Already the critics who lauded the first season of Girls for being the defining series of the Millennial generation (funny how none of those critics actually are Millennials, hmm) started to turn their backs on the series last week, saying that the broader humor wasn’t better. I disagree, and “I Get Ideas” is a great example of how more standard humorous exchanges, with beats for jokes and speedily-delivered one-liners that may not reflect the cadence at which people speak in real life, is still representative of the situation’s reality while still being enjoyable to watch. Now that the characters (except for Marnie) aren’t spending all of their time complaining about not having money, they’re just having conversations. With that as the core, the dialogue has really elevated into its own art, and “I Get Ideas” had an incredible amount of great quotes (such as anything/everything Jessa and Shoshanna say). Hit the jump for more on why “I’m not, personally, attracted to you, but that’s only because I know you.”
I want to address the Hannah-Sandy relationship first because it was interesting for those who knew about the complaints Lena Dunham received during after the first season of the show regarding how white-washed it was. I remember forums filling up with people saying “seriously? not even one person of color in the entire show ever at all? How can New York City be so white?!” It was a valid criticism, and while Dunham kept saying she didn’t see color, it felt a little questionable.
Hannah’s relationship with Sandy seems to have served two purposes – one, to show that Hannah is not over Adam (she was looking for Sandy to be a distraction, but also was always looking for a way out), and two, to allow a short dialogue on race that felt uncomfortable, but with Sandy rightfully coming out on top. Is it reading too much into it that Hannah’s words are part of Lena’s original argument about how she never even thought about color? Or is she making fun of the whole dialogue itself? And should she? Regardless, Hannah sounded exactly like you would expect her to about things, and while I hope that’s not the last we’ve seen of Donald Glover, his character certainly deserves much, much better.
Which brings us to Hannah and Adam. Their relationship is completely insane, but it feels, in its craziness, somehow truthful. A lot of it can be slapstick, from Adam’s album to her to him jumping out in the dark, but him being arrested in the end felt a lot like a plot from Curb Your Enthusiasm. It took something innocent (“I just wanted him to stop texting me!”) and took it as far as it could go into the absurd. Hannah calling out after Adam, “but seriously tell me where you’re going, I might come later?” was so typically Hannah but also hilarious in its own right.
As for the other girls, Jessa and Shoshanna have typically been little more than joke fodder, and they didn’t develop much beyond that in “I Get Ideas.” Still, they somehow are actually two of the most realistically familiar characters on the show, though again taken to the extreme. Both of them are currently in obnoxious, nauseating relationships for onlookers, and Jessa being so involved in her own world that being gifted puppies (who she names Garbage, Pucker and Hanukkah on a whim) and going to the public park with her shirt open was not even commented upon. She stirs up shit for Hannah in her relationship with Sandy, and again categorizes herself as “that friend” who gives bad advice without thinking, planting seeds of discord under the guise of “but I care so much about you.”
Shoshanna on the other hand is one of the biggest reasons I stuck with the show through the first season. She is fantastic. And while her relationship with Ray probably won’t last for too much longer for drama reasons, I absolutely loved their conversation in bed about bathing a baby pig. Laugh all you want, but you know you’ve had similarly dew-eyed ridiculous conversations like that as pillow talk before.
Marnie, so in control in the first season, is adrift now, but it’s a good thing. Seeing her outside of her comfort zone and facing truths like she’s not “model pretty,” but that currently her only asset may be her looks, is pretty unfortunate. Of all of them, Marnie’s story may be the most depressing at the moment, because while Hannah is always busy creating motion around her, Marnie feels stuck. It makes her more likable and interesting though (and she’s getting almost naked and wearing hotpants!), so who can complain?
Overall, a strong second episode that some may find broad or pandering, but I say, it’s actually some of the best stuff the series as done.
Episode Rating: A-
Musings and Miscellanea:
— What the hell was Hannah wearing when she was watching Adam’s video with Elijah? A sleeping bag with a hood? I like that he called her a glow worm.
— The Republican part of Sandy’s character felt pretty forced, but I still like what they did with it. “You don’t need two Republicans to make a Republican.”
— Hannah “All kinds of men love me. Black men, Republicans, et. al!” Marnie: “Really Hannah? ‘Et al’?”
— “Read a newspaper. Just one newspaper.” – Jessa
— “Thomas-John looks at my paints the moment I show them to him.” – Jessa. I loved Hannah’s reaction to that began as “where do I start?” and then just left it.
— Hannah being super sensitive about her work is a surprise to no one, ever.
— “She’s bad at living.” – Marnie
— For the record, the woman Marnie was interviewing with was played by Laurie Simmons, famous artist and Lena Dunham’s mom.
— “You look like a slutty Von Trapp child” – Elijah
— Hannah hitting Adam and telling him to go away was one of the most genuinely emotional moments so far of the entire series.
— Line of the night: “You’re saying he didn’t love me enough to murder me?”