jason kundrath gets ideas…
One Man’s Thoughts About Girls…
Creepy, right? Welcome to my new Pop-Break column. Each week, I’ll be breaking down the latest episode of HBO’s award-winning hit comedy, offering insight, analysis and amateur psychological evaluations.
Episode two was outstanding, hitting all the notes we’ve come to expect from Dunham and her band of spoiled misfits: High drama! Embarrassing missteps! Questionable behavior! Shorteralls! All that was missing was an uncomfortable sex scene. But “missing” probably isn’t the right word.
Let’s get into it.
HAS HANNAH LOST HER DAMN MIND? YES.
Maybe it’s because she unexpectedly attained the power position in her relationship with Adam (Adam Sackler). Maybe it’s because she purged herself of the only consistent source of reason in her life when she pushed Marnie out of the apartment. Whatever the reason, Hannah really believes that she’s the smart, sexy and fearless talent she’s always wanted to be. And she’s a nightmare. To be clear, it’s great to have a positive attitude and self-image. But here, Hannah has taken it over the line. Way overconfident and clueless as ever.
While we may have been empathetic to her hopes and insecurities before, the new Hannah is simply out of control. No wisdom. No self-awareness. There’s really no telling who’ll be left standing in her path.
She’s so convinced that everything is perfect that she fails to notice a problem when her new boyfriend Sandy still hasn’t read her essay days after she gave it to him. LIkewise, when Sandy admits he has read it (Huh?), and didn’t really like it (GASP!), she says it’s actually a positive thing. Her maddening dialogue with Sandy hits a peak when the topic of race and racism comes up. This bit borders on the absurd, and it’s clear that Dunham can barely keep a straight face delivering the lines. It’s ridiculous, but very funny, further demonstrating Hannah’s unwavering commitment to her own pride. The subsequent break up is a win for Sandy.
But Hannah wouldn’t have even gotten to the truth of that matter without the sage wisdom of Jessa to pull her out of her dreamworld for a minute. Which leads me to my next point…
JESSA AND THOMAS-JOHN? WINNING.
Living it up and loving life, Jessa and TJ are making me a believer. Their love affair was lightning fast, but it seems they made the right choice. For now, at least. And let’s hear it for the basket of puppies! Thomas John is quite a guy. And the fact that he repeatedly called Hannah, “Dana” during their brief but hysterical interaction was a plus. Jess didn’t even correct him! Priceless.
Hannah is still bugged out at her sudden switch from swinging free spirit to housewife. But adulthood is a loooong way off for Ms. Horvath. And Jessa nails it, telling Hannah how she has “a tendency to overthink things.” Unfortunately, she tends to overthink the wrong things and not spend enough time considering big decisions like moving in with Elijah. I think it’s safe to say this was a bad move at this point.
ELIJAH IS OUTED! ..AS A CHILDISH FOOL.
The opening scene between Elijah and George is gripping. Having come clean about his ill-advised, drunken tryst with Marnie, Elijah is clearly hoping to get this off his chest and move on. George, however, is rightly appalled at his infidelity, his brazenness, and his confused sexual identity. Elijah is dumbfounded at his reaction, putting a giant spotlight on his own immaturity. George cannot ignore this and breaks it off. The win goes to George. Elijah is outed in an acutely personal way: as a clueless, selfish child, to his older gay lover. Elijah and Hannah are truly two peas in a pod. Rannells and Morrisette are something to see.
MARNIE IS MAKING IT HAPPEN.
I, for one, love the new Marnie. Admittedly, the incident with Elijah shows extremely poor judgment. But she’s let her hair down (literally and figuratively), and she’s going to make something happen. After that amazing interview scene leaves her dejected, she takes Shoshanna’s advice and finds a “pretty person job” working as a hostess. She’s being realistic. She’s making money, and she’ll have time to pursue her own interests. Win win. Hannah, of course, doesn’t waste a minute judging and alienating her “friend” about her new gig. I see another blowout fight between these two on the horizon.
RAY AND SHOSH: PLEASE STAY IN LOVE.
The scene with Ray and Shosh speaking lovingly to each other in bed is a favorite. Shoshanna is sharing memories from camp in her adorable way, as Ray – unguarded and blissful – listens attentively. Ray – at the crossroads of his own intellectualism and his wide-eyed infatuation with Shoshana – waxes poetically at the imagined emotional complexities involved when one pets a pig. When he talks about “the confluence of those two emotions,” I lost it. In the words of Shosh, “totally amaze.” His deadpan delivery is hysterical, and their relationship could very well serve as pure comedic respite from the misery and awkwardness of the rest of the crew.
ADAM SACKLER: VICTIM OR POTENTIAL ASSAILANT?
This one is complicated. I really feel bad for Adam. I do. Hannah forced her way into his life, their relationship bloomed, and at the precise moment he realizes his true feelings for her, she rejects him. Terrible. And while I might have thought her fear of Adam was overstated, the final scene of the episode demonstrates her fear is somewhat justified. He essential tells her he will not respect her call to end the relationship. Yikes. But as creepy as it was for him to drop in on her in the middle of the night, you can see in his eyes how elated he is to be in the same room as her. It’s sad. She created this monster.
But I had a revelation: Hannah cannot go back to Adam because he actually knows her too well. He knows her past. He knows about her deep seeded insecurities. This is not going to work for the new Hannah.
After her fearful call to 911 results in Adam’s arrest, she is faced with the consequence of her actions. And we’re hopeful – if only for a moment – that she might take a little responsibility in the situation. But I think she was more relieved to get him out of her building.
See you next week.