These questions regard last night’s episodes of HBO’s GIRLS. Please answer the prompts with specific examples from LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE, though supplementary material will be accepted as a secondary source. Please write legibly. No. 2 pencils only. You have an hour to finish this test. See below for questions and sample responses.
1. Hannah gets paid! (And is making it rain!) She’s interviewing stars, getting sweet hotel rooms on the company’s dime, and Adam finally (?) gets a part in a play! And it’s on Broadway! And it’s Shaw, no less! All that…hard work?…of Adam’s non-acting career is finally paying off! But meanwhile it’s Hannah’s “sellout” job which is still footing the bills. Major Barbara has some interesting things to say about the morality of charity and the lies we tell to get cash money. How can Shaw’s critique be applied to Hannah and Adam’s lifestyle?
2. Not that anyone was confusing advertorials for journalism, but Hannah encourages Patti Lupone to straight-up lie for her Strenova bone density interview. (“You can have early onset Alzheimer’s, so I don’t understand why osteoporosis should be a problem.”) Then again, you have to wonder why a Broadway actress like Patti LuPone would agree to do an interview about a disease she doesn’t have (and throw in a fake dog, Pippin, for good measure), or why, for that matter, GQ would think getting the star of the original Evita to talk about osteoporosis in their magazine would be a good “get.” (And it’s going in the print version, no less!) In this theoretical advertorial-verse, imagine three equally absurd cultural icons/drug combos Hannah is asked to profile and tell me the tagline of the piece.
Prince for Flomax (difficult urination): “He just wanted some extra time in his piss.”
3. Justine Harman wrote a piece for Elle called “Why Women Should Fear the Jessa,” in which she posits the character as sort of the new manic pixie dream girl. “For all of her aloof magic, the Jessa requires endless amounts of attention; like a fairy, she’ll die if we don’t believe in her.” But Jessa’s achilles heel has always been her posturing: She wants to present herself as both world-weary and bohemian, cynical and mystical, fun-loving and adventurous but also “over it.” How do these opposing interests work against her in this episode, and how do they figure into her decision to commit a couple misdemeanors with some guy she can’t even tolerate?
Jessa’s constant and complex posing usually makes it hard to get a read on her, but in this episode we finally got to see what she is like when she’s absolutely alone. And Harman is right: There’s a void there. Jessa almost literally doesn’t exist when she doesn’t have anyone to bounce her bullshit off of.