A dinner party does not an adult make, but trying telling that to Hannah (Lena Dunham) during the latest episode of HBO’s Girls. Intent on celebrating her coke-binging, article-writing success, Hannah throws a dinner party for her nearest and dearest (currently made up of a true motley crew of pals, considering that Hannah has also recently chucked out Elijah and appears to be in need of a bustling apartment to make up for such a sizable and well-coiffed loss) that only leads to disaster while, elsewhere in the city, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is in the middle of her own terrible dinner, this one at a steakhouse with Thomas-John’s (Chris O’Dowd) parents. These people just shouldn’t eat together, because this week’s episode, “It’s a Shame About Ray,” proves that gathering people over food only leads to the outing of some pent-up angst. Oh, it was so unappetizing.
After the break, Rob Hunter and I again delve into the machinations of the Girls girls, miss our favorite wacky paramour, and ponder the unexpected love story blossoming before our eyes. Delicious.
Kate: So, no one on Girls should ever eat dinner again, right? Because, if anything, this episode taught us that only terrible things happen when people get together to eat an evening meal.
Rob: You say terrible, I say awesome. I’d love to see them change the show’s name to Dinner and just have the cast rotate through each episode leaving emotional carnage in their wake. It creates a perfect microcosm for each character to highlight their strengths and weaknesses in hilarious ways. More meals, more meals!
Kate: Let’s review what happened at two very different dinners, for those in the cheap seats. Hannah had Charlie, his terrible lady Audrey, Marnie (Allison Williams), Ray, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) over for celebratory pad thai (apparently, they were celebrating the imminent publishing of her coke piece on JazzHate, which seems like something to hide, not celebrate, but whatever), while Jessa and Thomas-John went to a steak house to meet Thomas-John’s parents (and who look nothing like him). Both dinners were a disaster. Hannah continued to act like a bitch to Marnie (until Charlie really got mean), Shoshanna realized Ray is homeless and living with her, Marnie acted like the only mature human being within a ten-block radius, and Jessa and Thomas-John essentially decided to get divorced.
Wait, yes, Dinner is a great idea.
Rob: I knew you’d come around. Charlie remains the most obnoxious guy on the show for his not-so-subtle sleaziness, and it makes it difficult to picture what Marnie ever saw in him. That said, her statement that Booth Jonathan is a “great artist” definitely leaves her judgement in doubt. But that said, she’s back in my good graces after last week thanks to her asking Audrey, “so where do you get your headbands?”
Shoshanna and Ray meanwhile prove themselves to be the show’s very first cute and fuzzy couple with their subway station declaration of love. On the other end of the romantic spectrum is Jessa and Thomas-John’s troublesome break-up. Yes, it was pretty damn funny (“I’m a unicorn!”), but it seems to have come out of nowhere. Granted, we’re not surprised by the break-up, but more scenes with them prior to this would have laid a proper groundwork.
And that leads to my big complaint. The show’s best characters, the guys, keep getting booted out of the room! We lost Elijah last week, Thomas-John this week, we hardly got to know Sandy…and where the fuck is Adam?!
Kate: Oh, Charlie has definitely turned super-sleazy. Also, super-delusional about his “sweet, sweet, sweet” girlfriend. Marnie was on point with her cracks this week, and I laughed every single time she delivered a snappy one-liner that was both biting and true. Go, Marnie!
Shoshanna and Ray. Man, just get that love, you crazy kids.
I agree that the Jessa and Thomas-John break-up was both inevitable and totally out of left field, particularly because the first part of the episode had them looking kinda, dare we say it, cute. But it was necessary, and damn if every barb they traded wasn’t incredibly true.
Seriously, don’t take Elijah away. I need him. And Adam? Is he in jail? He must be in jail? Patrick Wilson is not an Adam substitute.
Rob: Which leaves us with…Hannah.
This was my ideal episode because she was present and funny and not the focus of attention. I’d like to see more of this because ultimately she’s not a very interesting character. She’s too “everything” if that makes sense. Even Jessa, who’s open to things and barely around has shown more of an emotional center. Hannah’s comment that all men crave butthole play is false but exactly the kind of thing she’d say as someone who thinks and acts like she knows and is capable of it all. And speaking of buttholes, Marnie’s reaction to the word was priceless and reminds me of my sister’s crippling hatred of “moist.”
Kate: I really had a problem with Hannah in this episode, actually. I just don’t understand why it’s so goddamn hard for her to be a not even a good friend, but just an okay one. She kicks out Elijah, but still allows Marnie to stick around, though she does her damnedest to make Marnie feel like an asshole for showing up at a dinner she was invited to and Hannah continues to pal around with Marnie’s gross ex-boyfriend and his nightmare of a girlfriend. Sure, she stepped up when Charlie started name-calling but, before that, she was just as bad as everyone else.
Rob: I don’t disagree, but I prefer this by virtue of her not being the main character. And has she ever been a truly good friend? I say no as she’s been the show’s most selfish and self-centered character since day one. That doesn’t necessarily make her a bad character, but I think she’s become the least flexible and least surprising one. Her small cruelties in this ep are well in character in fact, and they may only stand out because instead of drowning in her proclamations and chatter we only saw brief interruptions from her instead. It’s refreshing…
Kate: Okay, question, do we think there is anyway that Patrick Wilson is not going to end up being a creep?
Rob: I had no goddamn clue Patrick Wilson was coming to Girls as I hadn’t seen the ad for next week. This is awesome news though as I love the guy. But yes, he will clearly be a creep who’s either secretly married of has some kind of odd sexual predilection involving peanut butter and Legos.
Kate: And, with that mental image, shall we just close out for this week?