Monday, February 25

girlsGIRLSgirls: Freaky Friday, Country Style

As you may have read yesterday, I joined Refinery29 in their weekly "Girls" roundtable, which includes a dose of my deep-seated feelings and Jewish mother neuroses. But even more importantly than that, I am absolutely floored and proud that they not only let me swear up a storm, but that those wonderful folk actually published the following thing I said on their website:

Carlye: "The only way I'm putting garlic in me is if the next thing going in is Ryan Gosling."

If they're gunning for "Best Employee Ever", they just won. Though, I'd be remiss if we didn't touch on that whole garlic-in-pussy conundrum a little more in depth than just celebrity fantasies, so let’s hop to it. (Earmuff Time, men of the world.)

I can't believe I even have to say this, but ladies: don't stick perfectly good food product up your snatch. If it's for fajitas, it probably shouldn't also be whittled up your birth canal for homeopathic medical reasons. Instead, I present a foolproof 3-part solution: one, always pee after banging, two, take these, and three, always have this on hand. (It tastes terrible and needs to be mixed with water, but Welch's won't do shit besides make vodka taste better.) These three things and you'll be set for life, promise. Women's Health Corner: over and out! Back to the show.

The main theme in this episode was absolutely about the juxtaposition between Jessa and Hannah and how they're still teeny-tiny children living in adult bodies. From Hannah's inability to find herself food or transportation with a tiny computer in her back pocket to Jessa being a divorcee with the emotional capacity of a twelve-year-old, the two are like the fucking Boxcar Children, only without an adult to move their fantasy world into a mansion backyard. Hannah's actually so much of a woman-baby that her parents don't take her seriously when she phones to say thanks for supporting her, and even convinces herself that abandoning that reckless vehicle was for intended casual sex instead of plain ol' teen driving PSA-style fear.

But, considering I've already discussed my feelings on that topic over yonder, we're going to talk about a very different yet ultimately more intriguing concept: The Go Home.

When you move further than a car ride away from your hometown and come back to visit in your mid-twenties, you become one of two types of people when that plane lands. You either want to be coddled, or you want to be a big fish in a little pond. You go home to escape or you go home to conquer, that’s it. And, unexpectedly, with just a background change and a round-trip LIRR ticket, Hannah and Jessa morph into their equal opposites.

Back in the city, Hannah's become somewhat of this floating puppy, cute and friendly enough to get by, albeit without direction. Her entire life's blueprint at the moment is rooted in happenstance; like that fucking button on the DVR that's not quite play nor fastforward, she's slowly scuffing her feet on the path of life. When she and Jessa — the eternal free-spirit from nomadic lifestyle to never-ending caftan wardrobe — head to the country, it instantly flips.
Whereas Hannah hopes to be the type of person emulating a look-at-me fish in an upstate New York pond, Jessa just wants to be loved. She wants that bubble of comfy couches and downstairs dens and parental attention and fresh-baked cookies — even though her entire rough-and-tumble philosophy has set her up to be forever destined to raise the don't-give-a-fuck quotient of any room she steps into.

Jessa's kind of this enigma wrapped in photos off a Boho Inspo Pinterest board and bandages masking undiscussed emotional scarring. Her effortless cool is intoxicating, but It's also the reason you can't date guys in bands who wear perfect leather jackets or that wild dance-fusion instructor at your gym. While perplexing and intriguing, their breed of crazy is likely one rooted in early emotional damage, and frankly, it's going to be a fucking mess. Jessa never alluded to her jaunts around the world actually being a form of methodical escape; with her sheaths of patterned prints and vintage Louis Vuitton duffels, it always seemed so chic, like those inane Elle articles about the joys of glamping. And, for someone who hasn't held a real job or sold her art successfully to date, Jessa's funded her life by luck, chance and looks without a scrap of attention paid to money, similar to an oft-supported child. When you use an accountant's eye, her aura and craftiness propel her through life's orbit, as she's found a way to take care of her expenses regardless of what zip code she's in, but back home, she appears to be trading in her coolest-girl-in-the-room card for some desperately needed parental attention. Her divorce and subsequent bathtub depression lead her to breaks down to her father, begging and pleading with him for attention — something her fine-on-my-own spirit would never have been expected to do back in her urban stomping ground.

