"Boys" is nothing like "One Man's Trash," which the majority of Internet commenters will be thankful for -- aside from the cold open, we didn't get too much of Hannah and absolutely none of her boobs. It's pretty impressive, actually. "Boys" also won't inspire the kind of articles about being a young woman discovering herself through her sexual encounters like the one my friend Leigh Alexander wrote (and HBO promoted) for Thought Catalog, but it did succeed in giving us some wonderful alone time with Adam and Ray, a few classic Shoshanna-isms, a Jessa update and my favorite Marnie storyline to date. Let's get to it.
Once again, the complexities of female friendships was put in the spotlight, and I think Girls completely nailed it. Trying to explain to someone -- especially when the person isn't entirely interested in the first place -- why you're still friends with another woman even though it seems like you two kind of hate each other is basically a rite of passage for females. Watching Jessa, Marnie and Hannah bitch to one another in a veiled attempt for compassion and attention is thoroughly entertaining, and at times, almost too accurate.
In the same vein, Marnie getting all excited to host this stupid party with Booth and then crying when she realizes that he's not her boyfriend was heartbreaking, and I'm so glad it was done exactly the way that it was. Marnie obviously doesn't love Booth, but she thinks the idea of being this hip artsy girlfriend who wears plastic dresses and knows all of the people whose names make them sound like they'd be friends with Jesse Pinkman is the sort of crap that will make her happy, and it's realizing that this isn't making her happy and that it is all an illusion is what makes her break down and feel like an idiot, as opposed to being upset that Booth doesn't think of her that way. I love that Marnie didn't clean up Booth's wine or even really attempt to console him, and just got out of the party as soon as humanly possible. Booth thinks he has power over women and influence over his "friends," but he doesn't, and it's wonderful to watch. May all of our boyfriends do lights for Carly Rae Jepsen.
And if you hated last week's episode and thought Adam and Ray going to Staten Island to return Dog and affirm their manliness (respectively) was stupid, then I have no idea what part of this show you do like. Adam is such a hilarious animal, and juxtaposing him with self-loathing-in-a-different-way Ray when it came to living inside of their own heads and their relationships to Hannah and Shoshanna was fun and at times pretty brilliant. I always appreciate it when the writers show us Adam's thought process (or "take off his homemade muzzle," if you will), especially when it's during a conversation with another character who is shocked by his level of analysis. He's damaged goods and uses baking soda on his infected wounds, yes, but he's right that Ray is (at least in part) with Shoshanna because he feels safe with her, and maybe is on to something about his fascination with Hannah.
I've expressed before that from a feminist perspective -- though this is Lena Duham's show and therefore she can do whatever the hell she wants, thanks to feminism -- it's frustrating to have a show about this young woman who is a total mess when, paradoxically, the series itself is created, produced, written and stars that very same young woman (30 Rock got similar criticism). "Boys" is turning it around and finally allowing Hannah to get her life together and snag a book deal (though her e-book deal isn't exactly for $3.5 million) and yet I'm somehow... disappointed. That could be because I would have preferred to see or even hear mention of Hannah trying to get a book deal in the first place rather than the writers throwing us into a meeting with the publisher, but I guess all's well that ends well, and it's not like getting asked to write an e-book in a month would require a meeting more intense or professional than the one we saw here.
I also was oftentimes irritated by the dialogue in this episode. I thought a lot of it was funny -- my list this week is the longest it's been all season -- but lines from Booth, Adam and Ray in particular were so on-the-nose that it took me out of the action more than once. Men, amirite?
Ray plus Adam, and Shoshanna plus Marnie? What more could I ask for?
Hannah's Idea of Good News
Marnie: "I bet she wrote a blog post or found a really good hot dog or something."
Get It Together, Sooj
Marnie: "Taking a bite of someone's ice cream is psychotic."
Shoshanna Is Back, Baby
"I mean, obvi there's a lot of bad stuff one can say about [Donald Trump], like, how he totally should not have hired his daughter Ivanka as a judge on The Apprentice."
Who Else Thought of Nick from New Girl?
Ray: "Usually when people say they want to be a writer, they really don't want to do anything except, you know, eat and masturbate."
Hannah, to Ray: "You're not a Marmee, you're probably the dad who dies of Influenza in the war."
Adam's Idea of a Nightmare
"She got me thrown in jail, did you know that? I had to spend a night in a cell with a fucking yoga teacher."
First Twilight Reference of the Series?
Shoshanna: "That's so fabulous. You're like Bella Swan from Twilight, and I'm like her weird friend who doesn't understand how fabulous her life is because my boyfriend won't spend $4 on tacos."
Ray Goes to Staten Island
My two favorites: "Look at this stupid fucking boat. Look at these people. Hopeless. They know where they're going."
"This is what it felt like when they approached the beaches of Normandy."
Meet Me in the Middle
Adam: "Yeah, my best relationships were with a 17-year-old and a 54-year-old."
Ray: "Maybe it's because we're both honest men."
Adam: "Maybe it's because we're both kind of weird looking."
Room for Cream?
Hannah procrastinated by reading "Twelve Fruits that Will Make You Fat."
To Be Fair, This Sounds a Lot like Hannah
Party Dude: "Wait, didn't I meet you at one of Ryan's shoots? You were the girl who got her period at the Dairy Queen."
Ray: "You have no morals 'cause you were raised in a fucking trash heap."
Staten Island Girl: "Yeah, who the fuck are you? Why aren't you at work, old man? Probably because you don't have a job, you fucking loser."
Ray: "You don't know that. Maybe I work nights, maybe I'm a creative type who doesn't abide to a 9 to 5 schedule. You don't know!"
Staten Island Girl: "Yeah, you probably still live with your mom, faggot. Did she buy you those faggot pants? You're a piece of shit that's got nothing better to do than steal my dad's dog and use it as your own private fuck toy. Go back to Yogurt Towne, kike."
Ray: "I'm Greek Orthodox! I live in Brooklyn."
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