02/05/2014 03:32 pm ET Updated Apr 07, 2014

True Life: I Like Marnie On 'Girls'


"The only logical explanation there is as to why Lena Dunham consistently writes Marnie as the one of the most unlikable, aloof, and deeply toxic characters on television is that 'Girls' is really just a slow-simmering revenge plot against Brian and Allison Williams," wrote Alexander Abad-Santos after "Girls" aired its third episode in January.

Days later, BuzzFeed's Louis Peitzman posted "The 18 Most Embarrassing Things Marnie Has Done On 'Girls,'" a list that included such gems as "When she whined about her clothes being 'basic,'" "When she asked Ray to help her 'lay down this track'" and "When she was too sad to finish her taco."

Even "Girls" itself has taken Marnie to task. On the Feb. 1 episode, "Only Child," Marnie asked Ray, her soon-to-be and impromptu sex partner, to assess her problems: "In a nutshell, you're a huge fat fucking phony."

Everyone knows that Marnie's clearly the worst, but what this post presupposes is maybe she's not?


In her own way, Marnie is actually genuine. If anything, it's her horrible honesty that causes trouble. Like that time when she said a dressed-up Hannah could "look like this every day if she wanted to." Or when she said that Ray seems like the kind of guy who writes "letters of complaint to small local businesses." Or when she expressed her wicked case of FOMO when Hannah, Soshanna and Adam went to get Jessa from rehab: "Marnie, are you saying you actually would've wanted to come?" "Oh God, no. Of course not. I just didn't want anyone to go."

Funny thing there: Can you blame her? Moreover, will you pretend that similar thoughts have never crept into your head?

This season, Marnie has dropped the idealized sense of self she had at the beginning of the series to become real. She will watch "Real Housewives" on her laptop in her shitty apartment and have rock-bottom sex with Ray, thanks very much. Marnie, who when "Girls" started was unbearable and nearly delusional (all that Booth Jonathan stuff and her pretentious art gallery jobs), is now Lucas in "Empire Records": a zen master. She knows what's with today, today, and it probably involves her singing in public because she wants the attention. Marnie cares what people think, true, but it's more important that they're just thinking about her to begin with. Marnie is us at our most insecure moments, and we are all Marnie.

"You come across like you're better than everyone and you want no part of their lives," Ray told Marnie while running down her faults, "but then when you're excluded from things, you're outrageously offended and hold onto this grudge." Yes, and?