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The Telefile
Girls: The Good, the Bad and the Funny

This past week, Louis CK tweeted at Lena Dunham, "[Y]our show is really really good and funny and unique and other things. So keep going. Please." I wonder if this will make the outspoken anti-Girls critics on the Internet reevaluate their hate? Or maybe they watched last night's episode and decided to embrace this show for the well-written sitcom that it is? Time will tell!

"Hannah's Diary" was the most cringe-inducing episode of the series yet, and thankfully it was supposed to be. I'd accredit to the complete lack of cupcakes, but there were a lot of good feminist moments and just plain funny jokes. Let's take a look at the best and worst, and you'll tell me if the touching ever bothers you, right?

The Good
A commenter recently pointed out that viewers may hate Adam's character so much because he hits too close to home... and while I would at first tend to disagree and say that he's written too wooden, every other young woman (present company included) I've talked to who watches Girls agrees that they've totally had an Adam in their lives, and also take very little pleasure in watching him be an idiotic jerk to Hannah. Maybe it's just plain too soon for us. (Though, on the flip side, my best friend's mother asked her to explain why Hannah would sleep with this obviously awful guy, and it became a very uncomfortable meta-conversation about her sexuality. But I digress.) So, to sum it up: He was really funny in this episode. The weird sext was hilarious, and after Hannah's triumphant and extremely vulnerable speech about self-respect, it was honestly heartbreaking to see her go to back to him -- not because he's a terrible person or because I don't like Adam Sackler's acting, though. Adam is just a dumb, charming guy who gets what he wants, and that kind of infuriates me, plain and simple. For a deeper look at this kind of character, I'd highly suggest watching Community's Britta Perry in "Origins of Vampire Mythology."

And like HPV, it would be inaccurate to portray life as a working woman without addressing sexual harassment. Rich (Richard Masur) is in excellent new character to add into Hannah's confusing and upsetting post-grad universe, especially given that she has coworkers who have accepted his obviously inappropriate behavior as a fact of life -- especially if you want to see your sister go to camp.

Then there's poor Shoshanna, who made an unsuccessful attempt at finally having sex for the first time. (I've given up all hope that this show will have any sort of real commentary about the concept of "virginity," but that's fine.) That scene was pitch-perfect, from the awkward knee cramp to the part where her would-be partner talked about how "weird" it is that he likes going down on girls to the moment she outright swore that she was the least-virginy virgin that ever virgined. Poor girl.

The Bad
Girls is in a really unique position: Every topic it covers feels like a clich├ęd experience in the life of the average (privileged) young woman, but since no other series had taken on the subject matter so aggressively -- let alone comically -- sometimes scenes that are fairly clunky or just weirdly indulgent actually manage to work. Case in point: Ray's frustration toward Marnie, where he tells Charlie, "Your girlfriend is my own private nightmare. Do you understand that? Someone should just fuck her to teach her a lesson. Just fucking, chain her up to a post and just fucking fuck her hard and just whip her, just fucking whip her until she fucking..." The concept about how she messes with his masculinity was so painfully on-the-nose that it was eye-roll inducing, and yet refreshing to see called out. Ironically, it makes me want to take out my frustrations as a feminist TV critic on Girls because it's not subscribing to exactly what I think a series about young women should be.

In more bouts of irony, we're still not getting anywhere with this show in terms of having a non-stereotypical character who's a person of color, but the scenes with Jessa mapping a nanny revolution seemed to address that Jessa herself (and the other leads, presumably) are unaware and/or just plain ignorant of their privilege. At least someone in the writers' room knows that this universe does not include dynamic people who aren't white... I just wonder if they see that as problematic as so many of the series' critics do.

The Funny

Sensory Details
Charlie, on Adam's huge dick: "I feel like I can smell it through the phone."

We All Know What It's Like Having a Job
Shoshanna: "Well, um, no, I'm a student, so."

On Beauty
Hannah's Coworker: "Oh my god, what happen to your eyebrows? [...] Wow, your eyelids are oily. Really oily."

Kids Being Darndest
Jessa: "You ate a pack of cigarettes?" (And by the way, yay for the very presence of Horatio Sanz!)

Inkblot Test
Ray: "So clean. So blonde. When you see a family like this, don't you just wonder if they're all having sex with each other?"

Lena Dunham Can Write a Good Joke About Underwear
Ray: "Hello, Hannah! Crotchless panties. Nothing makes me erect faster than a girls'... these are holes. This is underwear with holes in the crotch."

Oh RLY?
Jessa, pleased with herself post-comment about the other nannies thinking she was a celebrity mom: "No, I'm just like all of you."

I Really Felt So Bad For Shoshanna
"You could touch it if you want."

Relativity
Adam: "You look like a Mexican teenager. It rules."

The Lyric That Has Been Stuck in My Head for Hours
"Oh, where are you going in those Keds?"

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.

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