Every Sunday, the editors at Refinery29 sit down for a serious chat about the latest episode of HBO's Girls. This week, they're joined by Carlye Wisel, writer, compulsive overeater, and Marnie obsessive, who chronicles life's odd and embarrassing misadventures on her blog, Awkward City, Population 1.
Connie: You guys...parents! That, and what it means to be an adult.
Nathan: "And, right off the bat, I'm not sure if we have any real adult role models on the show, at least in terms of what I define an adult to be. Save for Hannah's parents, there's really a dearth of responsible people in this universe."
Annie: "Yeah, even Marnie's mom wants to be her 'friend.'"
Connie: "Maybe it's important to define what we think being an adult is, because that's the overarching goal, right? The arc of this show is about illustrating the transformation of 20-something children into secure adults?"
Nathan: "Well, to me, being an adult really is a mindset — it's about looking to yourself for guidance and reliance."
Carlye: "And having others feel like they can rely on you as well. You have to behave like you are not the center of the universe, and that there are things in life beyond your own comfort."
Nathan: "And it doesn't have all that much to do with age, either, as we've seen. Especially considering Jessa's dad."
Connie: "Personally speaking, I really enjoyed seeing Jessa’s background. Up until now, I felt like she was this family-less, roots-less individual who was just about as likely to be born into a hippie cult as she was an English estate. Were her father and home life what you guys had expected?"
Nathan: "Sort of... I had imagined her family to be more affluent, though. She seemed like such a spoiled little rich girl who’s able to travel and blow off her responsibilities whenever she feels like it. Maybe that's just the show playing with our expectations, but I didn't picture him as a almost-hoarder from Garrison, New York."
Carlye: "Yeah, but everything we learned about him explains a little bit more about why she does the things she does — why she's so nomadic. It always seemed easy breezy but it's actually because she's so familiar with abandonment."
Annie: "It could be that her mom has the money, though. And we still haven't met her. Homegirl has a massive Louis Vuitton suitcase."
Connie: "I wouldn’t be shocked if that thing was a Chinatown bag."
Carlye: "Or, probably more likely, a gift from Thomas John?"
Nathan: "But, going back for a minute, Jessa's dad really isn't any more mature than she is."
Connie: "But the give and take seems to be in equal measure. When he says that she's bailed on him the last six times, it really takes the teeth out of the things she’s blaming him for..."
Annie: "But who cares if Jessa is flaky? She's the kid. It's her dad's responsibility to be a father, obviously."
Carlye: "Do you think that their relationship is actually still an open wound, or is she just displacing her pain from the Thomas John breakup?"
Connie: "I had no clue that she would be that affected by her divorce."
Carlye: "I know! The line about the vows? How it's like he didn't even mean them?!"
Connie: "And the fact that he didn't want to work on their issues. That is a very adult, mature thing to say. Except that we didn't see them doing any of that, right? Are we supposed to take it at face value? Or is she lying?"
Nathan: "I assumed she was lying to make herself seem more mature than her father."
Annie: "I think she needed her dad to step in and take care of her. She's raw and hurt, and needed her dad in a real way."
Carlye: "And then he leaves her. Again."
Connie: "I think that's an important point, too — no matter how difficult a child you are, you deserve to have parents who are there for you. When she says 'You shouldn't have to rely on me because I’m the child,' that's the absolute truth."
Photo: Courtesy of HBO
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