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‘Girls’ Talk: “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too”

'Girls,' "Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too"
HBO

Welcome to our weekly installment of ‘Girls’ Talk! We’re joined by two critics to discuss this week’s episode of the hit HBO series ‘Girls,’ created by and starring Lena Dunham.

ScreenCrush.com editor Britt Hayes is joined by Kate Erbland and Allison Loring to discuss this week’s episode, titled “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too.” Kate is the Associate Editor at Film School Rejects and a contributing writer for MSN Movies and Box Office Magazine. You can tweet her @katerbland. Allison is a contributor for Film School Rejects and Reel Vixen. You can tweet her @allisonloring.

Britt: I want to start off by discussing our favorite topic: Adam. This week the layers are peeled back even more, and we see what his real flaws are. He’s an artist who lets his pride get in the way (not entirely a bad thing), and he has something of an anger management issue. I think he brings out the best in Hannah, though, who pushes him to keep working on the play when he decides to quit. Hannah always seems to have such wonderful insight with everyone but herself. It’s so much easier to coach others than it is to take our own advice. What do you guys think about Hannah and Adam this week?

Allison: I was really impressed to see the “real” Adam this week and find out that he is not just some douchebag living off his grandma and playing with girls’ feelings and emotions. Considering the “blowout” that happened last week to inspire his and Hannah’s now “official” (?) relationship, Adam seems to have fallen into the role fairly easily.

I agree that he seems to bring out the best in Hannah, which in turn seems to inspire her to bring out the best in him by making him aware that flying off the handle is not always the most appropriate response, and walking away from his art because it’s not exactly how he wants it is only working against himself. It is interesting to see how Hannah is able to truly see Adam and give him such good advice, but when it comes to her own life, she always seems to make the wrong choices.

But I agree with what you said Britt, it is much easier to advise and coach others than it is to coach ourselves, and I am just hoping that Adam begins to coach and advise Hannah the same way she is with him to help her improve her own life. Call me crazy, but if these two start pushing and supporting each other, they could end up being the most solid and interesting couple on the show.

Britt: Or on TV ever. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but my love for Adam is true and real, y’all.

Kate: Someone made the observation on Twitter after this week’s episode that, if viewers left ‘Girls’ after a few episodes because they couldn’t stand Adam, they made the same mistake that Hannah almost did — dumping him before knowing him. Adam has blossomed into this really interesting and compelling character who, more often than not, appears to be a good thing for Hannah. Imagine if someone had told you that two or three episodes in, you never would have believed them.

I think it’s crucial that Adam is an artist and that, though perhaps too stubborn, he’s dedicated to his craft and his integrity. As an artist herself, Hannah is still feeling that stuff out, and Adam is actually sort of a mentor when it comes to that. Again, I’m just as shocked as you over this turn of events. If she can continue to encourage and nourish Adam (and I think that she wants to, she really, really wants to), I think he will respond in kind, and Hannah will find herself growing as a person and an artist.

Britt: I think the thing is that in real life, this wouldn’t work the same way. After one or two dates, we know whether or not we want to keep seeing someone. If any one of us went on a couple of dates with someone like Adam, we’d never want to see him again. We wouldn’t wait around for weeks to find out he’s actually kind of awesome.

Still, I found his [apologetic] gesture to be incredibly sweet, and I can’t help but get all goopy every time he and Hannah are cute together. Even when they’re saying weird stuff during sex, it’s playful in spirit and the best relationships aren’t those that are syrupy sweet with sentiment, but the ones where you really connect with someone and can be yourself. There’s something almost childlike about it — like how kids have that stream-of-consciousness way of playing where they just say or do whatever comes to mind. With the right person, there’s no pretense. You can just be yourself, even if yourself is a goofy weirdo.

I also had the unique experience of an involuntary verbal/physical reaction this week when Hannah said, “If you don’t like ice cream, what do you like?” and Adam said, “I like you.” I made an “awww” sound that was so bizarre that I can only compare it to that of a dying seal. And I may have cried. A little.

