In which the voices of their generations (or two voices…of two generations) discuss The World’s Most Important Show, seeking common ground on the series’ hot-button issues. Like that stuff that comes up around the sides, etc.
Generation X: I noticed an interesting leitmotif in this episode—people not dressing the way they’re supposed to. It starts with Charlie’s haircut, then we have Hannah’s goth look, Jessa’s see-through dress, and Elijah, the gay ex-boyfriend, with his scarf. And there’s even a discussion of him shaving his beard in college, which made Hannah cry.
Generation Y: Yes. Sometimes people in our generation dress differently, because they are still trying to find their identity, or because someone in their office has cancer, or, I think in Jessa’s case, because she is a giant weirdo.
Generation X: But what’s funny to me is they actually don’t really dress that differently at all. You look around the city and everyone is in uniform. There used to be these things called punks, for instance, with mohawks…
Generation Y: Um, hipsters are DEFINED by an image, Aaron.
Generation X: True. Anyway, I find it interesting in the show that so many conversations are aout people enforcing a narrow set of costumes for each other.
Generation Y: They are defined by their deep insecurities of how people will perceive them
thus: a scarf, to represent one’s wordliness, a goth outfit, to represent that you are in a weird, slutty mood. When Hannah gets all gothed up, I read that as her “you can’t tell me I’m a little girl” retaliation. Like, she was putting on an identity that Adam wouldn’t be able to infantalize.
Recently, a friend came to this really fratty party I invited her to, dressed totally in goth and when I asked her what was up, she said “It’s called looking GOOD on a Saturday night!” But the thing is, she never dresses like that. I think it was a reaction to going to a preppy event.
Generation X: I bet she did look good.
Generation Y: No, she really didn’t. Think black lipstick. (Also it was my sister.) Charlie could have handled this better than having his girlfriend close her eyes and surprising her with an “American History X” haircut.
Generation X: I supposed I particularly enjoyed that scene because when I was in my 20s, my girlfriend once cut her hair off, and I was horrified. It was a big deal. She looked like a “lady.”
Generation Y: I had Charlie’s haircut all through college.
Generation X: Really!?
Generation Y: Yup. Shaved head. I looked dope.
Generation X: Can this internet thing display images?
Generation X: Cute.
Generation Y: See that giant bruise? I was a baller. I could pull of a shaved head because i have good bone structure! In terms of changing my look every five minutes to fit my identity, yes, i definitely did that.
Generation X: Did you find it upset guys?
Generation Y: This guy dumped me the first time I shaved my head, and subsequently through college we would hook up, but everytime I would cut my hair he would refuse to. Eventually I learned my lesson, I guess?
Generation X: Maybe it helped you weed out a bad suitor… You tested him and he failed.
Generation Y: True. Eventually I learned my own self-worth, and grew my hair out!
Generation X: I stuck it out with my short haired girlfriend and now we are married. And her hair is grown out.
Generation Y: Wow! Score one, Generation X! So when Charlie told Marnie why he shaved his head, she says something like “Oh, now I’m the asshole because you did it for cancer!” The levels of solipsism in this program are truly amazing.
Generation X: Right, which extends the theme we saw last week during the famous vaginal exam, in which Hannah joked about wanting AIDS—the notion of being too blithe or shallow in the face of something deadly serious. This anxiety about not being serious enough is really central to Girls and perhaps to the generation you belong to. It’s repeated when the little girl Jessa is babysitting says “I wish I was homeless.”
Generation Y: Anxiety of not being serious enough…or just not taking things seriously enough?
Generation X: Not living a real life i suppose. A sense of inauthenticity, which certainly we had as well in my day, but maybe not so acutely…
Generation Y: Well, that’s why babysitting is so great for Jessa. She gets to live in a la-la world of over precocious children, and she is an overly precocious child
i thought the “dad trying to smoke pot and hit on the babysitter” cliche was kind of tired.
Generation X: I hope so because my daughter is now babysitting.
Generation X: So Hannah did actually have some serious news this week, her HPV.
Generation Y: But again, how serious is that? Here is where I found the MOST hedging and Lena wanting it both ways, because HPV is pretty serious, but as a culture we’re still not sure HOW serious. We’re told everyone has it, and there are shots for it (which Hannah is still eligible for), and there are like, different types of strains of it, most of which them don’t do anything? Herpes would have been better. Or maybe it’s the perfect disease, because we’re still in the dark about it and people don’t know how to act about it.
