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June 18, 2012

Comments

As I'm waiting expectantly for the show to start, I have an observation about the length of the season. Yes, the season's only ten episodes long, and the new season won't start until next April, but consider what broadcast and regular cable networks do: have much longer seasons, but seasons that consist of lame-ass reality shows, racist crime dramas and pathetic Doofus Dad comedies, with everything heavily censored. All in all I'll take HBO's approach.

God damn!!! I never saw that coming in a million years!

Short ep summary:

1) Jessa gets married out of spite and because she was scared into near introspection last episode and she'll clearly do anything to avoid that
2) Confirmed that Hannah only wanted Adam because she couldn't have him
3) Marnie's ex-bf is a giant pussy

No detailed synopsis, just some observations:

- Jessa's surprise marriage to Thomas the venture capitalist was shocking, given the way she had acted toward him when she was in his apartment with Marnie ... or was it? Jessa has certainly been wild and unpredictable.

- Speaking of Marnie, it's almost as if moving away from Hannah transformed her into a far less uptight and much more pleasant person. Even her choice of a cleavage-revealing dress for the party was very different from the way she had acted in the past.

- It was quite surprising to see Shoshanna acting dead serious. Now that she's finally lost her virginity, thanks to Ray, her whole manner might change, I guess we'll see next season.

- Another thing we'll have to wait and see is whether Adam's anger toward Hannah will subside. He's clearly disgusted with her, almost as disgusted as Hannah is with herself.

- I'm finding Hannah more and more annoying.

- In a *huge* disappointment, I thought I saw a glimpse of Shoshanna's "nipular region" when Ray was nailing her. But it was just a dark bedsheet. Damn.

It's a typical chick show now. I will not be tuning in for the next season.

I can't comment on the latest Girls episode as I am a hetero American Irish-Catholic and watched the US Open .... just like most other real men in our country.

Hugely disappointing season finale, easily the worst episode of the season. Over the last few episodes, the comedic elements of the show have largely been replaced with melodrama with tonight being the completion. You can have a show of unlikable characters when you're laughing at the their stupidity and vanity (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) but when it's mostly drama it becomes very tedious to watch.

I kept waiting and hoping that the wedding was either a practical joke or a dream sequence. How is that none of themselves bothered to stop the wedding and even after, they were too caught up in their own drama to realize that their friend just made a horrific mistake. Lastly, I was pretty creeped out by Marnie making out with that fat, effeminate schlub.

I'll probably be back for next season, but not if they don't turn it around fast.

"Jessa's surprise marriage to Thomas the venture capitalist was shocking,"

He's going to regret that decision.

pat:

"as I am a hetero American Irish-Catholic and watched the US Open .... just like most other real men in our country. "

If you were playing golf would they watch and cheer for you?

Lena Dunham seems totally uninterested in Alpha males as characters on this show. One of the subtexts of this whole season has been a study in beta-ness.

Did anyone notice how many Blacks were at the wedding? I saw 6. I wonder if this episode was filmed after all the whining about the lack of diversity so they added some more NAMs. Interestingly, I saw only one Asian.

The fact that Marnie kissed and apparently slept with that ultra beta wedding officiator seems unrealistic.

She was drunk and lonely, but I think at a wedding someone else would have swooped in before the fatass had a chance.

Let me begin by saying this was easily the worst episode of Girls thus far and I'm really disappointed with Lena Dunham.

The episode begins with Marnie moving out of Hannah's apartment and moving in with Shoshanna. She tells Shoshanna that she will begin to look for a place the next day but Shoshanna insists that she stay with her forever. This was a very weird scene. Marnie seemed uncomfortable and Shoshanna was speaking very rapidly about inane stuff. Hannah now has to find a roomate and Adam tells her that he'll move in. Hannah doesn't know how she feels about this.

