Entertainment :: Television

Falling In Love With "Girls" - The Crackcident

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Wednesday May 30, 2012
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Episode 6: "The Return"

I kind of like that Dunham changed it up this week and focused solely on Hannah and her return to her parent’s home in Michigan.

What other films have tried to do (some successful/some not) with having a post-college child return to the town they grew up in, "Girls" succeeds at. Specifically for those of us who moved to NYC or LA where the culture is so different from suburbia, that to go home to "normalcy" is almost shocking.

As usual, Hannah experiences her parent’s off-handed comments about her life and of course, Hannah mouths off because having been free from that for so long the last thing she wants is a reprise.

Anyway, on a trip to the pharmacy, Hannah runs into an old schoolmate named Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci who has gotten freakin’ sexy) who asks her on a "date." Next, she runs into a high school chum (Heather Travis) who tells her about a former classmate (that Hannah doesn’t remember) who died (or disappeared - it wasn’t very clear) on a trip with friends. Heather - who is moving to LA to become a dancer without any contacts or references at all - is having a benefit that night to help pay for the missing/dead girl’s private investigation into her disappearance/murder. Hilariously, Heather is very upset about not only having to (gladly) discuss the grisly story, but to have to experience it for real. Because we all know those people that take random people’s tragedies and make it their own.

So Hannah and Eric go to the benefit where Heather does a cheesy inappropriate dance number that Hannah thinks was hilariously bad. Eric doesn’t quite get the irony at all and just wants to go home and have sex. It’s classic Big City vs. Small Town actions that show the divide that occurs when someone leaves the nest for larger things. It’s not to say he was an idiot for not recognizing how misguided Heather is/was, it’s that it wasn’t that important to him, so who cares what she does? Hannah, on the other hand, made it about her by thinking she was better than Heather. In a way , she was making someone’s life/issues affect her, just like Heather was with the missing/dead girl.

And this is what I like about the show. Dunham never just portrays Hannah or her friends in a good light. They are likeable and hilarious, but they are damaged, confused, and completely self-obsessed. And she calls them out on it. Because quite frankly, her generation IS self-obsessed and the more she brings that to light, the more people might take a hard look at themselves - laughing as they do.

The episode has a fascinating scene with Hannah trying to have sex with Eric the way she would have sex with Adam; a little weird and a little kinky. He, on the other hand, just wants to have sex. The need for Hannah to make it something more than it has to be is telling in that she, herself, is showing her naivety and also how negatively her relationship with Adam has affected her.

The episode ends with a nice moment on the phone between her and Adam which finally shows that there is a real connection there aside from sex. It was nice to see Adam seemingly caring for Hannah, and nice to see Hannah just going with the flow for once. It’s rare for her. Only time will tell where these two go.

Episode 7: "Welcome to Bushwick/The Crackcident"

The theme of the latest "Girls" episode is clearly "Selfishness." Hannah, Marnie and Jessa all end up at this warehouse for the "best party ever." ("It’s like Waterworld in there.") They run into Shoshana who, they discover later, has accidentally smoked crack that she thought was weed. "It wasn’t a stem it was a glass cigarette!"

Meanwhile, Marnie’s ex Charlie is performing with his band and the two have an awkward encounter where Charlie reveals he is seeing someone; a mere two weeks after they broke up. She, of course, is clueless as to the fact that he’s moved on, clearly indicated when she tells him she’s happy he’s found "satisfaction outside of their relationship." (That provokes a befuddled response from Charlie.)

In another room, Hannah spots Adam dancing up a storm with a bunch of lesbians. "I’ve never seen him outside his house. I’ve never seen him with a shirt on!" Marnie approaches the group hilariously mocking the familiar tableau of a group of friends standing in formation looking at something in the distance. "Why are you all standing in a line?" Hannah ends up talking to a girl named Tako that accidentally informs her that Adam is a recovering alcoholic and loves books; two things about which Hannah had no clue.

Outside the club, Ray, Charlie’s band-mate, ends up having to be Shoshanna’s "crack spirit guide" when she freaks out and runs from the party into the alleyways of NYC. Inside, Jessa and her boss meet up and she finds out that he isn’t really the guy she thought he might be... which is nice. I’m glad they didn’t go the ole’ babysitter screwing the kid’s father route. Their relationship is a bit more complex, which is refreshing.

In another area of the party, Marnie - still obsessed with the fact that her ex has already moved on - runs into Hannah’s gay ex Elijah and starts going on and on about her problems. In true Dunham fashion she calls Marnie’s character out on her behavior when she has Elijah let her have it. This was the best exchange of the episode:

Elijah: "I haven’t seen you since college. And then you make me listen to the same crap I’ve been listening to since 2006! It all sounds like vintage Hannah."

They continue to argue the finer points of being selfish when he brings up the fact that he and Marnie made out in her dorm room after "Rent" rehearsals. She argues that he was selfish for dating Hannah for two years while he was a "secret queer."

Ejijah: "Secret? (beat) Rent! Rehearsals!"

Marnie: "Well, I don’t know whose dick you had to suck to get that part, because your voice sounds like a bag of dying babies."

In the meantime, as Adam and Hannah go off looking for scrap metal (don’t ask) Hannah clearly still has some things to learn about easily giving into guys despite her better judgment. But what’s even more telling is that Adam (Adam Driver who is proving himself to be a refreshingly layered performer) calls HER out on her selfishness.

As she gets upset (for herself) about Adam not revealing his past to her he finally explodes.

Adam: "You never asked!!!! You never ask me anything besides ’does this feel okay?’ Or ’do you like my skirt?’ Or ’How much is your rent?’ I’m not going to talk your ear off about shit you don’t ask about. You don’t wanna know me. You wanna come over in the night and have me fuck the dogshit out of you then you want to leave and write about it in your diary. You don’t wanna know me."

Her response?

"Do you ever think about me when I’m not there?"

His?

"Seeeee????"

Yet... it’s the end of the episode that is the most telling. For both of them.

"Girls" airs at 10pm et/pt on HBO.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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