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June 11, 2012

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You are getting really lazy, HS

OT, but I found Bloomberg's daughter's comments on her dad's soda ban to be interesting.

"Bloomberg the Younger suggested that her father adopt a more market-based approach to fighting obesity. "Ideally," she said, "he would lower the cost of healthy food instead of banning unhealthy food. If people were able to afford to eat nutritious food, I think they would make better choices.""

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/06/bloomberg-daughter-georgina-soda-ban.html

The dad has a realist view of the proles, while the daughter thinks that they'd all be eating like her if they just had more money.

Here's a recap:

Hannah and the other girls are at a book signing party for a college friend of theirs who is now a published author. The friend is silly and acts rather stupid, but the fact is undeniable that she's achieved a level of success way beyond what Hannah's done. You can practically see Hannah turning green with envy. Just then, Hannah spots her former writing teacher from Oberlin, who tells her that she's a much better writer than the new author and invites her to read from her works at a literary club the following evening. Hannah is reluctant at first, but eventually agrees to go and says that she'll read from an essay she wrote in college about a boyfriend who was a compulsive hoarder. The writing teacher, who is familiar with that essay, tells her it'll be an excellent choice.

Short of money, Hannah is working a "trial shift" for Ray at Cafe Grumpy. When she shows up wearing a white dress [note: it makes her look preggo], Ray tells her it's wholly inappropriate for the job and sends her home to change. Later on, during the shift, Hannah tells Ray about that evening's reading, and he dismisses the hoarder essay as trivial. He says that she should write about something more serious, like global warming, urban sprawl ... or death.

Hannah makes a fool out of herself at the literary reading by reciting a very short story, just a couple of paragraphs that she's written on the subway, about a weirdo named Igor she met online who then died. It's a ridiculous story, and it falls totally flat with the audience. What obviously happened is that Hannah took Ray's advice too literally and wrote about death, but in a completely absurd manner. The writing teacher tells Hannah that he was disappointed in her choice, however his attempts at trying to talk with her and give her more advice are thwarted when Hannah walks away.

Hannah goes back to the apartment and ends up having a big fight with Marnie. In the course of their argument, which began over the fact that Hannah hasn't been able to pay her share of the rent and owes Marnie all kinds of money, it comes out that Marnie is frustrated with Hannah's extreme self-centeredness, and for her part Hannah says that she hates herself. The two of them both end up agreeing that they don't want to live together any longer, and they enter their respective bedrooms and slam the doors.

There are a couple of subplots involving Shoshanna and Jessa. Shoshanna has put her profile on the most expensive online dating site she could find, and has a "day date" with a man who sounds absolutely perfect for her. Apparently the budding romance between Ray and Shoshanna from a couple episodes ago has gone nowhere. We'll probably find out about Shoshanna's new date next episode.

Jessa hears a knock at the door and is surprised to see that it's Katherine, the mother of the girls for whom she had babysat. Katherine asks her to come back as a nanny, and also gets reassurance that nothing sexual had happened during Jessa's ill-fated party encounter with Jeff. Jessa says that she can't come back to work for them, presumably because she can't face Jeff again. Jessa and Katherine have a serious, heart-to-heart discussion in which it comes out that Jessa is very uncertain with where her life is going and isn't happy with herself. As had been the case in the party episode, Jessa looks serious.

Adam appears rather briefly in this episode, but he doesn't contribute much of anything.

As I see it, the major theme is that of happiness, or the lack thereof. Hannah is unhappy with her life and her lack of success in just about everything. For pretty much the first time, it's now dawning on her that she is very self-centered and a lousy friend. Jessa seems to be coming to the realization that her carefree life is really just a cover for underlying unhappiness.

I can't really add too much to that review.

The black haired nemesis of Hannah used to be on SNL. In the next ep Ray puts the moves on Shoshonna so who knows about what ends up happening there. Both of those characters are boring so who cares? We also see the return of Charlie.

Ray reminds me a lot of the piece of shit Ray Romano from "Everybody Loves Raymond". Not quite that annoying but still.