Most of the characters we have seen thus far get invited to Jessa's mystery party on Facebook. The mystery party turns out to be Jessa's wedding. She is getting married to that super beta venture capitalist, Thomas. I found him very annoying in this episode. I hope they get divorced real soon because I find his character to be awful, almost as bad as his super annoying Seth Rogen look-a-like friend who acts as a minister at the wedding. Oh, the wedding is very prole and hipsterish if such a thing was possible. It seems to be a buffet, there are barely any decorations and everyone is wearing their normal bar/club clothes. The only thing Jessa had on was some very cheap looking veil. After Jessa and Thomas get married they all dance ironically to a vile rap song called Yankin' by Lady. This was obviously Thomas's choice because he likes bad music and he has prole tastes.

Since most of the characters appear in this episode this gives the writers a chance to show how the characters have progressed since we last saw them. Here's a brief recap:

Shoshanna: Very jealous that Jessa was getting married and didn't tell her. Hates that she's still a virgin. Sleeps with Ray.

Ray: Admits to Shoshanna that he thinks that she's very weird but that he couldn't stop thinking about her since they met at Bushwick.

Marnie: She gets drunk at the wedding and flirts with Charlie. He flirts back and they talk about having sex in the bathroom. Charlie pusses out and says he was joking. At the end of the party, Marnie makes out with the super-beta Seth Rogen.

Charlie: He's still with his new girlfriend but she's away to blog about something. He clearly still has feelings for Marnie and when he sees her making out with Seth Rogen, he's crushed.

Elijah: Hannah's gay ex-boyfriend is back. He's no longer with his boyfriend Beau and he's now with an older gay sugar daddy who has a homophobic son. He acts catty towards Marnie but he's warm to Hannah. He admits that he gave Hannah HPV.

Jessa: She tells an unbelievable story about how she fell for Thomas and it's pretty clear that she married him for his money. She wants a good life without drama so she married a rich beta provider.

Adam: He's weird at the wedding. Adam gets teary eyed during the wedding and he tells Hannah that he loves her. This leads to an argument with Hannah and he gets hit by a car and gets taken to a hospital and he forbids Hannah from entering the ambulance.

Hannah: She gets Elijah to be her roomate and she doesn't like how Adam is getting so close to her. It scares her and they have an argument. She takes the subway home but falls asleep and misses her stop. She walks to the beach and eats her leftover wedding cake.

This episode had too many characters in it and despite this being Jessa's big day, she has about as much character development as Ray. The characters that are not connected to Hannah only get a hint of character development. Jessa's marriage doesn't make sense and she will clearly divorce Thomas and I don't think this is what Catherine had in mind when she told Jessa to get her life in order. Hannah doesn't want Adam anymore like I predicted earlier because the mystery and emotional abuse are now completely gone. There was no social commentary and barely any comedy in this episode. This episode was poorly thought out, rushed, and very predictable with the exception of Jessa marrying Thomas.

Another thing: The scene when she first gets off the train after having slept through the night. I'm pretty sure that was the 18th Avenue stop on the F. It actually makes a lot of sense that she would ask the Puerto Ricans on the roof where she was, even though she could just read the stations signage. A hipster-ish transplant newcomer living in Williamsburg/Greenpoint probably won't be that familiar with any part of Brooklyn south of Prospect Park. It's like a whole different city to them.

I am not sure that Hannah is no longer interested in Adam. It is just that she doesn't really want to commit to him and doesn't know what she wants out of a relationship.

We could break down and analyze what all the characters were doing in this episode but at the end of the day we know that there was one real theme of this episode and all episodes of this show: The girl on "Girls" are a bunch of boring, selfish and vapid whores.

The only characters on the show who are interesting or likable are Ray, Charlie and Adam. The girls are all useless.

You have to remember that these girls are young though and in this episode for the first time we saw a little bit of growth in all the female characters. If season 1 was all about how young, middle class, white women in contemporary America are a bunch of worthless whores, season 2 will be about them growing into marginally less worthless whores.

Best show on TV.

The problem with soap operas is that the plots become stupid very quickly.

