Girls is always a little messy, but this week’s episode I Get Ideas felt especially scattered. Crazy exes, political conflicts, racial differences, career compromises and bathing pigs were just a few of the topics addressed. In the midst of this rather chaotic episode, Girls did manage to raise some interesting questions and address some bigger issues.
Hannah: This week we got to see more of Hannah’s new beau – Sandy. We also found out that he is a Republican. Hannah repeatedly insists that this is not an issue, until he admits to not liking one of her essays, and then it suddenly becomes a huge issue. The argument that ensues, in which she attacks his views on gun laws, the death penalty and gay marriage, raises an interesting point regarding dating deal breakers. Can you date someone who doesn’t believe in gay marriage when your roommate is gay? Apparently Hannah can…until they criticize her writing, which is the real deal breaker in this scenario.
Hannah and Sandy’s argument then goes off in a whole new direction, with them arguing about race. Sandy claims girls stereotype him all the time because he’s black, and Hannah becomes very defensive. Girls has been criticized for whitewashing New York, and Hannah’s argument that she didn’t notice Sandy was black until he brought it up feels very similar to Lena Dunham’s claim that the lack of racial diversity in the show was “a complete accident.” Sandy and Hannah’s fight brings forth an interesting discussion, suggesting that being “colour-blind” (or trying to be) ignores the very real ways that race, class and systemic privilege affect people’s lives. The lack of resolution to the argument seem like Dunham’s way of telling us that she doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to dealing with issues of race but that it’s a dialogue worth engaging in.
Hannah is still not done with her other train wreck relationship; Adam is now stalking her. He shows up at her home, they argue, she calls 911, and Adam is taken away by the police. I’ve always disliked Adam, but at this point I’m completely bored with this storyline.
Marnie: Marnie is her usual whiny self, declaring “I just don’t wanna be around people who don’t hate everything in their life right now,” except this time I actually have sympathy for her. Marnie did everything she was supposed to do – she went to college, worked hard and got an entry-level position at an art gallery in the hopes of becoming a curator. She goes for a job interview at another gallery after being fired, and is told that the art world doesn’t need her. She’s overeducated and unemployed, which is currently a very real scenario for many college grads. Her new job as a hostess, dressing like a “slutty Von Trapp child” and cashing in on her good looks suggests that her entire education was a waste of time. When Hannah finds out about Marnie’s new job, she’s super judgemental, claiming that although she makes less money at a coffee shop, “it’s clean money.” Marnie then implies that Hannah is just jealous because she’s not pretty enough to hostess. The argument is immature and catty, and it’s sad and frustrating to watch their friendship slowly crumble.
Shoshanna: Apparently Shoshanna and Ray are still sleeping together because they have a highly endearing conversation in bed about bathing pigs. Girls doesn’t have a lot of moments that classify as “adorable” (it’s too busy being painfully awkward), but watching Ray and Shoshanna look infatuated with each other while having an utterly bizarre conversation was super cute.
Jessa: Fortunately there were more than 40 seconds of Jessa this week, but she still doesn’t seem to have much of a storyline. We get a glimpse into Jessa’s married life, which consists of Jessa painting Thomas John, him giving her puppies and them showing off their matching tiger tattoos. Can you say honeymoon phase? Her and Hannah then sit in a park, play with the puppies and Jessa says a bunch of wise things like “If he’s not reading your essay, he’s not reading you.”
While I have my complaints about the new season (More Shoshanna and Jessa! Less Adam!), I’m pleased Girls is sticking to its roots of showing relatable gurls trying to navigate relationships and figure out where they’re going in life. While the second episode of the second season may not have provided viewers with any solutions, it certainly raised a lot of valid questions.
Missed the episode? Check it out here.