Okay, so last week I was in Sapporo for the famous snow festival drinking ridiculous amounts of beer and looking at snow sculptures (my life is so hard) so I asked Brem if she’d kindly take over the Girls recap for the week. I was looking forward to hearing her take on the show and I must admit I was slightly psyched to take a break from recapping – writing about this show is occasionally maddening.
But then Lena Dunham goes and does this crazy stand-alone episode and all of a sudden I feel sad I am not recapping because what. the. fuck. just happened? So I already told Brem (who did a terrific write-up which you should read) that I might jot down a few notes and post them on the blog because three days after finally watching this episode when I returned home and I am still thinking about it.
So anyway – this episode reminded me of that time on Lost when they decided to completely ignore the season’s plot and instead focus on two background characters – (Nikki and Paulo) and see the island and survivors through their eyes. It was an interesting choice AND it really pissed people off. And I imagine this episode made people feel the same way. We get Hannah in complete isolation from everything else we’ve come to know on the show (except for a little of Ray and Grumpy’s at the beginning).
Things That Ran Through My Mind While Watching This –
1) Why does Lena Dunham insist on wearing short shorts and awful clothes? I get it — she is cool with her body and I’m cool with that. As a not sized 0 human being I enjoy that she is so confident but seriously – I also dress to my body type which means that short shorts that ride up my ass and look turrrible should be avoided.
2) This episode was really beautifully lit and directed. I felt like I was in dream. Did anyone else think that part of this was in Hannah’s mind? I mean, I know she was definitely in hot doctor’s house and they banged but I liked to imagine that some of the conversation was not at all what was really being said, but what Hannah was pretending was being said in her mind (she really does skew things to revolve around her fairly often).
Things that made me think that were the explanation Joshua (oh fuck Patrick Wilson – you is fine) gave about his divorce which were weirdly vague (something something about location and things not working out) and the moment where Hannah asked him to beg her to stay and he ran through all of these crazy and dramatic romantic pleadings and beggings. Joshua did not strike me as the type of man that would do this — could this be really happening? Was this Hannah’s fantasy of begging? Did anyone else think there was a possibility that at least parts of this were in Hannah’s mind? Am I crazy for thinking this?
3) This episode felt like a sad short film/short story to me about how two lonely and lost people connect for a brief moment and then something happens, the moment passes and life goes on. I didn’t hate it like many people because I was prepared to view it as a stand alone episode, but had I not been ready for it I think I would have struggled more. I don’t watch Girls for it’s attempts at commentary on loneliness or existential ennui (especially from our Wound of the Week season leader – Hannah) – I watch it for the ensemble of characters Dunham has introduced us to, for it’s painfully awkward and humorous takes on life in your 20s, I watch it for Shosh and Ray, for Marnie’s sarcasm, for Adam’s charming weirdness, etc. I didn’t hate this episode but I am hoping doesn’t continue to do these kinds of things because I think it’s tonally very weird. But is it wrong to say I wouldn’t mind an episode that came totally from Shosh’s POV?
4) When you take away the ensemble for Hannah to bounce off of, I am not sure how I feel about her. There were moments in this episode where I really felt for her and liked her. I loved her in the moment when she watched Joshua read the newspaper in the morning outside. I like that Dunham choose to not voice anything in that moment and let us instead wonder what Hannah was thinking that made her make that face. She looks happy and wistful at the same time, almost as if you can sense her thinking that she is going to fuck this up and also realizing that this life of Joshua’s which she has tried so hard to rebel against might be something that she actually really wants. I feel you girl.
5) The episode really gets right the whole “should I stay or should I go” thing that happens when you are first seeing someone/staying over or even if you have a one night stand. It’s always awkward and messy to leave — there’s no good way to exit without making yourself or the other person feel like shit.
Also, I love how it captures the moment when Hannah takes it too far with her confessions and goes from being a quirky young woman in Joshua’s eyes to a whole bowl of crazy he wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. We all have put our foot in our mouth with potential romantic suitors and even when I can hear my brain telling me to “shut UP!”, I can’t stop myself and self destruct.
Of course Hannah couldn’t handle this sitch. Brem pretty much wrote about what a nut Hannah turns into so I won’t say much more. But was anyone else super disturbed about the potential idea that Hannah was sexually molested by her babysitter? This would explain all of her weird attitudes towards sex. But who just drops that into a script?
Other Random Thoughts –
The Ping Pong thing – Again, this is well covered by Brem — but who the hell plays ping pong topless? I can see playing ping pong pants-less — hell, I support pants-less ping pong – but topless is just weird. Although god bless Lena Dunham for having Patrick Wilson shirtless for a nice majority of this episode. Me likey.
– I loved Hannah’s complete and total honesty about the trash thing. She knew she sounded nuts and told the story anyway. Sometimes she is refreshingly brave and weird and I really dig her for that.
– I hated her “I just wanna be happy” admission. Fuck girl, welcome to the world — this is basically what everyone human being wants. Although kudos to the Fiona Apple reference and the whole “I just wanna feel it all”. Fiona is misunderstood but not crazy — I can see where you think you are like her, but I assure you Hannah Horvath – you aren’t Fiona.
– For some reason I really liked the end of the episode. Hannah taking her time and looking around at all the things in Joshua’s house and eating breakfast and trying on what it would be like to live this kind of life while at the same time saying goodbye to this particular opportunity to have it. It was both sad and kind of beautiful. I couldn’t help but wonder if Hannah has learned anything from this experience in the end or if she’ll go back to her life and everything will continue as it has been.
– I loved Brem for talking about how great a talky romance movie/tv show can be by citing my favorite romantic movie EVER – Before Sunrise (and Before Sunset) — seriously – if you have never seen these movies, I could not recommend them more. I don’t look across a room and fall in love with someone – but I can have a great conversation with someone and think — “My god — this person — where have they been all my life?”
Thanks to Brem for already posting about this week’s show — what a doozy to cover for her first recap! What did you think of the episode? Loved it or hated it? Please feel free to comment — we LOVE feedback in a way that is only mildly ego-centric. Happy Galentine’s Day y’all!