I guess everyone has forgotten the show from a few years ago "Ugly Betty." The show started out making fun of telenovellas while making commentary on class, race, and entitlement.

However, it is hard to make a weekly show out of that so the plots went insane very quickly.

Maybe Halfsimga should blog the Dallas reboot if he wants to write about soap operas. At least people outside of NYC are watching Dallas.

I'm hoping that next season has more socioeconomic commentary and less emotion-driven melodrama.

I saw every episode this season and the show got worse as it went along. Lots of over acting and ridiculous scenarios.

Plus, next season they will be adding "diversity," which will not mean Asians, Arabs or Hispanics.

It will mean black best friends with a heart o' gold, genius black artists, doctors or lawyers who patiently reject the advances of the forward white ladies and lessons about the "racism" that put-upon blacks in NYC have to deal with (you know, all those white-on-black flash mobs, robberies, rapes and the like).

"If season 1 was all about how young, middle class, white women in contemporary America are a bunch of worthless whores, season 2 will be about them growing into marginally less worthless whores.

Best show on TV."

Posted by: Otis the Sweaty
-------------------------------------

I haven't seen the show but this comment you posted seems to be the reason right wing White guys on these types of sites like this show.

It reinforces their emotionally biased POV that White women are just pretty awful and the fact that a White woman wrote it all makes it even better.

There is quite a bit of irrational, sexually frustrated hate from the online insecure White guy "community" towards White women.

I'd like to see an interview where Dunham can respond to that.

tiny:

"Jessa's marriage doesn't make sense and she will clearly divorce Thomas and I don't think this is what Catherine had in mind when she told Jessa to get her life in order."

If the show is internally consistent with the characterization so far there's no way she's getting divorced (at least not any time soon).

Jessa will quickly get used to being married to a rich guy. She's flighty and superficial and pretty much everything she does is a pose. Now that she has money she'll adopt a different pose.

"...there was one real theme of this episode and all episodes of this show: The girl on "Girls" are a bunch of boring, selfish and vapid whores.

The only characters on the show who are interesting or likable are Ray, Charlie and Adam. The girls are all useless."

I actually think that Shoshanna is part of the message of the show. She's just as disgusted by the rest of the characters as the audience is and is likable but shallow. Her only major flaw is that she's naive and has based her outlook on shows like Sex and the City (her constant references to that show aren't an accident).

She's horrified by the events of this episode - at one point she says something like "all of my friends are whores". She's outraged at the whole surprise wedding concept but doesn't have the vocabulary to express it. When she laments that she wore white to someone's wedding because it was impossible to know it was a wedding she's expressing the sentiment that social traditions exist to protect people from embarrassing behavior and make it easier for everyone to get along (Steve Sailer often writes about how current comedies often have weddings precisely because they are one of the only remaining events in life where tradition is important). Shoshanna is the real point of the show. The rest of the women are horrible people who have been given free reign to be horrible but Shoshanna is a pretty nice girl who has been socially pressured to act like a horrible person (and doesn't even do that badly given that). Shoshanna being the most average of the group in pretty much all ways - looks (she's average), intelligence (she's average), force of personality (she's a meek follower) lends credence to the point that her portrayal as a badly led follower is intentional. Two episodes ago she literally smoked crack because she believed everyone in her extended social circle is trustworthy.

Rifleman:

"There is quite a bit of irrational, sexually frustrated hate from the online insecure White guy "community" towards White women."

Try again buddy. That women today are horrible people isn't some off the wall perception that guys who never get laid have. In fact, the more you get laid the easier it is to see how horrible women today are.

Traditions exist for a reason and the 200 year experiment in letting women do whatever the hell they want because they're perfect angels has led us here. Women aren't perfect angels and traditions existed to keep their destructive nature in check. The destructive nature of men was put in check by a much simpler method - mass application of the hangman's noose over a few thousand years of civilization (note the anti-social behavior of the men of those races that lack a long history of non-nomadic civilization). Men have been bred to be less socially destructive. Women are too individually valuable (wombs are the limiting factor in producing another generation) to execute so they had to be constrained by society. Today, we've eliminated almost all restraints on women. Pretending the results are anything other than ugly is wishful thinking.

