To borrow a phrase from Shosh, I’m feeling pretty “je ne regret rienn-y” about watching this episode. I mean, we had a cameo from a major fashion player, dream catchers, and most importantly, SUN CHIPS. Actually I hate Sun Chips, but free snacks always taste delectable, right? I have major reservations about the awkward hook-ups between Marnie/Ray and Shosh/Parker, but life can’t be all sunshine and lox from Russ & Daughter’s. Just think of those couplings like a bad gas station burrito – you KNOW you shouldn’t eat it, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
We begin this Girls recap with a familiar scenario – yet another person quitting their barista gig. This time it’s Hannah, who tells Ray she’s gotten a job at GQ. Ray quickly susses out that Hannah will actually be writing an advertorial: “It looks like a real article so they trick you into reading it, and then you find out it’s a paid advertisement. Which is both morally and creatively bankrupt.” Her assignment is a “Field Guide to the Urban Male,” (sponsored by Neiman Marcus) which immediately makes me divert into how to classify the boys on Girls.
We’re really just working with Ray and Adam now, so Ray would be an apropos Flat White: medium size, comes on strong and intense, but there’s sweetness underneath, somewhere. Neiman Marcus sells sarcasm and self-loathing, right? And Adam would be the Dark Horse; he’s proud, sweaty, dangerous, and prone to sabotaging the race, but you’ll never be bored.
On Hannah’s first day, her coworker Joe befriends her and warns her to be quiet: “You don’t want the real GQ writers saying you work here.” But that’s okay, because Hannah is beside herself at all the free goodies and snacks—in fact, she carries an armload into her first meeting. And guess who is playing her GQ editor? Oh, just J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons, looking fierce in her trademark specs. Hannah quickly redeems herself from her snack faux pas, spitting out urban male types like a pro. My fav? The Kaballer: “”He’s a little sleazy. He’s like, out looking for sex. But he’s wearing Kaballah bracelets so you know he’s spiritual. He’d like f*** some serious enlightenment into you.”
Hannah quickly realizes, however, that the line she’s drawing between herself – the “writer writer” and her coworkers – whom she perceives to be corporate shills working for the man – are deeply skewed. In fact, Kevin, (he just hates Hannah’s face, another shrewd way of taking the public Lena Dunham hate and turning it into dialogue) is a poet, Karen published in n + 1 and Joe was in the New Yorker, for Pete’s sake. Yet, countless bags of Sun Chips later, they’re all still writing advertorials for GQ – it’s basically a Faustian bargain, where they’ve traded their souls for beef jerky and a steady paycheck. Hannah’s artistic little soul crumbles at this hard truth, and she promptly quits, then takes it back. Jenna Lyons DOESN’T CARE EITHER WAY, HANNAH. Part of me felt for Hannah here, but c’mon, Adam’s plan to rake it in via selling dream catchers on Etsy is totally lacking…someone’s gotta pay the rent, girl.
So Hannah vows she will write for three hours every night after work, and on weekends. Even though she’s ecstatic at the news that Adam finally landed a call back on his audition, she needs to get to work immediately – but her determination slips into zzzzzzzzz’s and she passes out on the couch. Hannah is gonna have to learn, the hard way, that art is powerful and lovely and feeds the soul, but you can’t fill your belly with it.
Shosh is also feeling a great disconnect: she’s wondering if she made a grave mistake by breaking up with Ray. Because, like, his peers really respect him on the b-ball court, and service magazines are writing about his coffee shop. Plus, her current boyfriend, Parker, has a really hard time finding the library and/or tying his shoes (urban male type: Frat-icus Stupidius, pretty face but a head full of rocks). Still, she tries to make it work with Parker, and the scene in her apartment, where he’s literally grinding away as she tries to delineate their relationship rules (board games!) is just heartbreakingly horrible.
Equally horrible is the sight of Ray and Marnie doing it AGAIN. What is with these two? They are like a beastly Frankenstein’s monster couple, stitched together with self-loathing and desperation. Oh, and pave diamonds. Such a mismatch – Ray and Shosh didn’t fit, either, and yet they sort of did; Shosh’s unwavering optimism comes from an authentic place that lightens some of Ray’s darkness, no? Marnie is all Real Housewives and no substance. There is no way any of this is going to end well.
Lastly, Jessa landed her job at the children’s boutique and is being her usual charming, helpful self. A customer looking for a christening dress eyes the inky black garment Jessa offers: “Aren’t christening dresses usually white?” Jessa: “Not the chic ones.” I mean, she kind of has a point.
Fashion: Obviously, Jenna Lyons kills it – THOSE GLASSES, THAT SLEEK BUN. But Shosh gets an A for effort – her dark sunnies and blue trench were, like, tres chic, perfect for covert spying ops.
Readers – Where is Caroline and her lady garden? Will Hannah sell her soul for Sun Chips? And what are the urban male types in your city?
Photos and video via HBO
Amity writes and teaches in Central PA. Her obsessions include: Rodarte (she can’t afford any Rodarte, mind you, but a girl can dream), espresso, books, vintage/thrift fashion and fountain pens. She thinks you should dress like a weirdo once in a while, just to shake things up.