Kate: I did a lot of cooing during this week’s episode. It was gross and weird.

I do think, however, that it’s believable that Hannah would continue to see Adam before he turned into a bit of a gem — we know she doesn’t have great radar for the most appropriate of suitors, there did not appear to be any other gentlemen about, and I think that Hannah is still working through what sexual desire means in regards to actual affection. I think that being sexually desired by Adam trumped the way he made her feel (at first), but it is a bit out of the ordinary that Adam has turned out to be a good dude.

And, back to smooshy stuff, I thought it was so telling when the two of them were sitting at the breakfast table with Marnie, already exhibiting more affection for and comfort with each other than Marnie and Charlie ever showed.

Allison: But that brings up another question — did Hannah and Adam ever actually go out on dates? And again, how did these two meet??

I loved Adam’s apology to Hannah — granted it also felt like a “TV moment” to me, since in real life most guys will just swallow their pride and say sorry, not paper a wall — but still, I thought it was great. And I too had an audible response to his, “I like you.” That was fantastic. I mean, Adam might be a bit of a romantic. Who knew? And I too thought their interaction at the breakfast table was very sweet and telling of their comfort level, but even more telling to me was how Adam responded to Marnie’s depression when Hannah kind of dismissed it. Marnie is the kind of friend a boyfriend would need to “win over” in a way, and she has been pretty anti-Adam (and understandably so), but you could see her surprised by his support of her in that moment and I think that might have won her over a bit too.

Britt: I think Adam and Hannah’s origin story is going to be one of the greatest mysteries in the history of television. Then again, I never thought we’d see him in a shirt, and now we have — more than once! Let the record show that I’ve been pro-shirtless Adam from the beginning.

Kate: And I thought it was quite amusing that, as soon as Adam got home, he took his shirt right off.

Allison: I was just going to say that! I think it’s comforting to him to be shirtless. But then he was all about wearing onesies? I am more than intrigued by this man’s fashion choices and comfort items.

Kate: AND THEN THEY HAD MATCHING ONESIES.

Allison: It was very ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ Playing into the childlike and playful nature of their relationship, perhaps?

Britt: Yes! Lena Dunham actually responded to someone on Twitter who said something about Hannah and Adam running off into the night in their matching ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ pajamas, and Dunham responded with something like, “Maurice Sendak 4Ever.”

My notes literally said, “OMG MATCHING PAJAMAS OMG OMG.” I don’t take the most sophisticated notes.

Allison: You took notes? That is sophisticated. I just spent the episode having audible reactions and rewinding to the, “I like you” moment. Haha.

Kate: I just watched with three boys who all enjoyed it as much as I did.

Allison: Two were cats, Kate.

Britt: I just snorted.

Kate: It was my boyfriend and his roommates! AND THE CATS LOVE IT.

Britt: “The cats love it!” — Kate Erbland, Film School Rejects.

Kate: PULL QUOTE!

Britt: Can we keep talking about this show every week, even after the season ends?

Allison: YES.

Kate: Yes.

Britt: Okay, okay. Back on topic! I related so hard to Marnie this week, browsing through Charlie’s Facebook, filled with Instagram photos of his vacation with his new Tiny Navajo girlfriend. But what caught me off guard was that Marnie went beyond the knee-jerk pity party of thinking, “Why didn’t he do these things when we were together?” and straight to realizing why he didn’t do those things when they were together. Marnie is learning about herself and realizing her faults much quicker than I thought she would.

Allison: I thought that too! I was surprised at how self aware she suddenly seemed to get as she was wallowing. Do we think it might have been prompted by Adam’s comments to her about learning from relationships after they end?

Kate: There’s that scene with Jessa early on in the episode, before they go out cavorting, where Marnie clearly lays out what’s going on with her and what it’s like to be in her own head (suffocating), and it’s the first time that we get a sense that Marnie actually knows what she’s like and how she acts and how others see her. It’s a huge step for Marnie, and though she kind of capitalizes on her sought-after “freedom” in a weird way later on, at least she’s trying to explore and stretch.