Whores is a value judgment Rifleman. Most Right Wing Beta males ... ah excuse me ... most White Beta Males (there, fixed it) know they got the shaft in total sexual liberation. They got screwed and know it. Alphas get all the sex they want, beta males get the dregs.

Meanwhile White Urban and Professional women are ground zero for things White guys hate: Oprah, "the Help" (movie and book), PC, "Diversity," Magical Black people, surrender of the West, etc.

You can't force people to invest emotionally in one another, screw over a couple of generations of White Beta males and they massively won't care one way or another about the girls on "Girls."

Its not that the women are "pretty awful." It is that even according to someone like Lena Dunham, there is no there there. Would YOU marry any of these characters?

If you don't like White guys attitudes, you better get them invested. Shaming language in today's America, idolizing the Kardashians and their sextapes, is state of the art circa 1955. Getting White guys invested means they have a decent shot at a nice girl with looks/age rough parity and not many partners. That's not rocket science. But no one is going to care about Sex and the City Juniors.

I don't get a lot of the comments here about this show. The primary purpose of a TV show is to entertain, and, IMO, Girls does that. Apparently, that's not just my opinion, as HBO wouldn't have renewed it for a second season if people weren't watching it. It's a comedy/drama with indie sensibilities. I enjoyed (to varying degrees) watching all nine of the episodes I watched this year (missed the first one).

One of the things I like about the show it's its unpredictability. That seems to be what a number of commenters here don't like: they want its story lines to confirm their views about women, hipsters, or whatever. Why should it?

"Shoshanna being the most average of the group in pretty much all ways - looks (she's average), intelligence (she's average), force of personality (she's a meek follower) lends credence to the point that her portrayal as a badly led follower is intentional."

Shoshanna is far from "average" in looks. I'd say that she is much hotter than Hannah and somewhat hotter than Jessa. Only Marnie is clearly ahead of her in the hottness category. As for intelligence, Shoshanna is supposed to be a student at NYU. People of average intelligence do not attend NYU.

"If the show is internally consistent with the characterization so far there's no way she's getting divorced (at least not any time soon).

Jessa will quickly get used to being married to a rich guy. She's flighty and superficial and pretty much everything she does is a pose. Now that she has money she'll adopt a different pose."

Thomas is not a strong character like Adam, Charlie, Ray, or even Elijah. His entire personality is that he's a whiny beta that likes bad music. Charlie is also a beta but there is so much more to him. I don't see Lena Dunham keeping Thomas around for too long because there isn't much she can do with him storywise. Thomas will either be killed off or he'll get divorced from Jessa.

"Would YOU marry any of these characters?"

I would marry Marnie. It would be a challenge but she's much more stable when she's with a man than when she's single. Hannah is a broken individual and not marriage material even if she were pretty. Jessa is too flighty and unfit to be a wife or mother. Shoshanna is too immature. Maybe in 5 years Shoshanna would be marriage material if she hasn't become a giant slut by then.

' That seems to be what a number of commenters here don't like: they want its story lines to confirm their views about women, hipsters, or whatever. Why should it?'

No. That's not why. The show was hyped as an insightful commentary on this generation of women. The season, even I can admit, started off pretty insightfully. However, the unpredictability of the show has completely shredded up its credibility. So, without credibility, a show can't be insightful about anything because no one will take it seriously.

So yes, it's entertaining, but a lot of people were hoping this could be more than just entertaining. Take a show like 'Game of Thrones.' Game of Thrones has a lot of interesting observations about human nature, and Game of Thrones is also unpredictable. However, the key difference is that most of the things in Game of Thrones make perfect internal sense. You don't get that in 'Girls.'

I chalk it up to Lena's inexperience. She's done very well, considering where she is in her career.

"One of the things I like about the show it's its unpredictability. That seems to be what a number of commenters here don't like: they want its story lines to confirm their views about women, hipsters, or whatever. Why should it?"

