'Girls' Review: "Free Snacks"

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On tonight's new episode of 'Girls,' Hannah is enjoying the free perks of her new job a little too much, but quickly discovers that life with a steady paycheck also comes with its downsides. Meanwhile, Adam meanders through prospective employment opportunities of his own, while Ray and Marnie continue to connect on a personal level and Shoshanna realizes it may be time to settle down. Also: Jessa is really good at selling baby clothes. 

While I'm a little disappointed that they seem to have totally dropped the Caroline plot, which showed some promise in the roadblocks it was throwing up between Hannah and Adam, "Free Snacks" was still a great episode that addresses a realistic problem which writers often face: Hannah lands a gig at GQ in the advertorial department (this is sponsored editorial content, for those unfamiliar), which isn't totally devoid of creativity, but it's not exactly the kind of job that will allow Hannah to write what she wants and what she really knows. And the job comes with insane perks, like insurance and stability and her own cubicle and yes, a metric f--- ton of free snacks. But herein lies the problem: Hannah could make a career out of this job like her coworkers, and neglect her personal writing and her own creative path if she's not careful. What she fails to realize is that there's room for both -- that she can use this job to support herself while she continues to write what she wants in her free time, but it's up to her to commit the time and effort to maintaining her creative output. Honestly, I don't know that Hannah is capable of juggling the two, hence her panic attack and near resignation, but she seems determined to make the effort.

As someone who has three freelance gigs, I understand where she's coming from, but if she puts in the time and proves herself, she may find that GQ opens its doors to her personal voice eventually. And there's always writing for herself on nights and weekends. It's about balance. I didn't set out to write about movies for a living; I just wanted to be a writer. I have ideas for other personal projects, and I admit that I, like her new coworker Joe, have slacked on committing the personal time to developing those projects because the work I do to support myself takes up so much of my time and I'm only one person. And those are excuses that Hannah will find come as easy to her as the nap she slips into as soon as she walks in the door after her second day at work. As for Adam, it's good to see him getting back into acting (did he ever really stop?), and I love his line about how he likes to read emotional cues from people in intense situations -- it's one line, but it goes pretty far in explaining more about his motivations and what draws him to Hannah, and why he gets so wrapped up in fights with his sister. He's drawn to that drama, and hopefully acting can provide an outlet for it so he doesn't have to sell cheap dreamcatchers on Etsy to dumb people for $20 a pop.

I know Marnie's story has been rubbing viewers and critics the wrong way this season, since it seems so redundant, but it feels like Ray is finally cracking her shell in ways that no one else has been able to. She's like an uptight puzzle -- a Rubik's cube made out of Tiffany glass. Beneath her judgmental and resistant exterior is someone who is lonely and really needs a friend (and sex), and someone who isn't going to let her use them like a doormat. The Marnie-Ray pairing is still a strange one, but I like that they don't tolerate each other's high and mighty crap -- they're two extremes on opposite ends of a see-saw that are balancing each other out and providing a much-needed centering.

We don't get much from Jessa this week, but I had a feeling she might fit in at her new job, and she's quite good at selling baby clothes to upscale mothers, convincing one to purchase a black christening gown in a size too small for her potentially obese one year-old. And she does it so easily! I'm just not sure what she's getting out of this job yet, but I hope there's a more Jessa-centric plot in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Ray is doing so well with his job and his social life that he's turned the tables on Shoshanna, who now believes she's spent too much time slacking off and partying it up. She broke up with Ray because she felt he was too irresponsible and that she needed to experience more as a young woman in college -- but now that Ray has surpassed her in the world of maturity, Shosh feels threatened and insecure. Instead of re-focusing on her studies and worrying about a man later, she decides to choose a boyfriend between the two guys she's seeing, selecting Parker, who's kind of an idiot, and basically forcing him into a relationship with her, listing off all these stipulations and boundaries while they're having sex. How's that working out for you, Shosh? The truth is that Shosh isn't ready for a relationship, and she's not ready to grow up just yet, either. She's still idealizing a future and her five-year plan instead of just living life as it comes and embracing her mistakes. College is a time for making mistakes and having fun, but if she wants this future she's so determined to have, a man isn't the key to that: her degree is. The rest will fall in line when she's ready. She can't just force it, especially just because Ray's success and emotional growth is making her feel jealous and competitive. Lord help her if she finds out about Marnie.

More Thoughts:

  • I would watch 'Real Housewives of Prague.'
  • Where the hell is Marnie's kitten?! I told you guys that thing was not going to last long with her.
  • I am a little sad that Caroline seems to have disappeared abruptly. At the very least, a mention would have been nice to wrap that story up, and I'm holding out hope that we haven't seen the last of Gaby Hoffmann and her glorious hair.
  • The whole thing with Kevin hating Hannah's face was too amazing. I really hope we get to see more of Kevin.
  • Adam says the free snacks are junk made of fake salt and "kitchen bones."
  • Kabballer.
Filed Under: Girls, HBO, Lena Dunham
Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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