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'Girls': Lena Dunham's HBO Show Episode 8, Discussed In Gchat

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Margaret Wheeler Johnson: "Girls" Episode 8: I really, really did not feel good about this episode.
Lori Fradkin: I didn't either -- I feel like every other episode of "Girls" makes me happy.

THE INEVITABLE

Margaret: I was either pissed off or sad this whole episode.
Lori Leibovich: Can you elaborate, MWJ? What made you sad?
Margaret: Can I start with pissed?
Lori L.: Yes.
Margaret: When this show began, I thought, "They're going to have to do the girl-on-girl thing, but they're not going to do it cheaply, right?" And the way they did it disappointed me.
Lori L.: Because....
Margaret: I just think it would have been more interesting if this wasn't a party trick and was instead an actual flickering of a feeling that one of them had to deal with. I felt there was much more to mine about female desire here, and L.D. punted.
Lori L.: Interesting. I didn't see it that way at all.
Margaret: Also, they chose the two most attractive women to do it, making it more of a male fantasy fulfillment.
Lori L.: But here's the thing. I bought that they were attracted to each other -- and not just sexually. They are opposites. They intrigue each other,.and they were discovering each other for the first time, and it was intense.
Margaret: OK, but why did that have to come to fruition in a guy's apartment? It was just so cliche to me.
Lori F.: See, I don't even think there was an attraction. I think it was more of a fun thing for Marnie to try, and Jessa was just like, "Why not?"
Lori L.: Interesting. I called it as soon as they started hanging out.
Emma: I agree that the setup was clichéd. However, I agree that there was attraction, especially on Jessa's part. She seemed to be enjoying herself more with Marnie than she did with her ex-boyfriend.
Lori L.: I felt like the guy was irrelevant. At a certain point -- sooner for Jessa than for Marnie -- they realized that he was a total douchebag.
Margaret: Chris O'Dowd did do an amazing job playing him, though.
Lori F.: But I didn't think he was irrelevant because I don't think the kissing would have happened independent of him.
Margaret: I don't either. I think it should have, but I don't think it would have.
Lori L.: I disagree. I can see them talking and flirting at that bar for hours and then going home together.
Emma: I think that the interest would have been there regardless of Chris O'Dowd's character. I'm not sure Marnie would have had the guts to start it without him, but I don't think that negates the feelings.
Lori F.: I agree with Margaret on this. I feel like it was more exhibitionist than about their own feelings/interest. So do you think they continued to make out later in the night, Lori L.?
Lori L.: Yes. Why not? They were drunk and turned on.
Lori F.: I say no. I just don't think it was about their relationship.
Lori L.: OK, should we agree to disagree?

FEMALE BONDING

Lori F.: Yes. New question: Do you think Hanna will be jealous if/when she finds out?
Emma: Absolutely.
Margaret: Yes! Totally.
Lori L.: Definitely.
Lori F.: After all, it's an experience that would great for her book.
Emma: Very true!
Margaret: But I feel that Hannah would feel left out no matter what they did, if they excluded her.
Lori F.: Did you notice that Jessa was complaining about Hannah canceling plans? Pot, meet kettle.
Emma: Marnie's complaints about Hannah's selfishness were the same way.
Margaret: Once again, I was loving Jessa's one-liners. To Marnie: "I really admire your work ethic, and your commitment to hygiene."
Emma: I found it interesting that the two of them bonded over dissing Hannah.
Lori L.: Interesting how? It's probably the first time ever that Hannah has had a boyfriend and they haven't.
Emma: I found it kind of sad, but at the same time pretty realistic. They weren't being cruel, but it's definitely an aspect of female friendships that exists. And I agree that Marnie is a bit jealous. She's used to Hannah being available to her at all times.
Lori F.: Of course she is jealous, after all those times she told Hannah about how loved she (Marnie) was and how Hannah didn't understand.
Margaret: Side note: This is the most disheveled we've ever seen Marnie. I appreciated that, especially after her getup at the party last week.
Lori F.: Jessa appreciated it, too. I loved how she told Marnie that misery was totally working for her.
Emma: Loved that! And loved when she said "Being inside my own head is so exhausting it makes me wanna cry."
Lori L.: To get back to Emma's point about how women bonding over their frustrations with their friends, that's pretty rampant and an insidious side of female friendships, I would say.
Margaret: Unfortunately, yes -- another reason the episode made me sad. One thing that did not make me sad, however, was Jessa saying her thighs were chafing in the heat.
Lori L.: Yes, I appreciated that.
Margaret: Thank you for acknowledging that women's thighs touch! Thank you!
Emma: Agreed! It's a real issue during the summer.
Margaret: Even women like Jessa's thighs touch, and if you wear Spanx, your legs practically suffocate (if legs could suffocate), and your circulation is cut off, and it's a mess.
Lori L.: Yes!
Lori F.: I think Jessa is actually a good person for Marnie to hang out with post-breakup. She can be flattering, but she can also see through bullshit. She knew that guy wasn't going to be worth hanging out with.
Margaret: Yes. She's clearly been there, done that, whereas Marnie has been nowhere and done almost nothing.
Emma: I loved Jessa's attitude toward Chris O'Dowd's character. She was blatantly insulting him the whole time, and it was kind of fabulous.
Margaret: He was so ridiculous, yet not quite a caricature for me.
Lori F.: His meltdown was such a tantrum.
Emma: He turned into such a man-child.
Lori L.: I thought he was too over the top and not very realistic.
Margaret: I thought you would think that.
Lori F.: I actually agree with Lori L. on this. The complaints were too spelled out -- talking about how hard he worked and how much the rug cost. I think he would mention some of that, but it felt scripted in a way that the best dialogue on "Girls" doesn't.
Lori L.: Can we talk about Adam and Hannah? And how they're practically engaged? All of a sudden?