I like the show. However, the season finale was awful. The show is pretty predictable. Who didn't see Shoshanna eventually sleeping with Ray? Or Hannah having a major meltdown when her relationship with Adam started to get serious? Jess is the most unpredictable character. When she refused to sleep with Jeff, that was unlike her but it made sense because she was at a point where she was reevaluating her life choices. But when she decided to marry Thomas it made no sense. Her speech at the wedding was about as believable as Hannah's story about her internet boyfriend killing himself.

"Shoshanna being the most average of the group in pretty much all ways - looks (she's average), intelligence (she's average), force of personality (she's a meek follower) lends credence to the point that her portrayal as a badly led follower is intentional."

The way she dresses makes her look less attractive than she really is. She has a smoking body and a pretty but not gorgeous face. She is a follower but it has more to do with her age than her personality. She's the youngest of the girls and still in school whereas the rest of them have finished school and are looking for full-time work. As she gets older she'll become more assertive and less naive. Hannah is fairly smart on the show but Shoshanna is smarter. Shoshanna goes to NYU while Hannah (and Lena) went to Oberlin. Shoshanna is portrayed as having little life experience and I doubt she had many important experiences that are worth mentioning on a CV so I think she got into NYU on merit alone.

I saw the first four episodes and then skipped to the finale. I liked the first four but the finale was totally ridiculous. I only imagine it will get worse when they add a magic negro in season 2.

The only genuinely good thing about the show was Adam. I though the actor did a good job playing him.

Hanna looked better this episode, and took some effort to gussy herself up for the party (wedding). Shoshanna loses her virginity. Marnie loosens up a bit at the wedding. Everyone grows up a bit, though not all that growth is positive. For Marnie and Shoshanna I'd say it was to a small extent. Shoshanna is naive but isn't messed up like Hanna and Jessa and could be quite a catch once she moves from girl to woman (although gentiles probably need not apply).

The wedding was a bit of a surprise, but not as much as some feel in the comments here, in my opinion. Jessa is a train wreck.

She snaps at Shoshanna when discussing 'The Ladies' at the mere suggestion women shouldn't be promiscuous, overreacting to the point where it is clear she harbors guilt about this. She sleeps with her ex-boyfriend (who's scooter she destroyed for no good reason)because she found out he was in a new relationship, not wanting to get back together with him, just doing so to complicate things for him for the crime of moving on. She hangs out with the father of the family that she babysat for at a warehouse party when it was clear there was sexual tension between the two and it was inappropriate on two levels (he being married and also her employer). She smoked pot with said employer. She loses the two children she's supposed to be watching at a public park. She throws a bottle of wine from a balcony and taunts the partygoers that the bottle nearly hits (resulting in her employer getting beat up in response).

That she'd rush into a marriage with a passive aggressive venture capitalist with poor taste in music during an identity crisis (well, one of the peaks during her seemingly unending identity crisis) doesn't seem out of character.

Maybe Hannah will take up and realize that her time in NYC was a dream and she finds herself back in Michigan.

Or maybe Harrah's parents will tell her that she has a twin sister who was sold to gypsies.

Or maybe someone will shot Hannah and everyone will wonder who did it.

***and then she’s going to cheat on him, and then if this were real life she’d find the best divorce lawyer she can and try to get as much money out of him as possible.***

I was going to say, if they aim to continue the "social science realism" angle then the next logical step in the plot is for the marriage to break down because of his betatude.

I also keep wondering: how is a character named "Shoshanna" not black?

[HS: Shoshanna is the Hebrew version of Susannah, and it's a common name amongst hardcore Jews. Dunham picked that name for the character so she'd be unmistakably Jewish.

Obviously, you don't know very many Jews.]

"This is the first episode in which there was a scene filmed on a subway."