Generation X: It’s a metaphor. Um, illness as a metaphor.
Generation Y: But can I make several points here? (1) Guys CAN get tested for HPV
(it’s just not that common, unless they have symptons). And (2) You can’t really get HPV if you wear condoms. I think those were my main two points.
Generation X: Okay, but (1) no they can’t. Just checked the internet! And (2 ) what about that notorious stuff that comes up around the sides?
Generation Y: I stand corrected.
Generation X: Either way there is a vaccine and we should probably all go get itl If we’re under 28 or something. The preceeding has been a public service announcement from the New York Observer.
Generation Y: See, okay, perfect example. Apparently I am just as clueless as Hannah about HPV, so maybe that shows it’s the perfect disease to use on the show. Also: it’s very ‘in’ right now, because of the Republican debates.
Generation X: So Adam is lying. We establish that. But Hannah feels bad for accusing him and wonders, “Will you still have sex with me?”
Generation Y: My first thought was he was lying, then I thought “this dude probably gets tested a lot” and doesn’t notice whether he’s being tested for HPV.
Generation X: That scene reminded me of this terrible but indelible episode of Taxi, where this very overweight woman has a date with Judd Hirsch. And he blows her off and then she says, “Can I still call you…like if I need a hug?”
Generation Y: Your ability to bring up old Nick’at’Nite shows to compare to Girls is amazing.
Generation X: Nick at Night? Listen we didn’t have cable. These annoying sitcoms like Taxi were all we had. This is the most excruciating scene on television ever. Judd Hirsch and Alan Alda are the sort of men guys of my generation were taught to be. Which is why Charlie has a vagina. Please enjoy. Start around 6:00.
Generation Y: So in this scenario, Lena is the fat girl?
Generation X: I didn’t say that. I would never say that. Because I was raised on things like Taxi.
Generation Y: I dont know who this is more offensive to, Jews or fat people. Anyway, back to the matter at hand, would you feel the need to tell an ex if you found out you had HPV?
Generation X: I thought Shoshanna had very sensible advice, but maybe too sensible? More than a year later, with a non-deadly disease, perhaps one wouldn’t bother. Is that bad?
Generation Y: I totally agree.
Generation X: Maybe just tweet it out, it and if he’s a follower, great.
Generation Y: She calls up an ex she hasn’t talked to in TWO YEARS, invites him out to dinner
for the express purpose of telling him he might have given her HPV…
Generation X: It’s played as a demonstration of her narcissism, and what a great scene. Elijah is played by Andrew Rannells from the Book of Mormon.
Generation Y: Amazing.
Generation X: To me the really extraordinary thing here is that Hannah is really upset. She tears up at the idea that he was gay all along. That’s the first time we’ve seen her show real emotion.
Generation Y: It makes sense. That was her only real relationship… Then he confirms that she was “handsome,” basically that he could tolerate sex with her because she was manly.
Generation X: It feels very honest, because she’s terrified under all her bravado she’s not attractive, and this sort of confirms her worst fears. Meanwhile, she’s talking about how she lets Adam “hit me on the side of my body.” Which…um…
Generation Y: That happens.
Generation X: It’s not playing as funny for me as it might be intended.
Generation Y: Yeah, i think it tries to strike (no pun intended) a certain tone that it misses.
Generation X: Ok, next issue. I spotted a black person on this episode. Who was it?
Generation Y: Maya Angelou?
Generation X: Nope. It’s a trick question! We don’t actually see her. The woman from Baggage. Shoshannah is watching this show on the Game Show Network. And they identify a contestant as black. The one whose little baggage is that she “spends a month on a weave.”
Generation Y: So does Kim from real housewives. She’s white.
Generation X: But it brings up an important question: What is your baggage, Drew?
Generation Y: Oh, that’s difficult! Smallest baggage: I fell asleep for an hour in the bathroom stall yesterday.
Generation X: Good one.
Generation Y: Medium baggage: I am more impressed by celebrities than real people. I would be a starfucker if I didn’t have a boyfriend.
Generation X: He kind of is a star… come on, now!
Generation Y: Largest baggage: Um, I totally understood why it was funny that Hannah gets punched during sex.
