GIRLS Recap: “Bad Friend”

     January 27, 2013

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Did anyone count the seconds Shoshanna and Jessa turned up on screen in this episode of Girls?  More than twenty, but less than a full minute, surely.  The problem with any episode that focuses entirely on Hannah is that Hannah is, by far, the least likable of the foursome.  In small doses she can be fine — the cold open was a thing of beauty to anyone who works in, or pays close attention to, media.  Hannah, looking to do some kind of Woody Allen-esque “I just want to talk about how awkward I am” piece, or maybe some kind of long-form old-school journalism is told, “have a threesome with strangers you meet off of Craiglist.  Or go on a cocaine binge.  Just an idea.”  Hit the jump to see how that played out, as well as why you should “look at the doll and describe her!”

girls-season-2-episode-3-bad-friend-lena-dunhamI didn’t actually expect Hannah to follow the advice of her editor in consuming drugs (so flippantly) for an article, but times are tough I guess. If she wanted to know about how sudden drug use affects someone, she should have talked to Shoshanna about her night on crack (because that was an amazing time).  But the biggest surprise (or not) was that most of “Bad Friend” felt forced and almost sitcom-esque, and, overall, too unbalanced.

Where was any other character this week?  What happened to Adam?  Does Hannah feel anything about her break-up with Sandy?  Did neither Jessa nor Shoshanna really deserve any more than the two lines of dialogue they were afforded this week?

I’ve said for the last two weeks that I’ve really enjoyed the inclusion of Elijah this year and his interactions with Hannah, but there can be too much of a good thing.  “Bad Friend” was essentially an extended, slightly more hyper version of the conversation they had setting up their party in the season premiere.  If it was a surprise that cocaine made Hannah and Elijah super flighty and full of bad ideas, self-absorbed, and lead to Hannah walking around all night with her breasts exposed I would say you haven’t been paying attention.  The most shocking thing is that cocaine had absolutely no effect on them at all.  That is just how they are.  (And Sidenote: Hannah’s breasts are becoming like Superman in Seinfeld — they get worked into every episode regardless.  Unlike Superman references in Seinfeld, you can’t miss them).

girls-season-2-episode-3-bad-friendI was extremely disappointed with the reappearance of Booth Jonathan (Jorma Taccone), who I guess is supposed to represent the opposite of all that is Charlie / Marnie’s comfort zone, but he’s just a dick and not a very entertaining one (like, say, Adam).  Though Marnie eviscerates his art (good for her) she later takes it back and declares him a genius for locking her up with disturbing images and making her look at and describe a doll while having what looked like pretty unsatisfying sex (on Marnie’s end).  Satisfying sex is the only reason to declare someone a genius who is full of crap.  Not getting either end of that bargain is an awful shame.

Worse, Hannah barged in and went on an obnoxious diatribe about how Marnie was a bad friend.  Poor Marnie, who had been through a lot that afternoon, resorted to vomiting in Booth’s bathroom while Hannah’s strange neighbor Laird, who was little more than a caricature sketch at best, made Hannah leave.  Hannah having sex with him (or, at least making out) to end things capped off a night of dull proceedings without resolution or interest.  If Hannah makes good on her claim to kick Elijah out as her roommate, the worse for us.  The only one who should be kicked out is Hannah.

The complaints so far this season from viewers that the show has gotten too broad actually felt valid in “Bad Friend,” which didn’t feel like it connected with the first two episodes almost at all.  Was that script a hangover from last season?  Still, I have to always admit that there are moments that are great.  They were just few and far between this time around.

girls-lena-dunham-season-2-episode-3-bad-friendEpisode Rating: C

Musings and Miscellanea:

  • I want to state for the record that $200 an article as the low-side of a freelance payment is completely unrealistic ::stirs ramen::
  • “It’s a Wednesday night and I’m alive!” – Hannah.
  • Seriously, do we have to see Lena Dunham naked every week?  Every week??
  • The less said about Laird the better.
  • I’m surprised Marnie never asked Booth what he was doing at the seedy club.
  • I loved that Booth has AOL.  And as much as I hate Booth’s character in general, I did love the cuts to him doing whatever the hell he was doing while he had Marnie trapped in that TV dungeon.
  • “Look at the doll.  Describe her.  No she’s sad, she’s sad!” – Booth
  • Today I Learned: junkies like to hang out by mailboxes.
  • The joke about the WiFi network names was funny because there have been quite a few articles written recently about how into naming them people are, and how they can be puns (like Madam Ovaries) or responses like “I hear your bass please shut up.”
  • Elijah’s driver’s license picture really cracked me up. Him licking coke from a toilet seat, not so much.
  • Another nice very truthful throwaway line: “they’re brand consultants and iPad DJs.” – Elijah.

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