Which turned out to be a blooper. It's fully dark out when Adam angrily rebuffs Hannah as he's taken off in the ambulance. Next, we see her boarding a Stillwell Avenue-bound F train at York Street. She presumably was heading to Bergen Street to connect with the G to Greenport. She falls asleep on the train, to wake up as it's sitting in the Stillwell Avenue terminal. By this time it's getting light out, obviously some time after dawn.
Assuming that Hannah boarded the F shortly after the scene with Adam - a likely outcome, as York Street is not the sort of 'hood where she'd want to wander alone - at least a couple of hours must have elapsed by the time she wakes up at Stillwell, given the transition from fully dark night to early morning. The thing is, the F's running time from York to Stillwell is only about 40 minutes. Once at Stillwell, the train wouldn't remain at the platform for more than maybe 10 to 15 minutes, tops. It would either have gone out on another run, or it would have gone out of service and headed to the yards. In the latter case the conductor would have walked through the train and shooed out any remaining passengers.

"Shoshanna is the Hebrew version of Susannah, and it's a common name amongst hardcore Jews. Dunham picked that name for the character so she'd be unmistakably Jewish."

Yet she also made Marnie's character ambiguously Jewish. Michaels is often a Jewish surname, but not always so. Jessa is also hard to place. She's Shoshanna's cousin, but has the common, non-Jewish Scandinavian surname Johansson. Adam (Sackler) is clearly meant to be Jewish, and Ray seems very Jewish even though as far as I recall his last name has never been mentioned.

Every episode has a theme in which several characters go through a similar type of experience. In this episode they all moved on to a new stage in their lives. Jessa went from flighty to married, Hannah went from needy to independent, and Shoshanna lost her virginity. Marnie's moving out of the apartment and rejecting Charlie's proposition may be a sign of personal growth. They may fall back into old habits. But this episode held out the promise of personal growth. Adam as much spelled it out when he told Hannah not to ever feel guilty when Marnie left because its about finding out who they were meant to be.

"Obviously, you don't know very many Jews."

Bear in mind that probably the most famous "Shoshana" in recent years was a black woman, the POW Shoshana Johnson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshana_Johnson

I think her mother worked in a Jewish hospital or something, which is where she heard the name.

***Dunham picked that name for the character so she'd be unmistakably Jewish.***

Oh, I see, lol... goes to show I'm not the target audience for this show, eh?

***Obviously, you don't know very many Jews.***

Yep, I don't know any whatsoever. Jews and "Jewish culture" are as foreign to me as bone-through-the-nose Africans.

Why do you write these Tv Guide-like synopses of each episode, HS? A straight, right-of-center male in his mid 40s shouldn't be watching this junk. You seem to be taken in by the "SWPLness" of the show. Your neck of the woods is crawling with these repugnant people; why you'd want to watch a dramatization of them when you're home is beyond me.

***"This is the first episode in which there was a scene filmed on a subway."

Which turned out to be a blooper. --***

There's a difference a difference between "bloopers" and artistic license.

I think the scene may have been a tribute to the movie The Warriors, where the protagonists arrive at Cony Island at dawn.

destructure -

"Marnie's moving out of the apartment and rejecting Charlie's proposition may be a sign of personal growth. "

I think you're missing what was going on here.

Marnie didn't reject Charlie's proposal - she expressed some slight resistance. If Charlie just looked her dead in the eye and said "nope" when she said "you're joking, right?" she would have gone with him.

The fact that later she ends up sleeping with the dorky MC of the event highlights just how badly she needed to have sex with someone at that point and how badly she wanted to let go of being uptight. She resisted Charlie because with him her self-image constrained her - it's hard to break out of a role that you've established for yourself with other people. Her mental role with Charlie is that he pushes her for sex and she resists. If Charlie had any balls whatsoever he would have easily blown through that resistance. She was begging for someone to do just that.