Britt: Can we talk about Chris O’Dowd, Venture Capitalist? When I heard the familiar sounds of Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” I almost choked on my cereal. I thought it was hilarious that Jessa was immediately turned off by him once she realized it was the younger guy and not the old geezer that sent over the drinks, but I love how supportive she was of Marnie this week, taking her out, indulging in her exploration, and eventually making out with her (which, I must say, was so sweet and natural and didn’t give me the sleazy sex vibe at all).

Allison: I hate to admit it, but I’ve always related to Marnie the most in that I also have that Type A personality and I understand trying to play the part of who you want to be. I think if I looked back at myself at that age, I would most resemble her. And I too would be completely aware of it and exhausted by it, but not yet know how to use that awareness to better myself and grow — that just comes with time. And I think with Charlie out of the picture, we may get to see some real change and growth in Marnie.

I loved that Jessa was all about being there for Marnie, even when she didn’t want to hang out with Chris O’Dowd, Venture Capitalist. She still went and didn’t just let Marnie go over there on her own and while she was passive aggressive to our VC DJ, she was continuously supportive towards Marnie.

Britt: I love that Jessa described his face as “cereal boxy.”

Kate: I am glad to see the show pay attention to Jessa and Marnie even while Hannah is off experiencing big changes (yet, still, where is my beloved Shosh?), and I feel like it’s a natural and correct thing to grow their friendship — even if that means getting caught up with hilariously uncool mash-up DJs who spend too much on hideous furniture and have total freak-outs for no good reason.

Britt: Shoshanna got the short end of the stick again! Where is Shoshanna?! I want more Shosh!

Kate: Shosh and Ray! Shosh and Ray!

Allison: YES! Where are those two??

Britt: They better be back next week! I also don’t think we’ve quite seen the end of the Lavoyts — at least I hope not because I do enjoy Kathryn Hahn so much, but I also want to see Jessa in that environment again.

Also, how do we feel about the big (golden) shower moment? I felt like, okay, it is the shower, and while it’s totally gross, it was a joke. That moment when the camera turns to Adam and we realize he’s in the shower the same moment Hannah does was so delightfully creepy and weird and gave me my second involuntary verbal reaction of the episode. I made a total “WHA-AGHHH” sound.

Kate: I yelled just like Hannah! What I think was most interesting about this exchange was not that Hannah finally exhibited some limits (of course she has them), it was that, even despite delaying his apology, Adam quite quickly got that he had crossed some sort of line with Hannah (one that he will surely never cross again).

Allison: I thought it was great that we saw them so comfortable together and getting along and happy and then Adam crosses that line and knows it. As much as I loved the, “I like you” moment, I thought his apology (and realization that he needed to apologize) was just as poignant. They clearly care about each other, are honest with each other and both seem to want to make this relationship work — as we said at the beginning of our talk, if you wrote Adam off at the beginning of this show, you are missing something I certainly did not see coming.

Britt: I think it’s also an honest exploration of boundaries. Boundaries aren’t as simple as most people make them out to be. Hannah is okay with making jokes about when she was a kid while they’re having sex, which is weird to most people, but she’s not okay with being peed on. Everyone has a very specific set of boundaries, and I feel ‘Girls’ is at its best when it focuses on the specifics and details, as opposed to other shows, which operate on a grander scale with general, familiar scenarios. ‘Girls’ takes a familiar scenario and makes it so specific that we relate even more.

One last thing before we end it: What was your favorite moment this week? Mine was definitely Adam saying “I like you,” but I also loved Chris O’Dowd saying he wanted to be “balls deep” in anything.

Kate: I think I am partial to Hannah and Adam’s dual Snuggie-wearing, especially considering that it happened after the golden shower incident and Hannah was still at Adam’s, wearing his (spare?) Snuggie and eating his food.

Allison: Adam’s monologue while rehearsing the play. I was with Hannah — I was only watching him and could not believe that even though he was talking about masturbating and Adam-like things, he was doing so in an engaging way where he could be the only person standing on that stage, telling a story, and that was all you needed.

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