets superpissed. He yells at how they are both Daddy’s girls and he works hard for his money and so for that reason he deserves to be “balls deep in something.” I feel like this was the show’s way of addressing some of its critics who seem to feel that GIRLS is a bad show because it is a show about young white women of privilege, and that, because the characters or perhaps the actresses themselves have never had to really work for what they’ve got, the show itself does not deserve to be watched. I mean, I can understand why this set of characters might not interest someone, but it is a good show. The writing is good, the acting is good, the costumes are good, the music is good, the sets are good, the cinematography is, okay, kind of weird for my taste. And GIRLS does not let you get balls deep in its characters just because they are young and dumb and beautiful and unemployed and you’re rich enough to afford HBO or a B&B Italia sofa. They’re not pat characters in cute jeans tossing off lighthearted witticisms to the happy patter of laugh track; they’re complicated and spoiled and bratty and gross and horny. There’s lots of sex scenes, but you don’t really want to jerk off to them. In the lexicon of higher learning: GIRLS subverts the male gaze, and I FUCKING LOVE IT.
Finally, back at Adam’s apartment, Adam wakes up Hannah, still in her onesie, and drags her down the street, and you don’t know why, and then you realize that they’re at the corner where Adam yelled at the driver, and he’s pasted about five hundred small black and white signs reading “SORRY” along the wall there, in the hopes that the same driver will come back by and see them, which we all know he won’t, and it’s kind of an artistic pose of apology rather than a real apology, but it’s also kind of an apology to Hannah, and she sees that. And it’s cute, okay, it’s cute. Who’s not a sucker for the grand gesture? Moreover, who’s not a sucker for someone who listens? ‘Cause that’s all we really want, guys. We don’t need a Jumbotron proposal or a giant fucking Tweety Bird from the state fair or for every kiss to begin with Kay. We just want you to listen. To ask questions and to listen to the answer.
Final word count: 3634. If you are still here, you are a great listener. And I promise to never, ever pee on you.