Why? Because her self image and self esteem were in the toilet because Jessa got married - and married to a guy that she was interested in to top it off! She feels horrible that a guy who was clearly interested in her and in whom Jessa had no interest in got married to Jessa. It's one of the themes of the show - women all measure themselves based on their ability to attract men for commitment combined with another trait of modern women - they'll use sex as validation. She made it easier for Jonah Hill MC guy because (a) she was more desperate at that point (b) she was more drunk at that point (they make a point of cutting to her drinking through the episode) and (c) she didn't know him so she doesn't have anything invested in his previous image of her.

Overall, it's excellent writing and very true to life. Of course, it's a comedy so the guy she ends up with is there to further humiliate the character by being a fat dorky loser (I think he's meant to be more omega than beta). Why? Humiliation is funny. In reality some guy would notice that there's an extremely attractive unattached woman drinking heavily at a wedding. That guy would be adept at sensing signals either innately or from long experience with women. In other words, she'd likely wind up with a player of some kind. That's less funny which is why it didn't happen. The little sting at Charlie at the end where he sees them making out would be less funny. The way it was written the reaction from the audience is meant to be: "Ha! You lost to a huge loser because you're a giant pussy!". vs her hooking up with some player: "Oh, that poor guy lost his true love to some bad bad man who stole his girl!"

The consistent portrayal of self image as the most important thing in the girls' lives is also why I disagree with the HS take that Jessa will divorce and cheat on the finance schlub. She'll love showing off that she's married and she'll love showing off that she's married to a rich guy. Later she'll have kids with him and she'll get them into expensive pre-schools and show off to her friends that she has kids and they don't. Her self image will go from "I'm better than those girls because I'm free-er and more sophisticated" to "I'm better than those girls because I have a rich husband and children who are living the good life". It's easier to see this if you view her prior bohemian lifestyle as a pose purely adopted to one-up the other women in her life (and wow is there plenty of evidence that she lives purely to make an impression on other people).

As to the earlier discussion about Shoshanna being the most average of the girls I think that's pretty clearly what's intended. She's above the American average in pretty much every respect but she's still average when it comes to New York life. She studied hard in high school and went to NYU. She followed the rules - study in school, do all the assignments, be pleasantly obsequious to all the teachers, fill in the right extra-curriculars, etc. She didn't do that to the obssessive extent needed to go to a better school. She went to mediocre city university. Why? Because she watched S&tC a lot and wanted to live an exciting New York life, just like she was told she should. If you live in New York, you'll also be able to recognize her looks as average. She's not amazingly gorgeous like Marnie is or even as pretty as Jessa. If you go into a bar in NYC you'll see women who are far better looking than most actresses every single day. Hollywood obviously draws good looking women and puts them on display but NYC has whole industries that will offer jobs to women as office candy. In comparison with women like that, she's average. She does have a fantastic body. Uh, every girl who's 20 or so does unless she's fat. The average 20 year old female (unless she's been grossly disfigured by cupcakes or burn scars) is amazingly attractive to men. Shoshanna having a nice body isn't something really out of the ordinary.

***Why do you write these Tv Guide-like synopses of each episode, HS? A straight, right-of-center male in his mid 40s shouldn't be watching this junk. You seem to be taken in by the "SWPLness" of the show. Your neck of the woods is crawling with these repugnant people; why you'd want to watch a dramatization of them when you're home is beyond me.***

I'm a 20 something right winger. I live in DC, not New York, but I went to a DC private school to lower tier ivy league college. I can definitely recognize the girls portrayed on the show as people I know. It is natural to enjoy well acted dramatization of people who you can relate to (though not necessarily like).

I have a possible explanation to the apparent subway blooper. My original assumption was that Hannah boarded a Stillwell Avenue-bound F train at York Street, with the intention of transferring to a G train for Greenpoint at Bergen Street. It is possible, however, that she actually boarded a Manhattan-bound F at York Street, intending to take it to 14th Street and change for the L. This would be a longer routing and would require two changes (F-->L at 14th/6th, L-->G at Lorimer/Metropolitan). Being that she was riding alone very late at night, however, she might well have thought that taking this route would be safer. Not only would be it more familiar to her, but she would avoid the dubious areas that the G traverses on its way from Bergen to Metropolitan. Chances are good that Lena Dunham has made time-vs.-familiarity/safety tradeoffs of this sort in her own subway riding.

