Jemima Kirke

Girls Role Play

This week’s installment of “Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter talk  about Girls and mostly agree, except when they really, really don’t” comes to you on a slight delay, as our own Rob Hunter is busy navigating the wilds of the SXSW Film Festival (where, yes, Girls star and creator Lena Dunham got her start and also contributed a keynote speech to this year’s fest, so it kind of works out perfectly). That’s not to say that we were not pumped to talk about “Role-Play,” because we were, but sometimes other movies and breakfast tacos get in the way. With two episodes left in the HBO series’ third season, it seems that some of our predictions are on their way to coming true — Hannah (Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver) are bound for some troubles, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is forced to grapple with her problems, and Marnie (Allison Williams) just can’t shake her attempts at a music career — with some new twists along the way. In “Role-Play,” Hannah tries to spice up the couple’s sex life with some, well, role play, which ends in a most unexpected way — with Adam moving out (temporarily?) to focus on his Broadway debut. Elsewhere, Shosh (Zosia Mamet) stages an intervention for Jessa, and Marnie continues to croon jams at a guy who apparently has a girlfriend named “Clementine.”

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Girls Incidentals

Did you think that Lena Dunham‘s Girls was going to split up its various leading ladies and gents after yet another episode that tossed them together for maximum fun, drama, and dancing? Well, yeah, we did, too — fortunately enough, though, this week’s “Incidentals” rehashes some of the magic of “Beach House,” moving most of the main characters of the series into a limited space for a limited amount of time. This time around, the group takes up residence at the swanky Gramercy Park Hotel, where Hannah (Dunham) has been tasked with spending just one night in the hotel in order to write a listicle or something for her GQ gig. It’s nice timing, too, because Adam (Adam Driver) has just locked his first big Broadway role, and they have something to celebrate! That doesn’t quite explain why Hannah took it upon herself to invite the entire crew, including Shosh, Elijah, Marnie, and Jessa, but we’ll just go with it, because these bonkers weirdos are great together. Also in the mix? Jessa’s old rehab pal Jasper and Adam’s new co-star Desi. It’s like one big shaken cocktail of volatile personalities, and your own Rob Hunter and myself are here to sip deep.

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Girls Beach House

As our Girls girls continue to grow (marginally, at best) up, they are also quite markedly growing apart. This season has scarcely seen all four ladies in one room at the same time, and has instead been forced to rely on commonplace television tricks and tropes and prods to get every major character in one place, including staging a birthday party for Hannah earlier in the season and, in the seventh episode, shipping Hannah, Marnie, Shosh, and Jessa off to a somewhat secluded beach house. The point of the trip, at least according to Marnie (who organized the outing) is “to heal.” The other girls might not agree. Despite going out of her way to make a nice weekend for the ladies, Marnie (Allison Williams) gets kicked in the teeth at nearly every turn – her bedroom assignments initially ignored, her rigid schedule mocked, her dinner party dismissed – thanks to Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her obvious disdain for structure, the inorganic but still exciting injection of a newly-returned Elijah (Andrew Rannells), Elijah’s pack of wild friends (including new boyfriend “Pal,” played by Danny Strong, who wrote the film The Butler for chrissakes), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and an apparent nudity clause, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and her deeply simmering resentments. Let’s go to the beach house! And eat and dance and sing and reveal how very, very much we hate each other. It’s Girls. It’s “Beach House.” It’s a glorious mess. And it’s Rob Hunter and myself, pulling every bit apart for mastication, just like Marnie’s literally cooked goose […]

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Girls Free Snacks

After last week’s disappointing and choppy entry into the world of Girls lore, the venerable(ish?) HBO series returned with some bite – well, some snack-sized bites, at the very least. In “Free Snacks,” Hannah (Lena Dunham) finally lands a writing gig that allows her to quit her latte-slinging at Ray’s, though she’s soon taken down a peg or two, and all the free Sun Chips in the world can’t ease that pain. Installed at GQ, Hannah initially has some illusions about both the coolness and the value of her work at the magazine, until she is systemically alleviated of them – from Ray’s unpacking of what her job really is (let’s face it – the girl is penning an advertorial section about dudes for Nieman Marcus) to the revelation that all her cool new coworkers were once burgeoning writers just like her. Blame the snack room! Blame the cushy environment! Blame the cubicles! But don’t blame Hannah, because maybe she really is in over her head this time – or, at the very least, maybe she’s finally realizing some hard truths about grown up life. Elsewhere, Marnie (Allison Williams) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) embark on a tempestuous friendship that, yes, involves sex (and also dumplings!); Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) finally admits that she’s put out by Ray’s new success (but is that jealousy or desire?); and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) uses her new job at a baby clothing store to bully full grown women. Oh, and Adam (Adam Driver) poked an acting […]

