Corners Like It’s On Rails
Girls Season 2 Episode 5 recap
I have never gambled. I’ve never been to a casino – I didn’t even try to learn at a charity casino thing I was at a couple of weeks ago. I have literally never purchased a lottery ticket, nor even a scratch card.
But I would bet literally thousands of dollars that the premise for this episode of Girls came up because someone in the writer’s room couldn’t stop watching a repeat of Pretty Woman or quoting it in the room or was late for an appointment because it was running on TBS Superstation. There’s something about that movie. I’ve seen many better ones, but it’s the one I can quote word for word. It is practically part of your DNA, if you’re a North American woman of a certain age, not to love it necessarily, but to know it. Intimately.
(I’m sorry, I just had to have a giant argument in my house over whether or not Julia Roberts is beautiful. Of course she is, by the way. The MOST beautiful. Feel free to send the hatemail. )
So I guess from this comes the question of “what would Hannah’s Pretty Woman experience be like? What would make her actually think she could fit into an alternate life entirely?” Apparently, the answer is “an uptight doctor”. God, how I loved that “Josh…ua” detail. That should be the sign that you run out the door, and Hannah will have memories of it soon and wish she’d recognized it at the time. But would this be what it would look like for her – 36 hours with a hot, uptight doctor? (For a show that exalts in showing off bodies, and the good and the bad of everyone’s sex life, we didn’t see a ton about the specific ways in which his uptightness might have clued her in earlier.)
For the most part, this seemed to be about how easy it would be for Hannah to lift out of the life she’s professed to need, and into another one. She could as easily, she thinks, live a life where her experiences and ideas don’t have to hurt so much; there’s a whole world, in theory, where feeling taken care of and loved and wrapped in cashmere sweaters – which, not by accident, was the most conventionally everything Hannah has ever looked on this show – would allow her to write about something else entirely. When she “ruins” it – by being herself, with no particular offense actually committed – she has to acknowledge that she made that move. That move wasn’t even one of her calculated hipster artiste moments (in fact, she confessed that she’d like to be happy) but it removed her from Joshua’s world as easily as she entered it. Because she was herself.
The other thing I couldn’t help but notice, this episode more than most, was the degree of nudity we were looking at from Hannah. I have to assume it’s more than just her love-drunk abandon – instead, she adopted the reality that she was hiding nothing from Joshua and was pleasantly surprised at how utterly her body seemed to be accepted. I’ve grown almost numb when it comes to seeing Lena Dunham naked, but I thought the nudity was very pointed here. She allows herself to be completely unclothed in someone else’s world. She’s the queen of immediately abandoning defenses at someone else’s lead, and not knowing that what looks like complete acceptance can be “I have to get up early” at the drop of a hat, or a confession about a punch in the face and a cum shot.
I liked this episode mostly because Hannah didn’t know where it was going to go. She was having the experience for real, not because it was something she thought would go well in a story (at least, on a conscious level). This is what she looks like when she’s not being the urban Brooklynite she thinks she’s supposed to be. It was shockingly refreshing.
Attached -- Lena Dunham at the Grammys last night with boyfriend Jack Antonoff of Fun.