Anyway, if Hannah conked off on the F train on its way to 14th Street she might have ended up going all the way to the 179th Street terminal in Queens, which is a very long ride. Once at 179th the F might have turned around* and returned to Stillwell. If that were the case, the conductor wouldn't have woken Hannah and made her get off because the train would remain in revenue service. By the time the train returned to Stillwell and Hannah awoke, enough time would have elapsed for it to be light out.

* = not literally. The train operator exits the cab at one end of the train and walks to the cab at the other end.

"She [Shoshanna] studied hard in high school and went to NYU. She followed the rules - study in school, do all the assignments, be pleasantly obsequious to all the teachers, fill in the right extra-curriculars, etc. She didn't do that to the obssessive extent needed to go to a better school. She went to [a] mediocre city university."

???
NYU is not part of the (admittedly mediocre) CUNY system. It's a very highly ranked private university, just one tier down from the Ivies.

[HS: I considered NYU a safety school when I was in high school, but yes, it's an expensive private school and not a CUNY, and it's rep has improved over the last 20 years. But it's still not an Ivy. It's more like a BU or a GWU.]

I rewatched the episode on HBO Go and the subway blooper is even worse than I first thought. Hannah does not get off the F train at the Stillwell Avenue terminal, but at West 8th Street, one stop earlier. You can see the distinctive dolphin-themed pedestrian bridge to the adjacent NY Aquarium. As West 8th is a line station rather than a terminal, there'd be no reason for the F to stay stopped at the platform for any length of time.

To make matters even worse, when Hannah is on the elevated station platform she sees several women having an impromptu party on the roof of a small apartment building next to the station. It is one of a row of similarly sized apartment buildings. There is nothing matching that background in the vicinity of West 8th, or Stillwell for that matter.

NYU is a 1300 SAT school with a 40% admission rate. It also has an 85% graduation rate. NYU is ranked 33 on the US News rankings.

It is amazing that people consider a university that is in the top 1% of all universities in the U.S. as a bad school.

AT least on the reboot of the Dallas soap opera, I doubt if anyone was worrying about the alma maters.

"NYU is not part of the (admittedly mediocre) CUNY system."

Yeah, hence it rises to the level of mediocre.

CUNY would have to improve hugely to reach mediocre.

When you learn that someone is an NYU graduate you can expect that they know how to write a grammatically correct sentence and conduct themselves in polite company (Tisch students excepted). These are not valid assumptions for all CUNY graduates.

***[HS: I considered NYU a safety school when I was in high school, but yes, it's an expensive private school and not a CUNY, and it's rep has improved over the last 20 years. But it's still not an Ivy. It's more like a BU or a GWU.]***

NYU is ranked 33, BU and GWU are in the 50s. Definitely not an Ivy, but not as bad as you are making it out to be--more along the lines of Tufts, Boston College etc.

superdestroyer,

If your high IQ, here are the tiers:

Great college: Top 3 US News Ranking (Harvard, Yale, MIT)

Good College: Top 15 US New Ranking (MIT, Duke, Stanford)

Safety School: Top 50 (UC Berkley, NYU, William and Mary)

After that it's hardly worth it. You're a loser.

Those tiers can move around a little based on geography and major (a California raised computer geek might put Stanford in the top tier), but they are pretty stable.

"As West 8th is a line station rather than a terminal, there'd be no reason for the F to stay stopped at the platform for any length of time."

Is this necessarily true? I am not familiar with NYC trains, but in Japan (where I currently am), trains do stop at certain line stations on the order of minutes particularly in the late evenings when there are less frequent trains. I grew up in Florida so I have no idea if this is odd or not for passenger trains or not; it never struck me as odd.

Steve Johnson

Great analysis and insight into female psyche. It makes a lot of sense. But do you really think the writers are giving the characters that much depth?

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