Like many of you, we waited a grueling few months for when we could welcome HBO's Girls back into our lives again. Much like the 20-somethings it documents, the show itself is flawed but improving and has always inspired in-office debates, ranging from whether Adam's feral outbursts are charming or terrifying, to whether it's realistic (and if it really even matters in the first place) to portray a modern-day urban party where everyone is white. We're publishing a weekly discussion between three of our 20-something editors, Annie, Connie, and Nathan, and hope that you'll join us in hashing things out in the comments. So...season 2, episode 1. Was it good for you?
Connie: "First off, thanks for doing this, you guys. I hope this works out because, as 20-somethings living in New York City, we’re supposed to be the kinds of people Girls is about."
Nathan: "Although, I read that the biggest demographic of people that watch Girls is supposedly middle-aged men."
Connie: "Because middle-aged men are the ones who have HBO Go accounts, and their 20-something-year-old daughters are using their accounts."
Annie: "For example, me."
Connie: "And me."
Nathan: "I just figured it was because middle-aged men are creepy."
Connie: "I was a huge fan of the first season of Girls, despite all the criticism about lack of diversity on the show, in part because I thought Lena handled the criticism with a lot of thought. She said she was going to address everything in the second season, and this episode felt really deliberate in that."
Nathan: "Like the first shot is of naked Lena’s boobs right in Donald Glover’s face when they’re having sex, and they say 'finally' right before it cuts to the title card, as if to say 'finally a black dude is on the show.'"
Connie: "Like the party scenes actually felt like a real party you would go to in Greenpoint in terms of what types of people were there and what it looked like. The bags on the bed, the red cups, that girl in the headbands, the terrible karaoke machine..."
Annie: "I think we can all agree that karaoke brings out the worst in people."
Nathan: "I like Shoshanna singing Sean Kingston, though."
Annie: "Fair, great pick. Gonna have that song stuck in my head for all of eternity, though."
Nathan: "To be honest, it’s a little weird to watch this show knowing that they’re being so conscious of onscreen diversity, because I can't help but look out for it now. Counting the number of racially diverse extras is a strange thing to be doing while watching a sitcom. It should just be a given."
Annie: "I actually didn’t even remember the controversy until you guys brought it up. Though, I did the same thing with the amount of times Lena was naked."
Connie: "I liked that this first episode felt purposefully full of nudity. Lena Dunham has been the subject of so much body snarking between the end of the first season and now, that I think she’s overdoing it during the first episode to make a point. After people were hating on her red-carpet-shorts look, she said people better get used to seeing her thighs, because she’s going to live to be 100 years old and she’s going to show them off every single day."
Keep reading for more of our discussion.
Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Miglio/HBO
Annie: "Yeah, although I think we, too, talked about that red-carpet outfit, by which I still stand by, because that would have been an awkward outfit on anyone. The lengths were all off! But, I think we can agree that Lena looked really cute in this episode. Was she wearing Rachel Antonoff?"
Connie: "I think so. She was wearing the Rachel Antonoff for Bass loafers, at least. I also love that the show still dresses everyone in a very real, relateable way. Like Hannah is wearing those pretty floral dresses with her white bra underneath. Also, Shoshanna and those stupid little hats. We all did that."
Annie: "You wore stupid little hats?"
Connie: "I still have mine at home."
Nathan: "Shouldn’t we talk about Charlie’s mock turtleneck?"
Annie: "Let’s talk about it."
Nathan: "Are mock turtlenecks cool?"
Connie: "We did predict that they were going to be a big thing in 2013, even though I’m kinda blech on it."
Annie: "I thought it was distracting. And rude."
Connie: "It was like, 'Why is my 2nd grade music teacher at the party?' But maybe that’s kind of the vibe Greenpoint’s going after these days? Nathan, as a guy who lives in Brooklyn, would you ever wear a mock turtleneck?"
Nathan: "Only if I had a chain necklace to go with it."
Annie: "Classy. Can we talk about how needy Adam is all of a sudden?"
Connie: "He totally did a 180. He was so independent and operated so loner wolf-ish the first season that it was surprising he was so clingy."
Annie: "A tale as old as time, Connie... Girl wants guy. Guy doesn’t want girl. Guy does want girl. Girl doesn’t want guy. Guy gets hit by a truck. Guy pees on girl."
Nathan: "This is the second time he’s peed on her."
Nathan: "Does the sex scene between Marnie and the guy from 'Book of Mormon' up the ante from the scene from the first episode of the first season between her and Adam?"
Annie: "You lost me. But that was a weird choice. I thought and kept thinking Lena was gonna walk in."
Connie: "It was totally, horrifyingly awkward."
Nathan: "Does Allison Williams have a no-nipple contract? How many times did they need to shoot that scene to avoid showing her nipples?"
Annie: "I was thinking the same thing...and does Adam have an all-nipple contract?"
Connie: "It’s going to be interesting to see how this messes everyone up more. They’re all so selfish in their relationships...the non-sexual ones, too. Each conversation felt like one person explaining what they needed, or why they felt disappointed by the other person, and the other person defending themselves. At the end of the episode, Hannah says something like, 'I’m an individual. I feel how I feel when I feel it.' That’s pretty much the motivating force behind all the relationships."
Nathan: "Yeah, I feel like the only non-horrible person right now is Shoshanna."
Annie: "True, I have to admit I was pretty amped when she chewed him out at the end when she was looking for her purse but then was disappointed when they hooked up."
Connie: "How many guys have you known that were just like Ray? His character is such a good one because he reminds me of so many awful, pretentious, faux-sensitive guys in Brooklyn."
Nathan: "Except for me."
Annie: "Yeah, you have a much better haircut."
Photos: Courtesy of Jessica Miglio/HBO