Halfway through each of the first two seasons of Girls, we got a “special episode”. In both “The Return” and “One Man’s Trash” we say goodbye to Shosh, Marnie, and Jessa, and follow Hannah around for a special vignette. Both episodes feature Hannah outside of her normal Brooklyn twentysomething world. Whether she’s back home in Iowa or fucking Patrick Wilson in his beautiful Brown Stone, these adventures forced her to look at her life from an outside perspective, without the influence of the other girls. Continue reading →
The title Girls has always been a bit of a misnomer. One would think after seeing an HBO promotional poster with four girls promoting a show called Girls that the show would be about those four girls. Maybe the show would focus on one girl more than the others, but, like some other HBO show about four women balancing life and love in New York City that I can’t remember the name of right now, it would more or less be about all of them and the specific nature of female friendship. But Girls never really turned out to be the millennial version of the show that’s title is slipping my mind. Lena Dunham has always had a lot to say about love and sex and companionship of all kinds, but more and more she’s wanted to explore what it means to want to be an artist in this generation. Of the four titular girls, Hannah is the only one who aspires to make a living creating art—although, Jessa probably sees herself as some sort of performance piece. Girls has always been about 50% Hannah and 50% everyone else, but this season it’s been about an 80/20 split. The show can’t even pretend to just be about girls any more, considering how much screen time Ray has been getting compared to Jessa and Shosh.
Hannah’s trajectory for the first three episodes of this season of Girls seemed to be going in the opposite direction of everybody else’s; her e-book was developing nicely, she started taking her meds again, and her relationship with Adam had started to settle into something solid and positive. Meanwhile, Shoshanna started smoking, Jessa got kicked out of rehab, and Marnie kept finding new bottoms to hit. The idea of Hannah’s growth actually started to manifest instead of existing as some vague goal she would eventually get around to in season five or six. Continue reading →
For all everybody talks about Girls being a show about the empowerment of female friendship, Lena Dunham does not seem to be very optimistic about that particular supposedly unbreakable bond. The fight between Marnie and Hannah in season one’s penultimate episode never fully got resolved, and it probably won’t in the near future. The two best friends may work in the same coffee shop and they may attend each other’s dinner parties, but Hanna will still lie to Marnie about excluding her from the “Pick Up Jessa from Rehab Road Trip”, and that makes Marnie feel pretty shitty, man. Last season, Adam saved Hannah when Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna couldn’t, and that act has had lasting consequences. The first shot of season three directly mirrors the first shot of season one, with Marnie replaced by Adam in Hannah’s bed. Girls will likely end its run with a recommitment to the lasting strength of female friendship, but right now, the most important person in Hannah’s life is a man. Continue reading →
I want to know who’s still watching Girls that hates Hannah Horvath. I don’t mean, who finds Hannah irritating or self-pitying or selfish or immature, because she absolutely is all of those things. I mean, who has watched twenty episodes of Girls, absolutely loathes her character on a visceral level, and is still planning on watching season three? I know that there are plenty of people who cannot stand Hannah, who find her simultaneous, constant self-examination and lack of self-awareness infuriating, and do not watch the show because of this, and that I can understand. I’ve dropped otherwise good shows because of unlikeable protagonists before (Big Love, How I Met Your Mother). But surely, no one is still watching who can’t find Hannah to be a somewhat redeemable character, especially considering she is such an integral part of the show. Continue reading →