This show continues to be anti woman. Shoshanna is just a bubble headed, spoiled rich girl. Jessa's breezy demeanor is just an act to hide the fact that she is miserable and doesn't know what she wants and Marney and Hannah are both self centered and are terrible friends to each other.

In real life, women are shallow and incapable of forming meaningful friendships. It is refreshing to have a TV show that accurately reflects that. The show is actually getting more misogynistic as the characters better develop.

Jessa was kinda two faced in this episode. At times she was gorgeous and at other times she just had the classic plain Jane WASP look. This caused me to look up her heritage and apparently she is half wasp and half Iraqi Jewish. Wasn't really expecting that. To me, she along with Kate Middleton are the prototypical WASP beauties.

I think in the next season Hannah will be rooming with her gay ex boyfriend. The previews seem to indicate that they will be shacking up.

Girls Ep 9:

This is mostly a Hannah-centric episode. The other girls get some character development but it's all about Hannah. Adam makes an appearance but he doesn't contribute much to the episode.

The episode begins at a book signing for one of Hannah's classmates from college. Hannah considers her a frenemy mostly because she is jealous of her success and talent. I don't buy Hannah's critique that her friend Tally is not a good writer. Shoshanna and Marnie read her book and they seemed to really like it. Tally's book is basically about how her boyfriend committed suicide and it affects the four girls in different ways.

Shoshanna learns that life is short and that you need to take chances. She signs up for a premium online dating service and she snags a date with a middle class Jewish man. She discusses the book with Jessa.

Jessa pretends not to care about the lesson from the book and she abruptly leaves Shoshanna to clean her apartment. However, Jessa is thinking about her life. She's unemployed and aimless. After seeing Tally, she's starting to feel inadequate. Catherine, the mother who gave Jessa the nanny job, visits her. She tries to get Jessa to come back to work because she feels her girls need her. Catherine also reveals that she had a cannibal dream about Jessa and that she still has some anger towards her. Jessa declines Catherine's job offer. Catherine tells Jessa that she wants to be a mother figure to her and give her some direction. She senses that Jessa isn't happy and that she isn't where she wants to be in life. The scene stops there and we don't find out whether Jessa accepted the job but we do see that Jessa is deep in thought and seriously reconsidering it. Jessa now has to decide whether Catherine's mentorship is worth the drama that she'll endure with Jeff.

Hannah meets her creative writing professor at the book signing and she decides to go to a reading. She is also working at Ray's coffee shop and he sends her home to change because she is dressed inappropriately. She talks with Ray about the reading and how she wants to read her essay about how she had a crush on a hoarder and slept in his nasty dorm room. This is the same essay that Marnie read and thought was bad. Ray hasn't read it and he already thinks it's stupid and he advises her to write about something with more substance, like death.

While on the subway, Hannah writes her death essay. She reads it at the reading and she admits that she wrote it during her subway ride. Her essay is about how her obviously made-up internet boyfriend killed himself and how she found out about it through an instant message from his friend. The essay sucks and the only comment she gets is from an old lady that wants to complain to her about How to Catch a Predator is unfair to those with autism thus proving Adam's point that readings are full of drunks who think their inane opinions have merit. Hannah's essay sucks because she managed to make the subject of death trivial. It was obviously a bad rip-off of Tally's book and she made the relationship sound so impersonal. This essay proves that Hannah has little life experience and that she has a bad imagination and is definitely not cut out to be a writer. When her professor told her that Tally was a shitty writer and that Hannah was a good writer, he was clearly lying and more interested in getting into Hannah's pants like Marnie suggested.

Marnie is in a bitchy mood and she's still not over Charlie. She has no patience to hear Hannah's problems and she's pissed off that she's still supporting Hannah with the rent. She also buys Tally's book. Hannah feels betrayed and asks her if she liked it and Marnie says she did and that Tally really captured what it feels like to be their age. Hannah begins to talk about her bad experience at the reading and Marnie gets annoyed. They start to argue with each other over how bad a friend the other is being.

