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SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

Two Guys, One Girl, and a Television Show: “Girls,” Season 2, Episode 5

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By Kelly Chan, Bryan Hood, and Craig Hubert | A change of pace for “Girls” this week, as Lena Dunham’s show of the moment veers off course significantly, for an episode, in a way few could have possible seen coming. Rather than following Hannah’s ragtag group of friends stumble through their 20s in the sloppiest ways possible, we’re treated to an episode that basically only deals with one storyline, Hannah’s two-day long long whirlwind romance with Joshua, the adult doctor. Here’s what we had to say, over GChat, about the latest episode of HBO’s “Girls.”

“I Just Want to Feel It All”

Bryan: I guess we should start with Joshua obviously. Not Josh, Joshua.
Craig: I thought he was going to hurt Hannah physically. He has a Jason Bateman quality to him.
Craig: Wait.. Patrick Bateman!
Bryan: Because of his intense eyes? He looked at her so strangely.
Kelly: Yeah, I wasn’t sure how we were supposed to see him when he was arguing with Ray.
Craig: He was weirdly aggressive
Kelly: But I had also just watched three episodes of “The Wire” prior to watching this.
Craig: What “Wire” character would Joshua be? Marlo?
Kelly: Hahaha. Those scary eyes.
Bryan: Marlo sounds right-ish
Kelly: Penetrating eyes.
Bryan: But yes, he stinks of sketchiness from the very beginning, as if he’s uncomfortable in his own skin. Considering that Hannah has a tendency towards weirdoes, it makes sense.
Craig: He seems like he might wear people’s skin. His apartment was too clean, never a good sign. Too many high-end kitchen appliances.
Kelly: And he clearly did not need to argue with Ray for that long over the garbage problem.
Bryan: Did you feel you were seconds away from us popping into his mind and going over everything he had and how much more expensive it was than other similar items, ala “American Psycho”/“Fight Club”?
Craig: But seriously, let me backtrack a little: he actually seemed like an alright dude in the end!
Bryan: He did.
Craig: I mean, Hannah was really the creep in the situation, just showing up like that.
Bryan: Joshua being wary of Hannah at the end made complete sense.
Kelly: Completely.
Bryan: Oh yeah, just proof that even when you feel for her a little bit, she’ll make sure you don’t. I enjoyed that she was mad at him for not telling her more about himself, yet she never asked him more either.
Craig: I actually think the fact that the episode focused 100% on Hannah made me dislike her more.
Kelly: Really? I was kind of into this divergence in format. I guess it felt like Lena Dunham, not Hannah, opening up about her insecurities.
Bryan: The episode didn’t really feel like a “Girls” episode to me. It felt more like a short story by Dunham.
Kelly: Yeah, it definitely felt more like a short film.
Craig: I actually wrote that down last night… “tightly scripted short film.”
Bryan: It really has no correlation to the rest of the series, aside from Ray being grumpy at Grumpy’s.
Kelly: Yeah, then she completely divorces herself from the world of “Girls.”
Bryan: For some reason that didn’t hit me until the final shot, with her walking away from the apartment.
Craig: I think they were trying to make clear Hannah’s insecurities. There needed to be no distractions.
Kelly: It hit me in the middle of the episode. In the beginning, I was frankly bored by the episode, but when I realized it was trying to be more absurd I started liking it.
Craig: It felt like a weird dream sequence.
Bryan: Yeah, there are no set pieces; it just goes from one thing to another. They don’t even feel like scenes.
Craig: This might have been my favorite episode of “Girls” so far… and I thought the cocaine episode was great!
Kelly: Yeah, I think this was my favorite, though in the beginning I was like, “How much more of Hannah’s boobs can I take?”
Craig: The thing that I walked away from the episode thinking about was age. The frat dudes next door, Joshua’s marriage, etc. Hannah is attempting to dip herself into an adult life.
Kelly: What did you guys think of her little confessional towards the end?
Craig: That she’s lonely?
Bryan: I think that ties into the age. Joshua feels like a finished person. She is not and I think that’s lonely to her. She doesn’t have anyone, and still doesn’t have herself.
Craig: I agree. And this episode (and maybe this ties in to what Kelly said before it being Dunham, not Hannah, opening up) felt intensely personal, although I can’t necessarily tell you why. Maybe it was the focus.
Bryan: Nothing felt forced this episode from beginning to end.
Kelly: I think the confessional scene felt a little bit contrived but it was intensely personal. That feeling of guilt for wanting to be happy, to have “all the things.”
Craig: “I just want to feel it all,” her quoting the NYMag Fiona Apple story, actually made me laugh. It was very specific.
Bryan: Yeah.
Craig: So does everybody think Hannah is really as “broken” as she thinks she is?
Kelly: Eh, depends what “broken” means. I think she’s a lost and confused 20-something.
Bryan: Yeah, and I think she confuses that for being broken. Also, when she says broken, does she mean something about them that’s messed up? Because if that’s her meaning, we all are.
Craig: She says: “Something’s broken inside of me.”
Kelly: Yeah. I agree with Bryan, I think she’s as “broken” as everyone is.
Craig: Right. But she doesn’t think that. Maybe the point of the episode, maybe the season, is her figuring that out? That she’s as broken as everyone else.
Kelly: I don’t know if she figures that out though.
Bryan: That she’s not special?
Kelly: She immediately dismissed it when Joshua brings up that nine year old hand job memory.
Bryan: Yeah, Hannah being Hannah.
Craig: She’s on her way, though!
Kelly: I hope!
Craig: I think the last shot, or series of shots, were very depressing but signaled Hannah moving forward in some way.
Bryan: Walking away from who she once was…
Craig: Right. A little on the nose, those shots, but yes.
Bryan: Yeah.

Anger Management

Bryan: Should we round things out with Ray’s fight?
Craig: I have a question. How is Ray homeless if he is the manager of the coffee shop? Even if he does not make money, can’t he just sleep at Grumpy’s?
Bryan: One would think. Though maybe that’s why he’s still the manger, because he doesn’t sleep there.
Kelly: I would imagine that being quite uncomfortable.
Craig: Didn’t he tell Shoshanna last week that he sleeps in a car when he’s not with her? It seems like curling up in the corner of Grumpy’s has to be better than a car.
Kelly: As for his argument with Joshua, what do you think the point of it was for the episode?
Bryan: He doesn’t want to be reduced as person?
Kelly: It also showed that Hannah is still totally OK with just quitting her only job. Sorry, always back to Hannah.

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