THE HONEYMOON PERIOD

Margaret: I think one thing Jessa got right when she and Marnie were discussing Hannah was her assessment of Adam.
Emma: About how "bizarre" he is?
Margaret: "What's the deal with that guy? Is he like a great thinker or like a total f*cking idiot?"
Emma: That was a great line. I think he really walks that fine line.
Lori F.: I thought the opening shot of the condom and the peanut butter jar and then them in the bed was good. Such a picture of their newfound domesticity.
Lori L.: Yes, great shot.
Emma: I thought that whole beginning scene was actually really sweet.
Lori L.: Question: Why were they running in the middle of the street?
Lori F.: It was too perfect, and yet I got sad when it didn't stay that way.
Margaret: I wasn't sad that it didn't stay that way -- it was way too harmonious to last -- but I was sad about how it devolved.
Lori F.: I was also upset that Adam doesn't like ice cream. What the hell, Adam?!
Emma: I know! Who doesn't like ice cream? But to the larger point, I thought that the beginning was a great "honeymoon stage" snapshot. You knew that it couldn't stay that way, as no relationship stays that way.
Lori L.: I wasn't sad -- I just thought it was realistic. She's seeing him clearly now. Or beginning to.
Lori F.: This episode really highlighted how little she knows about him. She wanted him to be her boyfriend, but why?
Margaret: Clearly there are anger management issues, and he has an artist's ego that we didn't really see before.
Lori L.: But he's also smart and creative.
Emma: You could see Hannah getting really frustrated by how flippant he was.
Lori L.: He can be tender with her -- I didn't know that would be possible.
Margaret: I thought it was possible. Remember their phone call when she was at home in episode 6? I thought that was a tender moment.
Lori F.: I liked how he was understanding with Marnie and then answered the phone to his sister "yo skank" -- very Adam.
Lori L.: I loved that. Hilarious.
Margaret: Also, he was in their apartment! They've always gone to his apartment.
Emma: All of a sudden he seems to really be responding to Hannah in a way that he never did before.
Lori F.: I think he really does like her. He's just an intense, act-first, think-later person.
Emma: Which, considering he used to be an alcoholic, kind of lines up.
Lori L.: Right. Also, the twin union suits?
Margaret: Where did they get them?
Lori F.: It is weird that he never wears a shirt but sleeps in ... that.
Emma: Also, did you notice that when they got back to his apartment he immediately took off his shirt?
Lori F.: OK, we have to talk about it even though I don't want to -- the shower scene.