Both of their arguments have some merit. Hannah is a bad friend when she has a normal boyfriend and not a fuck buddy because she always puts her boyfriend first even when she has made plans with her friends but she expects her friends to make time for her. Marnie is a bad friend when she is single because she is very bitchy and wants all the attention. Hannah is a narcissist that is always seeking pity whereas Marnie is a narcissist that is always seeking praise. Marnie really wants Hannah to tell her that she's too good for Charlie and that Charlie's new girlfriend isn't as pretty as Marnie but because Hannah is so neurotic and always having a crisis of some sort that she rarely strokes Marnie's ego. Marnie needs her ego stroked every now and then. Their argument gets so heated that they both decide that they can't live together anymore.

The first season is almost over and we can firmly classify the four girls.

Hannah is the beta girl who is willing to humiliate herself to please any man that shows interest in her. Lena Dunham's character Aura in Tiny Furniture was the same way. She is so neurotic that it's a chore consoling her every time she makes a gaffe in public. Hannah is barely able to handle the simplest of jobs and she wouldn't be very good in a creative profession either. She wouldn't be happy being a housewife because she bought into the feminist lie that she as to be a career woman in order to be something.

Marnie is the flawed alpha female. She is vain and a victim of her own success. She tends to dominate men and then she doesn't find herself attracted to them but she isn't stupid enough to start dating a cad because she needs to have control. Her success at work usually means she has to help out her less successful friends like Hannah and she resents them for this. She is cold because she is a snob and she doesn't like female competition which probably explains why Hannah is her best friend and not Jessa even though Jessa is way more fun to be around.

Jessa is a free spirit but completely unreliable. She's fun to be around and date if you aren't looking for something serious but she falls out of love really quickly and moves on to the next guy. She has no direction in life and either her boyfriend or family would have to support her. Her standards in men are fairly low too. Jessa is the slut but unlike most sluts she is good-looking, intelligent, and fun.

Shoshanna is the jejune college girl. She hasn't matured fully into a woman and she is obsessed with Sex in the City. She also speaks like a teenager. Some might think that Shoshanna is the most desirable of the four girls because she's cute and a virgin. I disagree. She shows poor judgment (Bushwick and online dating) and she doesn't know what makes a serious relationship. I even doubt that she has had a serious boyfriend. Sadly, the guys her age do not want her as a serious girlfriend and I would imagine that many older men (like 30+) would get creeped out because she dresses and talks like a teenager.

Quote: "The dad has a realist view of the proles"

I don't think so. I think that price influences food choices for most people. Particularly those on lower incomes.

Yes, was wondering how it turned out between Shoshanna and Ray two episodes ago. My ladyfriend and I figured nothing must have happened, because, as Peter wrote, Shoshanna is now going on an online date. My ladyfriend thinks they missed a huge opportunity, joining up two of the more likeable and funny characters.

The fight at the end of this episode was cathartic in a way, breaking through the self-obsession of both Hannah and Marnie. It was, however, also unpleasant to watch, both of them just really digging in on each other and saying a raft of mean shit. Also, it seems to have come out of nowhere - like Lena and the other writers just came up with a big fight when trying to think of a dramatic plot twist.

There were implications that Hannah would possibly cheat on Adam with her writing teacher. This seemed like a dumb idea for the characters, and unrealistic IRL.

I have always found it odd when men become interested in soap operas such as Girls. If there is a second seasons, the plots will become even more ridiculous. Why care about a bunch of very unlikable people.

At least soap operas try to create few likable characters or an interesting villain. At least in a male oriented soap opera like the Sopranos, the main characters were actually doing something.

I still do not understand how anyone outside of hipsters in NYC could ever care about Girls.

Thanks to the discussions of "Girls" on your blog, HS, I have decided to forgo cable tv in my new home.