And then there's dear ol' Hannah. The last two times we've seen her, Hannah's been having an ugly-cry in a stranger's bed and channeling collegiate levels of essay procrastination. Her immaturity as of late, from career lack of focus to cocaine-fueled neighbor fucking, has been off the charts. But, once she lands her UTI-ridden self on that train platform in no man's land, she converts from her sad sack of self to the knowledgeable, sassy end of the duo — a role which the face looking back at her used to play. From absurdly assuming she was taking part in some dual sexcapade to cutting Jessa down over her idiotic thinking that her dad's butt text was an emotional quandary, her words and behaviors oddly mimic those of Jessa through both afternoons and well into the night. After all, while Hannah softly sleeps, it's her friend who is up all night worrying and over thinking the basis of their entire trip.

What's most surprising is that Hannah's constantly asserting herself as more confident, sexually educated and successful to these people she barely even knows, despite feeling inferior most days of the work week. She blurts out that she inked a book deal to plain-faced strangers when just last week, she shriveled up at a bathroom-adjacent partygoer's mention of e-books. She even sets her eyes on a turtleneck freakazoid, lets him explode all over her legs and then shuts down his post-coital emotional fallout by degrading him for being so sensitive, instead of welcoming a gentleman with as many feeling as her. Self-righteousness in expertise and cunningly rude? That's Jessa's game, not Hannah's. And, it's a nuanced trip she's taken once before, in Season 1.

You most likely don't remember since everyone pretty much gave up on archiving this show in their mental lobes once Hannah played ping pong naked and we all realized we're stuck with this show forever, so a short recap, for anyone who emptied out their mental mini storage: Hannah goes back to Michigan for her parents' anniversary with a trash bag full of clothes for her luggage, she picks up a prescription for her mom from the nerdy looking pharmacist, who asks her out. They go on a date, she's too aggressive in bed with him due to her time with Adam, and she comes home to find her naked dad sprawled out on the bathroom floor. But, before Adam eventually phones her and gives hope that he might posess normalized human feelings, her mom says something unintentional poignant about her date with the long-haired pharmacist: "He'll do for the day." He'll do, for the day. For that day. It's a heavy sentence that infers that there's a life back in the city worth returning to, one that's more exciting and complex than the safe-at-home fantasy you're currently living by way of your childhood bedroom. For Hannah, that electric place of return, the one that gets you nervously excited to step off the plane at JFK may not exist quite yet. But, perhaps if you can convince everyone around you that you have worth, you might eventually convince yourself, too.

Girls Season 2, Episode 7: Video Games
Best Line: "Rihanna. A girl who lives near me who's named Rihanna!"
Best Mate: JEAN SHORTS MCGEE. Thank you, oh freakish one, for reminding me how ludicrously low one's standards can be once you leave town. You are a Wes Anderson movie brought to life in the grossest of ways. You are wonderful.
What Kind Of A-Hole Was Hannah This Week?: NOT ONE. Sure, she was kind of a megadouche to Sir Fanny Pack about his feelings, but you know what? That conversation has happened forty five thousand times in frat houses, and it's just "dudes being dudes". Also, she's an out of towner going back that day, so he's nutsarino. But all-in-all? Supportive friend, tag-along pal and sufficient buffer? Hannah's bein' a pretty good human.
I Give This... 2 out of 4 bathtub snax, just for the cinematic ambience of it. Truth is, Girls' more narrative, artistic episodes are always significantly moving and emotionally captivating, but aren't we all just watching this show to see what Shosh does next?

Earlier Ladyshow Nonsense:
Girls Season 2, Episode 6: Boys
Girls Season 2, Episode 5: One Man's Trash
Girls Season 2, Episode 4: It's A Shame About Ray
Girls Season 2, Episode 3: Bad Friend
Girls Season 2, Episode 2: I Get Ideas
Girls Season 2, Episode 1: It's About Time

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