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"Maybe I'm not the bad friend and you're not the good friend."
Since it hasn't really changed, Girls certainly hasn't silenced its critics but those who found themselves fast fans of the Golden Globe winning first season should be more than happy with the start of the second. The HBO comedy obviously set a high standard for itself with the fresh-freshman year and, unlike Homeland (sorry, uncalled for), the first three episodes of the sophomore have somehow managed to live up to the hype. Mostly. It doesn't mean there haven't been bumps in the road, or lines on a dirty bar toilet seat, but for the most part the journey has continued to be entertaining, challenging and worthy of the level of discussion it creates. Hannah's story has been especially stellar this season, juggling boyfriends old and new (restrained psychopaths, Black Republicans and gay roommates), if only the same could be said for the rest of the Girls.
"So, like, the magic happens outside your comfort zone."
"Bad Friend" was a lot of fun, and featured a more than rewarding conclusion, however, it was betrayed by Marnie's lacklustre subplot that couldn't live up to Hannah's coke-fueled journey and saw the highly anticipated return, and yet almost completely unsatisfying use, of Jorma Taccone as Booth-Jonathan. I say highly anticipated because the last time we saw Taccone it was during my favorite episode of the entire series, "All Adventurous Women Do," and he had a profound effect on Marnie's up till then reserved character. This time their side-adventure doesn't come across as sexy or even interesting, it's just, well, it's just weird. I get why Marnie would be attracted to the 'talented' artist, since she's so interested in pursuing a career as a curator that she immediately gave up, but not to the point of engaging in that odd sexual encounter or reacting the way she did afterward with the laugh in bed or the smile while sending secretive texts. The series has never shown any sign that Marnie would do any of that even if blown away by his talent.
"What the fuck, man? What the fuck? You're so fucking talented."
Oh, and his art is derivative bullshit. A multi-screen video torture instillation set to Duncan Shiek's "Barely Breathing?" Come on. If only Jessa, or even stroppy Shoshanna, were around to call bullshit on Booth's work and hold over Marnie than maybe she would have been saved the humiliation of not properly being able to read the emotion of the sad doll. There was nothing sassy about that situation and the other supporting Girls were too busy not being in other scenes to intervene. It looks like Elijah has usurped Jessa and Shosh as the third girl in the group, although that might not last too long considering the event that came to light during what appears to be his and Hannah's last night out as roommates. But before getting into the details of the drug addled adventure and how the short-lived secret (I liked how it wasn't strung out over too much of the season) was revealed during a moment of honesty caused by the cocaine, Hannah has to be set on the journey during her first successful interview in some time. If getting a gig that encourages craigslist threesomes or the use of narcotics is a success. Actually, sounds pretty good.
"God I love coke, it's like, it's like a fucking therapy session with you."
At first I couldn't place the actress playing the horrible woman working at Jazzhate, but eventually I remembered that Jame was Angela Featherstone, famous for being Adam Sandler's ex-girlfriend in The Wedding Singer. "Hey Linda, You're a bitch." With a freelance assignment in hand all Hannah needs is a place to score some cocaine and Marnie is nice enough to remind her about the junkie who lives on the ground floor of their, of her, apartment building. Jon Glaser, who also plays Councilman Jamm on Parks and Rec, was incredible in his guest turn as Laird and, after a bit of trepidation and genuine concern over our herione's well being, he hooks her up. In typical selfish fashion, Hannah doesn't realize that asking a recovering junkie to score drugs is not a nice thing to do but Laird comes through in the end cause he's fucking awesome. Sorry, I got really into Laird and thankfully he returns near the end of the story. With the coke in hand it doesn't take long for the roommates to put it in nose not to mention prepare for the evening by power clashing in a outfit inspired by a girl who slept with her uncle and step-father.
"I'm not going to cry."
It doesn't take long for Hannah and Elijah to leave their fucking marks all over their apartment, so they soon head out to a club to dance to Andrew Andrew as previously planned. The sexiest non-sex couple start tearing up the dance floor, seriously, Icona Pop's "I Love It" is going to have a big week on iTunes, and it's all shot with so much movement that you can't help but feel Dunham's excitement come right through the screen. The drug inspired antics also reminded me of last season's "Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident" with Hannah losing articles of clothing just like Shoshana did after a few rocks. And the "thanks, I know" was, as fans of another popular HBO series might say, such a Hannah thing to say. The dancing and cocaine snorting continues until Elijah confesses the attempted coitus with Marnie which obviously shatters Hannah's fragile state of self-involvement. While the two roommates fight their way out of the club, bitching about how she was meant to be his last girl, Laird comes back into the episode like a junkie guardian angel.
"Yes, Laird. Fuck, yes!"
Well, he's technically not back since he's been following Hannah all night, reappears might be a more apt description. Either way, he's the only one who seems to have Hannah's best interests at heart and joins the posse as they head to Booth's to confront Marnie about the post-housewarming party pumps. And despite being hopped up on blow and rocking a mesh shirt, Hannah not only wins the argument between her and her best friend but also kicks Elijah to the curb in the process. She's already had a few big moments this season, from finally pushing Adam out of her life (like that's going to last but still) to the truthful but tough confrontation with both former roommates, so I'm interested to see where her string of self-improvement is heading as well as where Marnie and Elijah will go from here. Particularly the latter since his current run on the show is absolutely hilarious with the banter between him and Dunham worthy of old-school screwball comedies, you know, if they involved cocaine club scenes.
We'll have to wait and see how things will shape up for those two supporting characters but something tells Shoshanna might be getting the spotlight next week... Girls returns with Episode 4, "It's A Shame About Ray," next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Created by Lena Dunham, the series stars Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Allison Williams, Adam Driver, Christopher Abbott and Andrew Rannells.