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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Girls, Season 2, Episode 2: Even More Awkward Than Usual

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM

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Episode 2 of Season 2 of Girls opens with Elijah confessing to his boyfriend George that he had sex with Marnie last week (for "three pumps ... like, two and a half pumps ... thrusts, whatever!") and subsequently getting dumped. It's awkward. Meanwhile, Hannah does awkward aerobics next door while listening in. Shortly afterwards, Shoshanna tells a perma-grinning Ray stories about "camp" while they're horizontal and in bed. What does this all mean? It means that Girls -- renowned for being monumentally awkward -- has actually just upped the awkward level. Yes!

See Also: Girls Season 2 Arrives, Flawed but Still Fabulous

It's also upped the Jessa level from last week (thank God). She's now home from her honeymoon with her new husband Thomas John (who she's known for 10 minutes), showing off new matching tattoos that she got with him, and dealing with three new puppies he bought for her. "This is what it's like when the hunt is over," she notes, making Hannah feel bad about herself by accident.

But yes, Jessa aside, Girls fully embraced the awkward and ran absurdly fast with it. 99 percent of the interactions on the show were uncomfortable, from Ray telling Marnie: "I'm personally not attracted to you at all ... because I know you" to Thomas John telling Hannah: "I always am impressed by what you do with, you know, what you got."

It seemed like things couldn't get more monumentally cringe-worthy than Elijah baiting Hannah's new boy toy, Sandy, about being a Republican ("I don't know how you feel about being in such a tight space with a queer"), but then Hannah -- on finding out that Sandy didn't like one of her essays ("Ultimately, it just felt like waiting in line and all the nonsense that goes through your brain when you try to kill time) -- breaks up with him and it becomes infinitely worse.

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After questioning Sandy's beliefs on gay marriage, Hannah goes on to state: "I also would love to know how you feel about how the fact that two out of three people on death row are black." Sandy responds: "This always happens ... Aw! I'm a white girl and I moved to New York and I'm having a great time and ... Aw! I got a fixed gear bike and I'm gonna date a black guy and we're gonna go to a dangerous part of town ... I know this."

This is particularly uncomfortable for the viewer, knowing that Girls was widely criticized after Season 1 for not featuring any non-white characters. In this mortifying exchange with her new, black fictional boyfriend, Lena Dunham is facing her critics head on and rubbing their faces in everything that has been leveled at her, in a very public way. "I don't live in a world where there are divisions like that!" Hannah proclaims unconvincingly, mid-break up. We're not sure this resolves the criticism leveled at Dunham's show, but we admire her ballsiness in trying to combat it in the most blatant way possible.
 
The show finishes with Adam getting arrested at Hannah's apartment after she sends a 911 alert when he comes into her apartment uninvited. As he's hauled away, she crouches on her stairs whining "I'm so sorry! Do you guys just wanna tell me where you're going? I might come later!" Annoying, right?

So, Hannah remains a terrible person surrounded by terrible people. But, truthfully, we are as in love with this show as ever. The bottom line is, Girls is extraordinarily relatable, and while it's vastly and consistently uncomfortable, we are in love with how real it is. Human beings are horribly flawed -- especially young human beings in the midst of trying to figure out what to do with their lives. It's impossible to be sad about seeing that presented on television.

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Best Quotes of the Show:

"I always said he was murder-y in a sexy way, but what if he's murder-y in like, a murder way?" -- Hannah, about her ex, Adam

"She's not good at, uh, living." -- Marnie, mid-job interview, about a previous employer.

"You look like a slutty Von Trapp child." -- Elijah to Marnie about her new hostess job uniform.

"I have always marched to the beat of my own drummer ever since I cut my camp shirt into a halter top." -- Hannah

"You were with George for a really long time and he's still on Hotmail, so ... " -- Hannah to Elijah

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