***I have always found it odd when men become interested in soap operas such as Girls.***

Seems to me it's interesting because of the light it sheds on modern society and human nature in general. I haven't watched the show (maybe I should? Is it out on video or anything yet?), but I'm quite enjoying the reviews.

Highlights:

- continued great comedic writing from Dunham. The subtle Marnie-is-a-bitch characterization continued from the last eps into the book party scene. Lots of good sly digs between Hannah and Talia and Ray had some good dialogue too.
-The "this is why you dont have any friends from pre-school" was both funny and enlightening the way women treat this as a legitimate critique.
- Adam didnt have much to do, but as an actor Driver does a good job of taking over the screen
-Leah Dunham in bed- sexy white skin!
- Jessa on seeing Shoshanna's internet date- "he's Jewish alright". Ha
- Shoshanna- ummmm not a good actress. Is she the one who is the newsreader's daughter? I saw an interview were Dunham said she can only do three or four types on emotions. Well Shoshanna can only do freaked out, and she doesnt do it well.
- Jessa vs the mother. Dont know what that was; I dont care at all. They already played the lesbo card so this was pointless. And you cant have three relationship angst story lines going on at the same times.


Overall the comedic writing continues to be strong but some of the dramatic content of the substories seems to be floundering. The overall arc of how Hannah is going to survive is continuing to progress though, as her relationship with the ugly guy with the big nose from the Sopranos sabotages what she built with Adam. I like how Dunham took the cliched advice- " first thought best though. Just let the words come without editing" and showed the result- a reading that falls flat. Maybe a critique on the actual screen writing she does for her shows verses the improved series like Curb that are popular now.

"I don't think so. I think that price influences food choices for most people. Particularly those on lower incomes."

A side salad and fries both cost $1 at McDonalds. Which do you think is the more popular choice among those "on lower incomes"?

Fruits and veggies are not expensive at all. In fact, they are much less expensive than junk food.

"-Leah Dunham in bed- sexy white skin!"

There is nothing sexy about Leah Dunham.

She's both quite ugly and disgustingly fat. The character she plays has a repulsive personality.

The actress / writer is perceptive, interesting and funny. As a fat ugly girl that and $2.50 will get her on a bus.

The previews for the next episode have her talking about how she's 11 pounds overweight - which is actually another amusing delusion that the unusually self-aware Leah writes for her character. She's closer to 40 lbs overweight and I'm pretty sure she knows it.

Turambar:

"- Adam didnt have much to do, but as an actor Driver does a good job of taking over the screen"

Agreed. He is the most interesting actor in the show, and always a scene-stealer.

"Shoshanna- ummmm not a good actress. Is she the one who is the newsreader's daughter?"

She's the prolific playwright / screenwriter / director / producer David Mamet's daughter (with the actress Lindsey Crouse, who I only remember as the older blond astronomer from The Arrival).

Steve Johnson,

"The actress / writer is perceptive, interesting and funny. As a fat ugly girl that and $2.50 will get her on a bus."

She's not ugly, and her talent has gotten her a pretty awesome career so far. Which sort of subverts some of the stale Roissy analysis here about the show.

In the first couple of episodes the show touched on social and economic issues that are important to literally millions of people. Issues like the student loan crisis, the uselessness of liberal arts college, the internship scam, and the extent to which parents should support their struggling adult children. Lately, however, it's become more of a soap opera, with those meta-issues having fallen by the wayside. I'm hoping that things pick up next season.

DaveinHackensack:

"She's not ugly, and her talent has gotten her a pretty awesome career so far. Which sort of subverts some of the stale Roissy analysis here about the show."

How so? She's still ugly and an ugly woman simply doesn't enjoy the benefits of success.

A successful man gets to mate with desirable women which is the important part of success anyway. Lena? Well here's a quote from her:

""Full disclosure. I have multiple gay ex-boyfriends,” says Lena Dunham."

Yeah, all that success is really doing wonders for her.

Non-ugly girls don't have gay ex-boyfriends never mind multiple gay ex-boyfriends. A woman who has multiple gay ex-boyfriends is so desperate for some reassurance that she's attractive enough to get a man that she'll overlook that he's gay so she can tell herself that she can attract a man. There's no amount of money and fame that lets a woman like that be "successful".

