Each week, senior editors Brandon Wenerd and Chris Illuminati are going to recap Girls. Before this week’s recap, here’s a little insight into why the hell two bros are watching Girls. Hint — it’s because of actual girls.
Here’s my thing with Girls. When Lena Dunham was a nobody discovered by Judd Apatow and the concept of the show first started to float around a couple of years ago, it infuriated me. How the hell does a noob out of nowhere get a prime time HBO series about overprivileged, post-grad college white girls living in Brooklyn? I said “meh, this is a show I’ll never watch” and called it a day.
Except I didn’t. I had a girl roommate at the time and she started watching the first season OnDemand one evening. I was hooked. The first season was immensely funny (my theory is because Judd Apatow had a much more authoritative guiding hand in the writing process) and didn’t make me cringe like the show does now.
What struck was how much I know girls — some whiny, some endearing — in real life who act like Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, Shoshanna, etc. Maybe it’s just a New York City thing, where overprivileged, post-grad college white girls are the entire population of some gentrified neighborhoods. Regardless, I think the show strikes this weird chord with people out of college trying to make their way in the world; It explores the tight-rope walk many young, 20-somethings constantly find themselves stuck in between friendships, relationships, and personal ambitions.
I love it, but I hate it. And I think that’s something that will become abundantly clear over the next few weeks.
The Wire. Breaking Bad. The Walking Dead. Arguably some of the biggest television shows of the last twenty years. I’ve never seen an episode of any of these series. I want to watch, I just don’t watch.
Usually it’s circumstances beyond my control but nine times out of ten it’s pure sloth. I’m just too lazy to start watching a show either when it airs live or to make an effort to power watch over the course of a long weekend. I’ll blame my ADHD but that other one out of ten times I’ll blame the fact I didn’t subscribe to a premium channel or didn’t want to drop the money to watch a complete series of a TV show that usually airs for free.
I figured Girls would be another one of those shows. People, especially women, said how funny and “real” it was during season one back in 2012. “I’ll get around to it,” I said, which translates into “I’ll never watch it.” Those early Girls converts knew they were singing praises into a deaf ear. My deaf ear. They focused their tune on a different set of ears.”
“Let’s watch that show Girls,” she said. We finished the first season in two days. She loved it. If found it funny but a little too, what was it? Oh, right. “Real.” I know these women. Not personally. I knew the types. I couldn’t stand to be around them IRL so I wasn’t sure how long I could hang around to watch facsimiles of their lives on a small screen.
One episode into the fourth season and I’m still hanging on. She gave up three different times last season and proclaimed, ten minutes into the premiere, “I don’t know why I still watch this shit.” I really don’t know either but here am I. Maybe these recaps will cause me to fall back in love with the show. Maybe I’ll hate it even more. Maybe I’ll bring her back in only to have bail once again.
“I don’t hate your friends. I’m just not interested in anything they have to say.” – Adam
It’s Bros Watching ‘Girls’ Recap #1 — Iowa
Brandon: Let’s start with the elephant in the room: The ass-eating scene. Allison Williams, easily the hottest girl on the show, getting her salad tossed like she’s a lunch at Chop’t.
Chris: Honestly, I thought long and hard about it and I couldn’t remember the first scene of the show. The ass eating scene erased everything up until that point.
Brandon: He’s getting REALLY into it too. Not just like some tongue action with a couple flicks on the starfish. He has his cheeks going full motorboat.
Chris: Agreed. It completely makes up for Peter Pan.
Brandon: Does anyone really ever go full motorboat when eating ass? If it were casual cunnalingus, sure, but ass? This is my beef with Girls — completely unrealistic portrayals of real-life.
Chris: Maybe he only goes “half ass” with his real girlfriend but with her he really dives in deep. Which brings me to this question — And am I remembering incorrectly or did Marnie say “I love you too” mid-chow session? Did he say “I love you” or does she think love means getting a rim job?
Brandon: She did say that! I took it as the latter, that she loves the rim job. Marnie is easily the biggest sexual freak in the show. Jessa and Lena and Adam all have their own proclivities, but she takes it next level. What do we think about Desi, her boyfriend? Do you think he brushed his teeth before that big french kiss with his squeeze Clementine after the ass-eating?
Chris: He’s the typical NY musician as far as I can tell. And can we call him a “boyfriend” or do we just say Marnie is a side piece?
Brandon: Totally a side piece. The thing that’s frustrating is that there’s some very unside piece behavior going down. Why would you ever have a working relationship with your side piece? The singer-songwriter duet thing they have is insufferable on so many levels.
Chris: I’ll guess he only keeps her around for the ass. He tolerates the music partnership.
Brandon: Dude but the music is so fucking bad.
Chris: Before we discuss the worst brunch of all time, I want to backtrack. The episode opens with Hannah out to dinner with her parents, very similar to the first episode in season one. She’s saying how she’s thankful they still see the potential in her even though they don’t always see it. Now, Hannah is around 24-25 in the show. Wouldn’t her parents ALWAYS think her a fuck up? I mean she didn’t just start fucking up. She’s probably been pulling this shit since pre-school.
