Girls on Girls - Season 2, Episode 5

Just because Hannah and her gang refuse to stop and regroup, doesn’t we have to. This week TheVine’s girls contemplate Girls as we reach season two’s mid-way mark. 

Nadine von Cohen

My first reaction to Girls episode five (“One Man’s Trash”) was “OH MY GOD IT’S PATRICK WILSON I LOVED HIM IN THE LOST BOYS BUT NOT IN SPEED 2 CRUISE CONTROL HE LOOKS SO YOUNG AND HOT EVEN THOUGH HE’S LIKE 100 YEARS OLD WHAT’S HIS SECRET?” Then I realised I was thinking of Jason Patric and that the man fucking Lena Dunham on a kitchen bench (and on a ping pong table, and on a bed) was Patrick Wilson. Names are confusing sometimes.

This was not my favourite episode of Girls, not least because there was no Shoshanna in it. That is not to say I hated it, nor even that I disliked it. It just didn’t fill me with the same mix of joy and hope and embarrassment and more joy I usually get from watching the show. I admire Lena Dunham for taking a risk (as is her established wont) in playing with the format and the spirit of the show – which essentially featured only her and Wilson for the episode’s entirety. And I enjoyed the awkwardness, rawness and tingling hotness of the micro-relationship we saw unfold over the course of the episode’s 22 or so minutes. In fact I didn’t just enjoy it – I related to it. We’ve all been there: that one night stand you know will never continue beyond the front door but that feels so real while you’re inside it. We’ve all tried to see how far we could push the other person, how much they’ll tolerate before they suddenly remember they have a dentist appointment at 5am. And we’ve all said too much to someone too quickly. Well, I have at least.

But in the end “One Man’s Trash” just left me a little underwhelmed. I can see what Dunham was trying to do, I just don’t think she quite managed to do it. Perhaps 22 minutes isn’t long enough to portray a relationship, even if it’s just a 24 hour one.

Genevieve Rosen

We have now successfully reached the Girls Season Two mid-way mark, and before we embark on a self-projectory* analysis, let’s stop for a minute and pat ourselves on the back for simply sticking to something for this long. Five weeks at anything is no joke – just ask Hannah Hovarth, who, per last night’s episode, absconded obligations to her “hostile work environment” in favour of a one night stand – and as presumed fans of Dunham’s unflattering depiction of the twenty-something condition, if nothing else, we were awarded a falsified sense of progression for merely watching.

Last night Dunham executed her distinct flair for both long and short form storytelling as while the latest Girls episode aptly fits into Hannah’s anthology of recidivist mishaps, focusing on her latest (rather lonely) tryst with a 42-year-old separated doctor (may we all be so lucky) gave watchers a half-hour of space to contemplate the status of Jessa’s/ Marni’s/ Shosh’s (and, of course, Hannah's) journey thus far, without the interfering Konner-Peretz-Apatow hand telling you to contemplate the show’s arc at all.

If anything, the self-inflicted self-destructive behaviour could’ve reached a tired point in last night’s Hannah-only episode, but its Dunham’s self-conscious awareness that leaves every middle-class wannabe-tortured-artist white girl salivating: “Please don’t tell anyone this, but I want to be happy.” To which Jessa would presumably respond, “well where’s the story in that?”

*Not a real word. Taking inspiration from Hannah crafting the word ‘sexit’ in an attempt to sound cooler and smarter.

Jenna Clarke

This season is like tantric sex and Lena, Jenni Konner and the best director of them yet, Jesse Peretz, are the gurus who keep us hanging on.

But like Joshua (pronounced “Josh-wa”) said to Hannah in episode five, “just make me come.”

Seriously Dunham give it up, I want to know why Jessa was so upset about her Thomas-John break up. I want to know what season of “Ally McBeal” Ray and Shosh are watching now they’re accidentally co-habitating. I want to see Marnie taste test Audrey’s mustard. And I want to see more of Elijah, period.  

Perhaps just one more game of naked ping-pong with a 42-year-old man – who was tender like rare Porterhouse and refreshing like a glass of lemonade – wouldn’t hurt either.  

Is it too much to ask for less neon mesh shirts and further exploration into why you’re scared to be happy?

Think of a story Hannah! Give it up. Peace out.

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2 comments so far..

  • ScarlettHarris's avatar
    Date and time
    Tuesday 12 Feb 2013 - 2:40 PM
    I thought this week's episode was the best of the season, and that's not really saying much. I'm still waiting for more people of colour after Sandy's exit (sexit?), and while I applaud Lena for her embracement of her body, enough with the gratuitous nudity every five minutes.
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  • Liz83's avatar
    Date and time
    Thursday 14 Feb 2013 - 2:19 AM
    I actually really enjoyed the first season and it is perhaps that I made the mistake of peeking into Dunham's real persona via her Instagram (eugh, enough selfies of you pouting with your dog - they scream either low self esteem, which is sad, or that you're buying into your own celebrity, which is sadder) and the revelation she failed to actually vote, despite making a 'youth must vote' video for the election; that makes this show a tedious demonstration of self indulgence by someone who has openly gotten her break via nepotism.

    This season hasn't been too bad and there has been less hate watching than I anticipated but I found this eposide, in particular, quite lazy. the trash/emotional garbage metaphore is something a second year arts student would come up with and while the premise of the micro-relationship is really interesting in itself and certainly relateable; I found her 'revelation' about wanting to be happy predicatable and odd. We already know Hannah is a white, educated, middle-class woman who's choosing to work in a coffee shop because she wants to be a 'writer'. We're already meant to find her self-involved; that whole scene did nothing more than make her seem completely irrational, which I don't think is fair on the character (and it's a character I really dislike!) Hannah has been building up to the realisation she's inately more conservative than she'd like to be this whole season (the Coke episode and her insessant cooking and being a hostess are two examples) - I hope it comes to something, but I sadly don't think it will.

    Also I feel like the gratitous nudity is just an attempt to confront people and make us feel uncomfortable because Dunham is curvy. I don't feel uncomfortable about her body shape, I feel uncomfortable about her always being naked. The ping pong scene? so unnecessary and had she even had a bra on, I feel people would have focused on the couple developing the micro relationship as opposed to her breasts.
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