I agree with Peter. I can forgive Dunham for that though because she needed to establish the characters and you need some soap opera storylines to do that. We still need a Shoshanna-centric episode because she's still just an archetype at this point and not as deep of a character as Marnie or Jessa yet. Dunham's social and economic commentary is definitely the best part of the show and I bet as we see more episodes of Girls, she'll have the best "message" show on television. By the way, has anyone seen the trailers for Sorkin's Newsroom? I think it looks awful. It has the gravitas of Murphy Brown and it seems like progressive hugbox.

Yeah, Steve Johnson:

It must suck to have your own show on HBO at age 26 and have your ass kissed by the literati. The money, the parties, the fulfillment of getting paid to do what you love -- that would all be nice if you found her attractive. But since you think she's ugly, and cite a self-deprecating quip about her past as evidence she's unhappy today, she must be miserable.

Correction to my earlier comment: the actor I think steels scenes on the show is Alex Karpovsky, who plays Ray.

Yeah fruits and veggies are expensive if you don't buy them at whole foods. Real cheap at farmers markets.

"In the next Hannah scene, she shows up for her first day of work at Ray’s coffee shop. Ray acts sort of like a dick to her. This is surprising, because I thought Ray was a good guy."

Ray was bantering with Hannah but not really being a dick. It's just his way of talking.

--

"And this will probably be the last good season, because next season they will have to introduce a lot of unrealistic minority characters because the show is too white."

Guess Jessa doesn't count even though Jemima Kirke is half Iraqi. One thing I noticed is that there were two black people in the small audience during Hannah's reading at the Salmagundi Club.

--

"Because Ray, who doesn’t appear to have Hannah’s best interests at heart, convinces Hannah that the essay she has chosen to read is a bad selection, Hannah writes a really crappy essay about meeting some guy on IM, and then finding out that he’s dead and reads that. This is probably supposed to demonstrate that Hannah hates herself so she deliberately sabotages her chance of success."

My take was different. Ray actually thought that Hannah would be better off if she wrote on a more serious topic. Also, the crappy essay didn't demonstrate that Hannah hates herself, it demonstrated her complete cluelessness.

By the way, I noticed a major blooper in this episode. Hannah left Cafe Grumpy to go to the reading at the Salmagundi Club. Both are real places, the cafe on Meserole Street in Greenpoint and the club on lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. When she arrives at the reading and explains that she wrote her essay on the subway, she hastily adds that she had ample time to write it because the train was delayed for a long time at Canal Street. The only logical subway route between the two locations would be the G train from Nassau Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue, transferring to the L train, and then taking the L to Union Square. This route would take Hannah nowhere near Canal Street.


Blacks dudes love fat white chicks like Lena, so hold the veggie, go nut with Krispy.

"But since you think she's ugly, and cite a self-deprecating quip about her past as evidence she's unhappy today, she must be miserable."

No, she's not miserable because I think she's ugly, she is likely miserable because she is ugly.

My opinion doesn't enter into it.

All the ass kissing in the world doesn't change the reality of what it is to be a woman. As a woman you judge yourself based on what kind of man you can attract (and keep!).

Defend her all you like but she's knows it's true which is the point of her show! What does she say to the successful writer to put her down? "Well I have a living boyfriend" - which was as cutting and mean as Hannah could be.

Marnie on the show is in crisis because she doesn't have a man.

All the pain and misery the girls on the show go through is because they're obsessed with attracting the best possible man and would rather cut their own throats than settle for less than the best that they've had but the reality is that the best man a woman will ever have sex with is out of her league for commitment.

Outside of the show, the very act of dating a gay man betrays such a depth of desperation for validation that it's pathetic and pitiable. You think she wouldn't trade all of her success to be as pretty as Brian Williams' daughter?

Really?

