Like all freshman television shows run by intelligent people, Girls has been working out a few of its kinks (literally and structurally) through the first eight episodes. Some of it’s been incredible (‘The Return‘), but a lot of story lines have struggled to strike the right balance between self-absorption and reflection (I’m looking at you, Marnie). ‘Weirdos Needs Girlfriends Too’ continues to make noticeable strides in the right direction, letting its subtleties and oddities speak for itself – one of the classic signs of a ‘good’ show that’s heading in the direction of one day becoming a great one.
There are still problems with the characterizations of most characters not named Hannah or Adam: for the most part Jessa, Marnie, and the frequently-absent Shoshana are very broad archetypes. Marnie’s the uptight Type-A personality, Jessa’s the free spirit, and Shoshana is the uptight virgin. There hasn’t been a whole lot of nuance to this point, something that didn’t improve even with Shoshana on the sideline for the entire episode.
I do like that Dunham’s always switching up the character pairings, but for a show titled Girls, we really don’t see a whole lot of the girls actually being with each other. For a show about four long-time friends, there’s a lack of connection between the group as a whole. Jessa’s knowledge of Marnie’s personality was a little startling – this being the first time we’ve really seen the two interact on a personal level through four hours of the series. Oddly enough, I didn’t find their make-out session towards the end of the episode as surprising – Marnie’s desperate to feel like a wild, free person, and Jessa’s pretty much up for whatever the plot requires of her, whether its cock-teasing Jeff, or making out with a friend in front of some gross dude.
There’s really no nuance to that story line at all, bringing together the two opposites for some somewhat engaging conversation, and then throwing them in some over-the-top sexual situation where Mr. Business Suit and Fancy Rug starts throwing a shit fit about privileged girls and wanting to be included. Jumpy changes in tone, lame scenes of Marnie making bitchy comments about Facebook pictures… really nothing we’ve seen before, and there’s a lot of time dedicated to it.
‘Weirdos’ is salvaged by the Hannah & Adam’s first episode as a couple, continuing to develop Adam into one of the most interesting male characters on TV (and the most consistently shirtless, though I’ll have to check some horny housewife scorecard for that). We finally get to see his interest in theater mentioned in the pilot – still haven’t seen the boat yet, though – and we see finally get to see him in a three-dimensional context, something that’s slowly been revealed with each episode. Of all the characters on the show, he’s the most layered (interesting how I complained back when it premiered about the lazy writing of males?); he’s not just an aloof, weird douchebag: he’s an endearing guy who’s got real depth and passion for everything in his life, be it creatively and nearly walking out on an important project, or when he’s talking to Marnie and relating to someone else on a personal level.
And to Dunham’s credit, she does it without losing the weird stuff, like the kiddie sexual talk, peeing on her in the shower and thinking it’s funny, or saying “You getting that pussy pounded?” to his sister. She’s beginning to find the balance of annoying, endearing, and reflective, and it’s beginning to pay dividends in the long-term arcs of this first season.
- it’s funny how much these girls like to talk shit about each other behind their backs. Although I suppose men and women are about the same when it comes to this in real life.
- Jessa didn’t dress like a complete douche this week, yay!
- the opening scene was pretty hilarious… but who has 16 unanswered facebook messages? C’mon Marnie.
- Adam Driver is doing some magnificent work on this show, and I hope somebody gives this guy some accolades. Simply fantastic.
what did you think of ‘Weirdos’? Feel free to leave your thoughts/comments below!