Brandon: The problem is that they enable her without keeping her at an arms length. Remember that one episode a few seasons back where she was begging for money for rent yet felt like most jobs were beneath her? They put up a fuss, but ultimately tolerate it without actually leveling with her. It’s frustrating as fuck. I think, secretly, they want her out of New York City though. That’s why they’re so happy about the Iowa move. Like any parent, they know her well enough to know that she needs some fucking grass and trees and emotional breathing space in her life. And I think they do a grin and bear it act with her dating Adam. No parents would approve of their daughter dating a fuck-up like Adam.
Chris: Speaking of Adam, we were treated to a new side of Adam. He suddenly gives a shit about his looks. I found this absurd. The guy was detached from caring about physical looks his entire life and one Broadway show and a drug commercial and he’s suddenly invested in himself?
Brandon: I think it’s more than just the Broadway show, though. That’s symbolic of the fact that Hannah is about to go her separate way on her soul-searching quest to Iowa and he’s going to be either (a. doing the long-distance thing like a happy fool or (b. jumping back into the NYC dating pool, which he has to look decent for. The anti-depressant commercial was so close to home. If there’s one person in the show who so obviously needs medicated, it’s him. I’m just so confused why he cared so much about artistic integrity or what not over something that’s so obviously a paycheck. So what, you’re recognized for being the face of a drug that doesn’t cause your dick to work? You’re getting in front of millions and millions of people. That’s going to parlay itself, bruh.
Chris: Maybe he realizes acting is all he can really do. And he can’t do that. It’s probably humbling to go from stellar reviews to a dick pill commercial. Honestly, the Hannah thing, he’s better off. Hannah is train wreck without the fun part of actually riding a train. She’s just “all aboard BOOM! carnage.” Before we tackle to the bit players, do you want to vent about the brunch scene?
Brandon: Yes. Brunch. Fuck brunch.
Brandon: My biggest issue with the brunch scene is that it’s somewhat of a last supper for Hannah and it’s a fucking calamity.
Chris: I was confused — was that an actual going away party for Hannah and her friends played music or were they playing music and everyone just happened to be there. Does brunch usually come with balloons?
Brandon: I’m pretty sure it was suppose to be a going-away party. Which is probably symbolic and very apropos given the plot, but character interactions were insufferable. Elijah running into his former fuck buddy and what not? Clementine talking to Marnie about being threatened? This is not usual brunch fodder. And what’s up with the table of asshole basic bitches Elijah’s boyfriend is sitting with? Clearly Marnie and Desi’s Sonny and Cher act belongs at no brunch. But just where the hell did the think they were performing? To an attentive audience in some theater? When you’re on a stage like that in a boozy brunch situation, you’re prone to those vulnerabilities.
Chris: And kids. FUCK KIDS! THEY RUIN EVERY BRUNCH! They don’t. TV thinks they do.
Brandon: Do your kids like brunch? Cause when I was a kid I loved it — eating breakfast food in the afternoon felt like I was breaking a rule or something.
Chris: My kids don’t do brunch. We need breakfast at 8am or they revolt. If my family is eating in a restaurant at 11am either we’re eating lunch or someone died and we’re eating after a funeral.
Brandon: Hahaha. The hardest I laughed the entire episode was during the brunch scene at Marine’s mom. She was just such a… mom, snapping pics and uploading them to Facebook. My mom does that every time she visits me in the city at restaurants so her friends know that she’s visiting me and it drives me nuts. But Marine’s mom was next level, with the grip on her phone just for snapping pics.
Chris: And the fucking brass nucks for a phone case.
Brandon: IT WAS SO GREAT. And the second hardest I laughed was when Marnie says, “Maybe I’ll scat for you” and someone says exactly what everyone is thinking out loud. “Please don’t.” Nothing like stuffing eggs benny down your throat while listening to the most basic white girl in the world pretend to be Ella Fitzgerald.
Chris: So true. Let’s bring this home by talking about the fact that I said out loud “wow, will we get through an episode without Lena Dunham naked…” and THERE IS IT. Hannah and Adam fucking like they have to. Like it’s written in the commandments.
Brandon: That was some uncomfortable sex. Neither looked like they were enjoying themselves, as tender of a moment as it was supposed to be. I thought it was strange how they didn’t lay out the rules they established for long distance. It almost purposefully let us assume that they made boundaries of some sort, but didn’t reveal what they actually were.
Chris: This is where I feel they fucked up in storytelling. Not with the long distance but with the sex. As the viewer, I will assume Hannah and Adam have sex the last night together and everything leading up to that moment will tell me it won’t be good. I don’t need to see how terrible it is. Now, if you want to shock me and really tell me it’s over for them, they SHOULDN’T have sex. Sex is 83% of their relationship. Not having sex tells me they’re broken up.
Brandon: Welp, yeah. I guess they aren’t? But the whole not saying goodbye thing was what really made it uncomfortable. Especially since they leave things like they aren’t broken up. It’s like they’re both so fucking ready for it to be over without saying it.
Chris: And that might be the most real scene of the entire episode. Next episode — Hannah goes to Iowa. Are we ready for that?
Brandon: Yeah. The first episode in a lot of ways felt like it should have been the last episode of last season. The whole Hannah in the backseat a la the final bus scene in “The Graduate” had a very real finality to it. Iowa City, here we come. I just hope she gets puked on by Vodka Sam.
Brandon and Chris will be recapping ‘Girls’ each week. Make sure to come back but they can’t guarantee a rimjob in every episode. Until then, hit them up on Twitter at @brandonwenerd and @chrisilluminati.