On at least three hands

June 5, 2012 17:50:14 Posted at June 5, 2012 17:50:14
Duana Posted by Duana
Photos:
Bauer-Griffin

Girls Season 1 Episode 8 recap

Once upon a time, I was on my second date with the man I'm now about to marry. We were walking to dinner, and a crazy lady was up ahead. Crazy = uncombed hair, muttering/yelling to herself, clothes in decided non-array. She was, it is prudent to mention, really short.  And as we passed her she yelled "And we don't need any of YOU!" And she hit me on the arm.  On my bracelet, actually.  It didn't hurt. I mean I was surprised. And he, my "date", yelled "HEY!"  Just "hey".  Nothing else.  And I remember thinking "is it sweet that he's trying to defend me, or is it abominable that he yelled at an old, possibly mentally ill person?" I mean, now it's completely hysterical to me, that whole moment. But I remember it mattering at the time. "This person that I'm pretty sure I'm starting to like, will I still like them if they turn out to have this one weird blind spot?" (He didn't, ergo, I do.)

That was the most interesting part about this week.  Hannah finds herself in the awkward situation of having wanted Adam to like her so HARD and so LONG that when he finally does, she has to question whether it's what she wants at all.  Against all of my better judgment, I couldn't help but be a little touched by the sheer vulnerability that is Hannah and Adam together. They make each other happier when they're in the same place together, so who can argue with that?  

But there are so many stomach-churn-y moments when you're dating someone new. "Can I handle what he just did to my hair? Can I handle that he's peeing in the shower? Can I handle that we are spending the evening in one-piece long underwear?"  You're constantly checking-and-balancing, because what if you can't handle it, whatever "it" is? Then you're the jerk who whined that you wanted a boyfriend but couldn't handle what having the boyfriend entailed.

That makes you Marnie.  

Marnie's living this process in reverse, completely annoyed and, lately, devastated that Charlie has a new girlfriend and a new life.  She's at her most selfish (but also probably understandable) since of course she didn't want him, but didn't want him having fun with anyone else.  All fairly boilerplate stuff, if a little cliched.  For all her encouragement of Hannah's life and identity, Marnie does seem to want to come first all the time, and she'll make that happen one way or another, even if it's talking Adam down after we saw him listening to her quite intently. This is where I thought the show backed out of what could have been a great scenario. So Jessa and Marnie, who don't really connect, connect over one thing - making fun of Hannah. You can call it gentle if you want or you can call it bashing.  I'd say it's unpleasant and completely common.  When two people are together, some of the conversation they have is inevitably going to be about the third person they have in common. And saying the things they can't, or don't, say to her face is an age-old tradition. I wish they'd carried this a little further, made it part of the reason they were propelled into douche guy's douchey apartment. After all, it doesn't seem like Jessa would sit there for over a minute once she saw how straight he was, and the fact that Len “Steal My Sunshine” was brought back to our collective consciousness would have sealed that deal. I have absolutely no reaction to the Marnie and Jessa makeout, except inasmuch as it applies to what Marnie will lie awake thinking about for nights on end, while Jessa has already forgotten. The fact that Marnie needed to clarify in words, more than once, that she had sex before Jessa did - that she was on the cutting edge of something - will go a long way toward making her feel less like a robot trapped in a girl body. But we're back to Hannah, who's given the privilege of watching Tech (heh.  Hi, Smash viewers) and sees that what Adam is doing in his non-shirtless time has some real merit and value. She's equally taken aback by his volatility, both with quitting the play and screaming at the driver (although, who is Hannah kidding? She was giddy when he referred to her as “a woman”).  Kudos to her, I suppose, for sticking around. I couldn't do it, that's one of my things. But she perseveres and gets the privilege of seeing Adam's apology (which...he apologized for a lot of things, no?) and his renewed interest in the play. I didn't particularly feel bad for her during the “peeing on her foot” escapade, but again, she stuck around even when she was really mad.

Hannah is trying her best to become a person of tenacity and commitment. On the one hand, those are admirable traits she needs in her life.  On the other hand, it can look a lot like she's trying to make Adam into a better person. On the third hand, I don't think we heard her say “I” one time this episode.

The show still isn't perfect.  But it's finding more of a voice every episode and the people are starting to go somewhere.  I say this all with a large caveat, however, and that is...

Whither Shosh?

Attached - the Girls shooting in New York.