Girls: Females Only / Truth or Dare

All hail HBO Go, the only internet service that lets me watch TV at (roughly) the same as cable-subscribing world.  I’ve been pretty excited about season 3, mostly wanting to know where the hell Jessa was, and see Marnie’s inevitable break-up fallout.  I totally forgot that these episodes where only a half hour each, which made this double-premiere easier to handle on a work night.  My commentary, as follows, is a character by character reaction from least to most interesting.

Hannah (and by extension, Adam)
Even with her penchant for making everything about her, I didn’t find her very interesting in either of these episodes.  I do not think her relationship with Adam with endearing, but rather a comfortable codependence for both of them.  To switch gears almost immediately to Adam, I think of Hannah’s description of him to her psychiatrist: he’s not a traditional person.  Hannah is speaking about how Adam doesn’t have a traditional job, or career, or path.  In these episodes, it really manifests as: Adam is not a person.  He is comfort for Hannah.  Like Shoshanna says on the hike, he does not have any responsibilities, or ties to anything, which is why he could be there for Hannah post-mental breakdown.  Adam’s humanity is most evident with the Natalia confrontation early in the first episode.  With Natalia, we saw Adam as a person, not as a safety blanket for Hannah.  And he does have his moments, he does have thoughts and things to say.  Maybe Shosh’s words will get to him; maybe it’s time for Adam to get a life.

I was so excited to see Jessa because I really left her loss at the end of last season.  I like how free-spirited and completely unrealistic Jessa is.  Shoshanna categorizes it as “fun” and I tend to agree– Jessa does whatever the fuck she wants and it looks like a great fucking time.  We find Jessa in rehab, but behaving badly.  I was elated to see Danielle Brooks (OITNB’s Taystee) and thought Jessa was generally funny in these scenes, but clearly not learning anything– until her British friend off his meds makes a crude pass at her.  It’ll be interesting to see what direction Jessa heads in this season.  Will she take everything seriously and start putting a life together, or will it be more bohemian Jessa fun?

My favorite character by the end of last season, I was truly disappointed in Shoshanna in these two episodes.  Sure, she was funny; she says a lot of ridiculous things.  Ridiculous, though, is the best way to describe her.  She’s completely unrealistic, more so than Jessa or Hannah, and although she has a few good lines that make a lot of sense, I felt they got lost in the ridiculous “What’d your favorite utensil?” speech throughout.  Fresh off the breakup with Ray, Shosh has been sleeping around as part of her senior year plan.  Juxtaposed with the previously virginal Shoshanna, perhaps this could explain the erratic behavior.  Maybe Shosh is trying to figure out who the hell she is.  Let’s hope it’s that and she’s not just here for laughs.

Marnie, I think, has changed most drastically from the beginning of the series.  No longer “that girl in a relationship” with relationship problems and relationship things to talk about, Marnie has struggled to find happiness as Marnie without Charlie.  Losing her art gallery job on top of it all sent her whole sense of identity into a spiral.  I loved the incredibly awkward rendition of Kanye’s “Stronger” that she embarrassed herself (and everyone who watches this show) with last season, and I loved seeing her wrapped in Rainbow Brite sheets on her mom’s couch this season.  Even before I learned of Christopher Abbott’s departure from the series, I knew Marnie and Charlie as a couple were not sustainable.  Face it: once you break up, don’t bother getting back together; it’s a temporary fix.  Now we see Marnie, temporarily broken.  I remember something from the preview about her saying that she’s not okay, but she will be okay, trying more to convince herself than whoever she’s speaking to.  This is where Marnie shined as my favorite of the season openers: she’s the most realistic and the most relatable.  Also, completely loved learning her name was Marnie Marie.

Despite my pickiness about these two episodes, I will say that I laughed a lot.  Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“This rocking chair is so pointy, it’s not giving me any room to express myself.”
I laughed out loud at this utterly ridiculous Hannah line.

“Honestly, the only people I ever hear say that are people who don’t make any money.”
When Hannah insists that college is better than the real world, we get another wonderful moment of Shoshanna realness– they were there, just rare.

We bought the ingredients to make grilled pizzas and we were going to make grilled pizzas, and on the day we were supposed to do that, he left me.”
Marnie’s perfectly irrational but completely rational post-breakup ranting.  I feel ya, Marnie.

Women get stuck in this vortex of guilt and jealousy with each other that keeps them from seeing things clearly.
This is maybe the most insightful thing Adam has ever said.

Did you get ready in a hurry?
Natalia’s friend to Hannah, because Hannah.

One final note was the perfection that was the song that ended episode 2.  It was a perfect match to the tone of the show as a whole, and it was sung by my favorite singer on the planet, Jenny Lewis.  The song also features Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij and you can listen to it here.

What did you think of the double premiere of Girls?
Haven’t watched it yet?  Log into HBO Go, or watch it for free on HBO’s Youtube channel.

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