Girls Recap: The "Squanderization" Of Youth

3 comments

girls14_104Photo: Craig Blakenhorn/HBO.
Okay, time to be frank. This is the first time I actually had to watch Girls along with the rest of the populace because HBO is not giving the media early access to the season's last two episodes. So, watch out — I didn't get to watch it over and over again, analyzing every weird time Hannah makes a squinty face.

"So...where are the bananas?"

Speaking of squinty faces, Hannah is not happy. She is really, really not happy. After seeing her boyfriend (or after we see her boyfriend, ass up), she feels a little empty. And, it seems that Adam is taking his role very seriously, even forcing a poor Ray to chug through his lines. Poor Hannah shows up, worried about Adam's bananas (he eats one and a half in the morning, apparently) and points out how abandoned she feels. She is concerned that he is doing exactly what he is doing, which is "leaving in such slow motion that she won't even notice." Later in the episode, Shoshanna leans over to Hannah and suggests that she must be feeling low because she was supposed to be the creative one, and Adam has Broadway and Marnie has that guy with the oddly shaped beard. What seems to be happening is Hannah is realizing that, in her quiet ascent back from her eardrum-piercing madness, she has become normal. Or, "normal," as in not needing to be rescued or drowning in drama. And, this will not do. No siree. We have seen Hannah grow quite a bit this season, but one trait she will never grow out of is her self-centered tendencies and the destructive ways in which they manifest. I don't think I am alone in smelling some serious danger here.

Ah, the return of clean, wavy-haired, non-sweatpants-wearing Marnie. She is now working in this new gallery as an "assistant more qualified than her boss" — something the show takes pain to point out — and it is nice to see her in a tightly controlled albeit natural environment. Marnie is helping to mount a show for a photographer she studied at Oberlin, a wheelchair-bound woman named Beadie under the not-so-watchful eye of Soojin. (I hate Soojin. I can't wait to see her explode into little pieces. That voice just irks me and speaks volumes about Greta Lee's acting ability because it gets increasingly more grating.) In sweeps Jessa in a flurry of hair and fabric (which is, in fact, the essence of Jessa), and she lands herself a job as Beadie's archivist (though, she calls her "Bodie" because having Jessa focus outside of her vision's three-foot radius for more than 20 seconds is a feat of daring only ever witnessed at a lake house. Marnie is stunned.

Though, this back-in-the-saddle Marnie is set to sing one of her folky songs with the weird-beard guy. Elijah epically identifies her troubling way of performing — and being — by calling her, "Too stiff...and too hopeful." Poor Marnie, he certainly has her number. Another person with her number is weirdo beardo, a.k.a. Desi, who called her out on her cringe-worthy Edie Brickell performance. Let's take a moment to acknowledge that we all think Desi is a schmuck, right? From his backstage antics with Marnie to absolutely leaving Hannah hanging at dinner. Schmuck central.
girls14_102Photo: Mark Schafer/HBO.


"Squanderization is not even a word."

After meeting up again with Patti LuPone and hearing her sad husband lament about his loss of career, Hannah seems bent on being broken. She takes her perceived loss of creativity to her job and rants about how she is a "truly authentic person" and can't stand working in this "sweatshop factory for puns." It's cruel, and it is unnecessary. Because, as Patti says, "The worst thing you can do is subjugate your passion," and no one is asking Hannah to subjugate anything.

Once I dated a guy who created a room in his (our) apartment for making music, and I said that it felt oppressive and like I wasn't welcome in the room, which then squelched my own creative output. I realize, now, years later, that it was me who was responsible for "oppressing" myself because I created some narrative that if someone was being creative, someone else had to be supportive, and these are mutually exclusive things. Adam just wants space (but seems to be eying his old pad pretty darn enviously), and somehow Hannah is interpreting his creative success within that space as her own failing. For me, that feels like a death knell for the couple we have grown to root for this whole season.

Did anyone notice how, in the background of Ray's place, he has a box that says, "Adam's Weird Sh*t"? Also, that was a pretty decent stereotype of theater people, too.

One more to go...