Generation X: Well, I wondered where that bruise of yours came from, but I wasn’t going to say anything…
Generation Y: At the time, I thought it was funny, and now everyone is like “Drew, you know that time you were super proud of those bruises? That wasn’t cool.”
Generation X: Well, I’m glad that’s over and your hair is longer and your boyfriend is semi-famous.
Generation Y: And he doesn’t beat me during sex! Just to clarify! Different dude!
Generation X: Not that you asked, but mine in no particular order are that I have three kids, a dog, a minivan (red), and I am at least an inch shorter than I think.
Generation Y: Haha, that’s actual baggage. That’s like me saying “I have a suitcase that’s really heavy.”
Hotness on the High Line
Generation Y: Okay, on to Jorma from Lonely Island. how hot was he?
Generation X: Well… yeah. I don’t know! Marnie seemed impressed.
Generation Y: I was very impressed. That line was the casual equivalent of beating a chick during sex, or wait.
Generation X: Whoa.
Generation Y: Take two:
Generation X: No. IT WASN’T.
Generation Y: What I’m saying is he takes Adam-like ownership—
Generation X: Disclaimer: The New York Observer and its affiliates do not endorse…
Generation Y: And is like “I am going to have sex with you, and it’s going to be scary.” I was very into it.
Generation X: Right. That’s hot. I’m using that line. Or I would if I didn’t have three kids, a wife, a minivan. It is a classic line though: “because I’m a man and I know how to do things…”
Generation Y: It is confusing…do what things? Sex things? Why would that be scary?
Generation X: I don’t know. To me it sounded silly. I can’t imagine Judd Hirsch saying that. But if it works for her, ok!
Generation Y: Maybe he’s referring to a Don Draper level of dominance…
Generation X: He had me at “the High Line is kind of bullshit.” Talk about daring television. NOBODY disses the High Line.
Generation Y: That’s baffling. The High Line is the best.
Generation X: By the way, I thought the gallery scene sucked—as most art-world satires do.
Generation Y: But that’s how gallery parties are!
Generation X: And if anyone should be able to get the art world right, it’s Lena Dunham who did a web series all about it and grew up in it.
Generation Y: Those parties all suck so bad you want to gnaw your own wrists off.
Generation X: I count that scene among the worst art world send-ups of all time.
Generation Y: There’s a Sex and the City episode—(sorry!)—where Charlotte is working in a gallery and a movie star tries to buy the fire extinguisher that was very Duchamp. Also, I don’t think you have to hide in a bathroom if you want to masturbate in an art gallery.
Generation X: Moving right along. The baby sitting seen with James LeGros scene was a nice generational detente. I do relate to that forlorn dad, sort of pathetically going out to see a friend’s band…
Generation Y: But also: super creepy? Don’t smoke pot with a babysitter.
Generation X: Right. Never ever.
Generation Y: Even if they want to.
Generation X: Note to self.
Generation Y: Even if they offer. It’s just bad news
Generation X: Favorite line: “Daddy, are you eating my school snack?”
Generation Y: Haha.
Generation X: “Sometimes Daddies need snacks…” Yes, when we’re HIGH.
Generation X: Okay, the episode ends with a very lovely girl-bonding moment dancing to, um…
Generation Y: Robyn!
Generation X: Oh, that’s right.
Generation Y: My sister told me. We might need to bring her into this, since this show is apparently tailored to 24-year-olds.
Generation X: A millennial? God, no.
Generation Y: But as to that scene, Marnie seemed…more loose than usual. I wonder why?
Generation X: I think it’s adorable to see Hannah owning her HPV on Twitter—that was so Sex and the City and also so Doogie Howser, M.D.
Generation Y: But also like neither of those things because it’s TWITTER, so you can’t write it like a diary. You have to be vague.
Generation X: And then dancing with herself which I thought was really sweet until Marnie came along and acted so painfully adorable. Nothing against Alison Williams but I am begining to think she thinks she’s in a different show. A much sappier, more mainstream show.
Generation Y: Her character doesn’t fit with anyone else.
Generation X: I had a premonition of all the bad movies she is going to star in in years to come.
Generation Y: Ha! I saw her on Letterman she was literally the worst, most boring interview ever, but she’s very nice in real life. Proving, I guess, that nice, well-adjusted people don’t make for good television. Long Live Girls!