Maybe it’s because the first two episodes of Girls were so lackluster and exposition-heavy, but we’re pretty sure that Episode 4: “Hannah’s Diary” just killed it. We’re slightly in love with this half hour of television. Several snippets had us guffawing happily, and others made us teary-eyed. Shoshanna saying, “I so don’t get attached when I bleed, it’s like amazing, I’m like totally not an attached bleeder.” Hannah’s heartfelt, true-to-life speech about what she wants. Jessa, without irony, telling a group of nannies, “I’m just like all of you.” And Charlie’s suddenly hot performance of “Hannah’s Diary.” All wonderful moments for different reasons.
Of course, there were a few ridiculous moments, settled amongst all the very real ones. On to the Real vs. the Ridiculous on Girls.
Hannah’s Speech, Part 1. Watching a girl give a definitive declaration of what she wants from a guy is a favorite TV pastime. We remember Carrie Bradshaw telling Aleksander Petrovsky, “I'm looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love.” We remember Meredith Grey telling Derek Shepherd, “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” And now we will always remember Hannah’s much funnier, more realistic speech. “I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time and thinks I’m the best person in the world and wants to have sex with only me.” At 24, does it get any simpler and exact than that?
Acceptance of sexual harassment. Okay, no, it is never okay to be sexually harassed and just “get used to it.” Terrible! And yet… It happens. Hannah’s new boss is “just a touchy kind of guy,” and she’s “just hunchy,” which roughly translates to mild butt pinches and boob squeezes in exchange for getting things like free camp for your sister and an iPod Nano. Hannah needs a job, and this one is fairly easy, once she learns Windows. We know how Detective Olivia Benson of Law & Order: SVU would tell her how to get out of that situation and put her “touchy” boss in jail. But Hannah doesn’t actually mind, and her co-workers encourage her to let it slide. She’s vulnerable and she acquiesces. We found this very sad, but very realistic.
Shoshanna’s sexual awakening, followed promptly by the snooze button. Isn’t it awful that “You can touch it” is not only an acceptable way for a guy to tell you to touch him, but that girls quiver in response and ultimately do touch it with fear? It’s not that scary, but what if we’re sitting awkwardly on a couch watching a movie, and would rather touch it a little later, and not because we’re told to? And yet! Also, the whole “I love to go down on girls” line is not a rarity, though it typically lasts for just the one night. Our friends have totally told us, so … yeah.
Hannah’s Speech, Part 2. When it comes to whether or not we’ve given our own version of the “I want love” speech, we plead the fifth. But we know that, once a guy who’s sort of not dating you hears the “I want love” speech, he doesn’t usually say, “I like it when you talk like that,” and start kissing you madly, telling you to be yourself all the time. It’s usually more like Summer Camp Matt’s line to Shoshanna: “That’s just not going to work for me.” So as thrilled for Hannah as we were, standing in Adam’s doorway with her eyebrows of shame, we were disappointed by the magical reward she got in the form of Adam’s (however brief) adoration.
Jessa’s UN (United Nannies) summit. With the introduction of minority characters (first at Hannah’s new office, and then at the park), it seems like the eagle-eyed viewers with race on the brain will find fault with how the African American, Asian, and Latina characters are portrayed. And based on Jessa’s brainstorm for nanny unionization, we would tend to agree. Jessa is the only white girl among the children’s nannies, yet she tells them, “I’m just like all of you.” She’s met with rolled eyes all around, including ours. As Marnie should tell her, Jessa, you’re smarter than this.
Some notes/favorite moments:
- We were moved when Jessa told the kids’ borderline creepy father, “When I was little I would run away and tell lies all the time.” “Like what?” he asks. “Like, ‘My mom’s this awesome mom, and we’re like best friends.’” There’s sadness behind Jessa’s eyes, and we want to know more.
- It is definitely hard to take an appropriately sexy photo of oneself for sexting purposes, but we admire Hannah for trying.
- As usual, a guy’s advice is usually best. Marnie told Hannah to not reply at all to Adam’s sext, which was obviously not what Hannah wanted to hear. Charlie said, “Just ask him who it was meant for.” Guys are so much simpler than we think they are.
- Hannah and Marnie’s first big fight. We’re glad they showed this only four episodes in. Girls have dramatic emotional fights with each other more often than we see represented on television, and we hope Girls does the tension justice. Something tells us it will.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.
Catch the next episode of Girls on Sunday, May 13 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.