THE SHOWER SCENE

Lori L.: Yeah, what was that about? Like a dog marking his territory?
Emma: I was so glad that Hannah got genuinely mad at him.
Lori L.: And she so clearly wanted to be alone for that shower.
Emma: Yeah! It was so obvious that she needed space.
Lori F.: It was ominous even before he got in -- the slow turning around. It was creepy.
Margaret: I think the expected reaction is that it's gross and demeaning, but I think it just shows how impulsive he is and how not tuned in to what she wants. It demonstrated such a colossal misunderstanding of what she wants, and it made me tired.
Lori L.: Tired is a good word.
Emma: But I did feel like afterward he stepped back from that whole day and realized what he did wrong.
Margaret: Except he didn't apologize for the peeing, right? He apologized for getting mad at the car.
Emma: I thought it was supposed to be an apology for all of it.
Lori L.: I did, too.
Emma: But you're right, that wasn't made explicit.
Margaret: I felt like by not being explicit about it, he wasn't acknowledging how much it had upset her. To me what happened in the shower seemed to upset her most.
Lori F.: I don't think I would have stayed and read on his couch after that.
Lori F.: He's such a grand-gesture person. It's hot and cold. No simple apology.
Emma: He's clearly a very intense, all or nothing person in pretty much every respect.
Lori L.: One might even say bipolar. But that's just a guess. We do know he has addiction issues
Lori F.: I think Hannah is a bit of a savior to him. She's this cool girl -- even if she doesn't believe it -- who really supports him. At the end he says he's doing the play so she can watch it.
Emma: I got the feeling that he's starting to really invest in her and care for her, and she's realizing that he's not this perfect person that she put on a pedestal.
Lori F.: I have a few side notes:

SIDE NOTES

Lori F.: 1) Charlie looked hot. 2) Where was Shoshanna?
Lori L.: Charlie looked SO hot. Charlie was smoking.
Lori F.: Those photos.
Lori L.: I wish there were more Charlie pictures...
Emma: More Charlie in general. Audrey not necessary.
Lori L.: Not at all necessary. Irrelevant, even.
Emma: Another side note -- Audrey is Lena's best friend from Oberlin.
Margaret: The "tiny Navajo"?
Emma: Yes.
Margaret: I miss Ray. He's quickly becoming my favorite character. Besides Shoshanna, of course.
Emma: Surprisingly, I do too.
Lori L.: I do too.
Margaret: Also, Marnie still has to hook up with Booth Jonathan.
Lori L.: Who?
Lori F.: Gallery Guy.
Lori L.: Oh, right.
Emma: I know! Where is he? Marnie needs a rebound.
Margaret: They're saving him.

LOOKING AHEAD

Lori F.: So do we think Hannah and Adam's relationship just continues like this for a while?
Lori L.: I think they're settling into a not-entirely-dysfunctional relationship.
Lori F.: Since this episode was such a downer, does that mean we have a good one coming up? There are only two more. Can we hope for two happy ones??
Lori L.: I didn't think it was such a downer.
Emma: I agree that there were elements of this episode that were upsetting, but I didn't end it feeling sad. I have to go with Lori L. on this one -- I thought it was interesting.
Lori F.: I think it just didn't let us be really happy for them. And I wanted to. And there were no moments of hilarity to break up the feeling.
Lori L.: Why do we need hilarity from this show? It's always smart whether or not it's "happy" or "sad," which is what matters most, I think.
Margaret: Yes, but if it's too sad or exhausting, you don't want to watch.
Lori F.: I'm not saying I wanted slapstick, but it just felt heavy.
Lori L.: But what's wrong with that?
Emma: It did feel heavy. But there's something really special about a show that makes you truly feel for the characters. Kind of feel ALONG with them. I don't get that from most television that I watch.
Lori F.: I'm not saying that's bad -- highs and lows are realistic. I'm just saying it left me feeling down.
Margaret: As I said, pissed and sad. Really I need a rebound as much as Marnie.
Lori L.: The End.

Read HuffPost Women's previous "Girls" Gchats:

Episode 7: The Best Party Ever

Episode 6: You Can Always Go Home Again

Episode 5: "Are You F-ing Kidding Me?"

Episode 4: I Just Want Someone Who Thinks I'm The Best Person In The World

Episode 3: Are We Hearing Ourselves?

Episode 2: Self-Sabotage Hurts The Way It's Supposed To

Episode 1: Unimpressed -- When We Were Cheering

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Slide 1: Caryn James, New York Times, 1999
Slide 3: Emily Nussbaum, New York Magazine, 2012
Slide 5: Kara Warner, MTV's "Hollywood Crush" Blog, 2012
Slide 7: Caryn James, New York Times, 1999
Slide 9: Leah Beckmann, Gawker, 2012
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Slide 17: Jason Bailey, Flavorwire, 2012
Slide 19: Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe, 1998
Slide 21: The Toronto Star, 1998, "The Best Chickcom Since Ally McBeal"
Slide 23: Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 2012