There is nothing cheap at a farmer's markets. Fruits and vegetables are actually cheaper at warehouse Asian markets that loss lead on vegetables.

HS,

You should give up on the show now. It will just become a stupid soap opera where all of the shows will be about how is sleeping with who and who is backstabbing who. In the end, who cares?

"I have always found it odd when men become interested in soap operas such as Girls."

I am interested in it cuz my twenty-four-year-old girl friend gets excited each Sunday night when I can download the next episode, and wants me to watch it with her (plus - yes - I find it interesting).

I think the HBD-sphere is interested in the show because it explores dating, game, and raw social dynamics more than many shows, and because it got in trouble with our old nemesis, the Diversity Thought Police.

I think Half Sigma is interested in it for those reasons, and also perhaps because of an interest in NYC Jewish things.

Dunham weighs 140 and intentionally shot with the worst clothing and make up for her figure. Check the hbo interviews- she looks pretty good.

Oh that's just make up? Fine but realize its make up making her look bad too.

"But since you think she's ugly, and cite a self-deprecating quip about her past as evidence she's unhappy today, she must be miserable."

camryn mannheim -- or was it kathy bates? -- once said on the letterman show that despite her fame and fortune, she still had trouble finding love. now why would that be, unless men don't give a rat's ass about women's status or accomplishments?

Ray is a good guy, hannah looked like shit.

"This caused me to look up her heritage and apparently she is half wasp and half Iraqi Jewish."

Kirke's Iraqi-Jewish mother is a daughter of Jack Dellal, a very wealthy businessman. Her similar-in-age half-uncle, Alexander Dellal, dated Charlotte Casiraghi, the daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco.

"In real life, women are shallow and incapable of forming meaningful friendships. It is refreshing to have a TV show that accurately reflects that. The show is actually getting more misogynistic as the characters better develop."

Any man whose been in a long term relationship knows this all too well. When chicks open up about the shit they pull on each other it's a little disturbing. You always think, "I can never imagine a man doing that to his friend."

The feminist sisterhood is a bunch a bullshit. The only sisterhood is the lesbian one that wants to displace men from positions of power.

Lena Dunham is alot cuter in real life than on the show. Her character isn't supposed to be attractive, she is basically a cat-lady-in-waiting. Google pics of her though. She's cute and most men in the nerdosphere (or nerds in the manosphere) should do so well.

I agree the show has peaked. At some point the women will hit "bottom" and then start getting things they don't deserve. Probably when they hit bottom a token "wise black character" will tell them what changes they need to make and then everything will work out fairytale style.

Girls will always listen to black men because we gots the big black snakes they truly desire.


I wonder if all of the male soap opera fans will blog as much about the new Dallas reboot as they are blogging about Girls.

"This is surprising, because I thought Ray was a good guy."

Ray is the lovable yuppie asshole who you don't totally dislike for being a dick because you think he has a better grip on reality than the rest of the cast.

He defends McDonalds (the horror!) on the grounds their food is consistent and cheap and is the only person in the apartment in the first(?) episode to suggest some job is better than no job, even if it is at McDonalds, to Hanna while her friends tell her what a special snowflake she is and to hold out for something truly worthy of talents, all the while she's running out of money.

He tells Charlie that Marnie hasn't reached adulthood yet, stating that you cannot really be an adult if your parents still pay for your blackberry. Charlie can only counter by saying Marine pays for part of her blackberry service.

He talks about wanting to hatefuck Marnie to Charlie when talking about the type of person she is to Charlie.

At the warehouse party at the end of his and Charlie's band's set, still holding the microphone, unprompted, he lays into a member of the audience over the soundsystem for bringing a baby to a warehouse party, something along the lines of "Is that a fucking baby? You don't bring a baby to a party like this!"

That he'd be a bit of a jerk to Hanna when she shows up not dressed appropriately and dismiss the piece she had originally planned on reading was entirely predictable. He is a bit of a jerk, but again, isn't as clueless as the rest of the cast, so his consistent lack of tact can be overlooked to a degree.

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