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Girls1

After last week’s game-changing new episode of Lena Dunham‘s Girls, it seemed as if things were finally moving into a fun new direction for the girls, the boys, and all those tangled interpersonal relationships that hold them together. And then came death. Just, like, a lot of death. Hannah’s nutso editor, David Pressler-Goings (John Cameron Mitchell) showed up dead (as Hannah shared, Gawker even posted about his Hudson River-bound death under the amazing and horrifying title “Goings Goings Gone”), and Hannah reacted in typical Hannah fashion – she made it about her. Specifically, she turned it into a series of long-winded worries about what will happen to her still-gestating e-book. Elsewhere, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) mused on the death of her close friend Season to very surprising results, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) literally just stood around folding bandanas, Marnie (Allison Williams) continued to feel the fallout from her YouTube fame, and Caroline (Gaby Hoffmann) danced on some graves. No, really. Death is all around! And so is regression! As ever, your own Rob Hunter and I are here to discuss, deconstruct, and just plain yammer about the latest episode of Girls.

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episode-23-1024

If you’ve become disenfranchised with Lena Dunham’s Girls over the course of the HBO series’ past two seasons, this week’s episode (the third of the third season, intriguingly titled “She Said OK”) just might be the one to get you reinvested in the show. On a surface level, the episode employs some classic television tricks and twists – it introduces a lightning rod new character (Gaby Hoffmann, kicking off a long arc as Adam’s sister Caroline) and it throws the rest of its cast together in a party situation – but the episode also cannily addresses some of its continued criticism in a few nifty (and often just kind of meta) ways and explores new territory for old characters. It’s Hannah’s (Dunham) twenty-fifth birthday, and she’s celebrating with a party at a local Brooklyn bar, as thrown by Marnie (Allison Williams, who goes for the MVP title in this episode and just barely loses it to Hoffmann) and the Horvath parents (Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari, returning as guest stars). As excited as Hannah is for the celebration, the day has already been a strange one, thanks to the arrival of Adam’s (Adam Driver) sister Caroline, who embodies all of the worst bits of the Girls girls in one staggeringly scary package. Adam’s compassion for Caroline only goes so far, and he’s warned Hannah that she’s “mean-hearted” and will only ruin things for everyone. Elsewhere, Ray (Alex Karpovsky) encounters his ex Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) at the party and has […]

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Girls season three

We may still be a few months out (fine, less than two, but it sure feels longer) from the third season premiere of Lena Dunham‘s Girls on HBO, but the series seems dedicated to keeping its fanbase involved by way of some offbeat (and surprisingly informative) teasers. We’ve already seen an all-stills look at the new season (which we wildly speculated about), and now we’re getting a GIF-friendly look at what we can expect to see in the lives (and complicated loves) of Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet (and Adam Driver! of course also Adam Driver!). BuzzFeed first revealed the new trailer (via an all-GIF preview that should round out your Girls Tumblr page quite nicely) earlier this week, and now the actual trailer is online for our enjoyment (via ScreenCrush). It’s not a traditional trailer for the show by any means, but it does feature some very interesting commentary about what we can expect from this new season. Let’s take a look and see what the future holds for our four favorite gals (and Adam!):

