Frazer Harrison/ JB Lacroix/ Jeffrey Mayer/ Getty Images
Girls Season 4 Episode 8 recap
I read something recently that said Lena Dunham hopes to leave the characters in Girls ‘better than we found them’, like a campsite. It’s not so unusual a concept, but on a show like this, that seems to revel in the continual return of the characters to their most ridiculous selves, it’s surprising.
But the biggest surprise is spending most of the episode on a storyline that doesn’t look in on Hannah at all, with really lovely results. What a refreshing excursion it was To see Hannah’s parents in their own lives, with their own friends, not merely as an extension of Hannah.
I felt for both her parents, since they didn’t play anything for laughs. Imagine what it would be like – will be like? – to think you finally only have one thing to worry about? Your kid is fine, your relationship is solid, and then you finally only have that one last professional pursuit to get at, and you have the time and the resources to do so … and the bottom falls out from under you.
Is that what it’s always like? Do we only get comfortable in one arena to have it all slip away from us in another? I thought Hannah’s parents seemed like the types who would have discussed the concept of her father being gay, perhaps, before now – but maybe it didn’t occur to him in a real way; maybe in this case Elijah was a prophet since he called it years ago.
But I could watch this show. I could most definitely watch an academic-scented French farce of misplaced affections and tense marriages if we got more comfortable in this story and didn’t just make it about how it will affect Hannah.
I imagine this is part of the master plan though, to have her be uncomfortable with the amount of stuff coming at her. Watching Hannah commune with a 16 year old and wind up the less mature one (although ‘we are CHILDREN!’ really amused me) as the worst side of herself. Not the fact that she wouldn’t get the piercing, but that she still really gets pleasure from being the only-slightly-wiser one in what otherwise seems a pretty equal friendship. I’ve often felt a little sheepish that some of my pop cultural interests align perfectly with my young teenage cousin’s, but that just makes me in the know and cool, right? Is that what Hannah is saying to herself?
In other news, that pitch she made to Fern should not work in any way but it may, because television is more interesting that way and because I need something to watch next week to counteract the everything that Marnie’s wedding is going to be.
Incredibly, this is the second wedding-to-be on the show, but we’re about to watch Marnie go full Say Yes To The Dress in a way that I don’t think we’ve seen on cable television, where the weddings are always impromptu and Pinterest-esque, and I cannot wait to watch her annoy the living hell out of everyone. It’s going to be a nightmare, obviously, and it’s anyone’s guess whether there will be actual matrimony involved, but I want to see her abandon all pretense of being cool and drag everyone to Kleinfeld for repeat viewings of a Pnina Tornai. I also want to see the spiral this sends Shoshanna on, since her ‘nice guy’ dinner did not allow her to spin out into any of the Shoshanna-style rants to which we’ve become accustomed.
Do you know how blissful it is when Jessa does absolutely nothing of note?
Attached - The cast of Girls at Paleyfest LA this weekend.