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Girls - Bad Friend

While we may have giggled (quite heartily, in fact) at Saturday Night Live’s recent Girls parody, we’re still excited about what the third season holds for creator and star Lena Dunham’s love life, co-star Zosia Mamet’s folliclely dazzling mane, sidekick Allison Williams’ surprisingly stirring Kanye West impersonation, and whatever the hell it is that unique snowflake Jemima Kirke will fuck up next. Though we won’t get any new Girls until next year, HBO has shared a very quick thirty-second “in production tease” that we will now break down for maximum speculation. When we last left our Girls girls, Hannah (Dunham) had pulled back in ex Adam (Adam Driver) with a deadly sexy combination of being just really pathetic and even more lonely, Shoshanna (Mamet) had finally cut ties with her sinking ship of a coffee shop manager boyfriend Ray (Alex Karpovsky), Marnie and her newly-reunited internet upstart boyfriend Charlie (Christopher Abbott) seemed poised for romantic greatness, and Jessa (Kirke) had run off after ditching her dumb bunny husband and crying in a bathtub. While I wasn’t wild about the second season finale, it did set up some interesting moving pieces – what would happen with Hannah and Adam? Would we see Hannah’s OCD again? Would Jessa come back? Was Ray going to be okay? – and the surprise departure of Abbott before filming began seemed to throw a real wrench into whatever insanity Marnie and Charlie were going to embark on. So what’s next for the be-denimed crew? Let’s guess.

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Reel Sex

If you’re like me and have slumped into a mind-numbing semi-sleep for the past five Sundays thanks entirely to the comings and goings of Westeros, then you have probably woken up with a jolt halfway through your Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) dreams to discover yourself staring down the barrel of a gun. And that gun is HBO’s freshman series Girls, a show so fraught with first world problems and entitlement it’s nearly impossible not to experience polarizing feelings. On the one hand, Girls is an engaging slice of life dramedy revolving around the personal and (maybe) professional lives of three recent college graduate lady friends (and one still-in-school cousin). Setting Girls apart from most shows currently broadcasting is creator and head writer Lena Dunham’s dedication to exposing the warts and imperfections of her four post-Sex and the City women while they each navigate the troubling landscape of sex, love, feelings, and career in New York. It’s just that her women, like their HBO godmothers, are living in a New York that doesn’t exist for most city dwellers.

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Editor’s note: With Girls premiering on HBO this weekend, we thought one of Kate’s favorites from SXSW was in need of a re-run. This review was originally posted on March 13, as part of our SXSW Film Festival coverage. Multi-hyphenate Lena Dunham has previously hit SXSW with two unique efforts – in 2009, with the debut of her ambitious, lo-fi Creative Nonfiction, and follow-up in 2010 with the controversial Tiny Furniture, which earned the Narrative Feature award in that year’s section. Dunham’s work has proven polarizing – some people admire her self-effacing and very personal brand of filmmaking, while others balk at her navel-gazing style. Returning to SXSW this year, Dunham again brought along a personal project about self-effacing, navel-gazing, shaky-legged twenty-something girls in the big city, but this time Dunham is serving as star/writer/director/producer on a television series, HBO’s Girls, produced with Judd Apatow. And while her previous works might not have the sort of widespread appeal that a television series would require, Dunham’s Girls is wickedly hilarious, quite accessible, and it proves that Dunham’s in-character pronouncement that she could be the voice of her generation is not far off – at all.

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Let’s get it out of the way right now – I liked Tiny Furniture. I was not wild about it, and I didn’t hate it with the passion of a thousand suns. I’m in the minority on this one – the middle. Should it have won Best Narrative Feature at SXSW 2010? Perhaps not. Should it already have its own Criterion Collection release? Maybe. But I find Lena Dunham interesting, and there were moments of brilliance in Tiny Furniture, moments that absolutely spoke to twentysomething ladies looking for whatever “real life” happens to be (ladies like, well, me). And perhaps Dunham’s humor and insight and experience is better-suited to the series treatment, a structure that would condense her more twee affectations into shorter bits, and one that would benefit from a larger cast. And so there is Girls – Dunham’s new HBO series, produced by none other than Judd Apatow. Like Tiny Furniture, Girls chronicles the lives of twentysomething ladies trying to find their way in big, bad New York City. Dunham is joined by Jemima Kirke and Allison Williams, and the series centers on the gals and their lives (often funny, sometimes kind of heartbreaking). The series will premiere at this year’s SXSW, with a three-episode screening on March 12 at the Paramount. Check out the full trailer for the series after the break.

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Tiny Furniture

Too often we’re made to feel as if we might root for characters who we’d otherwise want to smack, if they were real. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And in the case of Tiny Furniture, it doesn’t quite work. However, I will concede that it is the single most adorable movie I’ve ever seen that involves characters who I’d otherwise like to see get hit by a bus.

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