Girls: Catching Up With ‘I Get Ideas’ and ‘Bad Friend’ Or, Lena Dunham’s Show In a Nutshell

By  · Published on January 29th, 2013

Apologies to our loyal readers, as your faithful Girls recappers/chatterers have just returned from playing in the snow and lung-crushing altitude of the Sundance Film Festival, an outing that kept myself and Rob Hunter from watching, reviewing, and bitching about the HBO series’ second episode of its second season in a timely manner. So consider this a two-for-one, as this week, we discuss both “I Get Ideas” and “Bad Friend,” the second and third episodes from the show’s second season. And, man, are these some enlightening episodes (if you consider drugs to be enlightening, which these girls definitely do).

After the break, Elijah confesses, Hannah experiments, and we start pitching ideas for our own Girls spin-off.

Kate: The second episode opens with a bang – or, at least, Elijah confessing to a bang, telling his insane boyfriend George that he had sex with Marnie (who, weirdly, he tries to refer to as “Charlotte,” before slipping into her real name – something that George doesn’t notice, but any fan of Sex and the City is likely howling over). George is pissed and breaks up with him on the spot, but not before asking if Elijah has told Hannah yet, setting the stage for yet another friendship blowout in Hannah’s life. What could possibly go wrong?

Rob: I’m glad the ep opens with Marnie because, and I know I’m in the minority here, but Marnie remains my favorite of the girls on Girls. The “Charlotte” reference is apt too since she was the only appealing one on Sex and the City. Her failed interview and slow realization that her past successes have been based on her looks feels more real than the others. The bigger story this episode though is Hannah seemingly putting the nail in the coffins of two relationships. The question is do we think either of them will stick?

Kate: Hannah continues to have major dude issues. First off, Adam goes bonkers in this episode – showing up in Hannah’s apartment in the middle of the night, after he’s sent her YouTube links to his new “album” made entirely of songs of how she’s broken his heart and ruined his life (prompting Elijah to comment, “It’s scary with all the tools behind him”), forcing her to kind of (accidentally) call 911, and for him to end up getting hauled off by “the po-po.” And then she breaks up with Sandy because he’s – gasp! – a Republican, but also really because he didn’t “get” her work. Final vote? Adam isn’t gone. Sandy is.

Rob: I agree with that sentiment. On one hand it’s sad because Donald Glover is awesome, but on the other it’s fine because that coupling made zero sense anyway. Moving into last night’s episode, we see Hannah continuing to sever ties with guys as she boots Elijah out of the apartment after a coke-binge goes awry and she discovers he schtupped Marnie. I’m not thrilled that she keeps eliminating the show’s most entertaining characters.

Kate: I hope to God we’re not done with Elijah, as he has become the most quotable character on this show by a mile. Only Elijah can deliver a line like “we’re the sexiest people here!” in a coke-fueled haze and actually make it sound funny and original. And, speaking of that coke binge, what? Has Hannah become so dedicated to making money from writing that she’s willing to humiliate herself in every way possible, or does she really have no grasp of what she’s actually doing?

Rob: Yeah, Elijah can turn a simple question like “When did you eat jerky?” into a hilarious bit. Hopefully he sticks around. But yes, the coke run raised the show’s absurdity level more than a little. She’s never been the brightest character, but I have to assume she knows how serious it is. I think it’s Lena Dunham who chose laughs over reality here, but I’m willing to go with it because I also prefer hilarity. I’m curious if they’ll try to make it serious though with a brief addiction storyline. More importantly though, Marnie is starting to lose her shine with me.

Kate: Just a quick note on the drug thing! It’s interesting that last season saw Shoshanna (Shosh, we miss you!) accidentally trying crack, with it actually helping her come out of her shell in a big way, while Hannah is now willingly on coke and it’s only bringing out the worst in her. What’s up for next season? Marnie trying ‘ludes? Jessa on…something even Jessa hasn’t tried?

But, talk to me, Hunter, what’s up with you and Marnie?

Rob: I haven’t given up on Marnie, and the day I do is probably the day I stop watching the show, but she’s testing me. Obviously, as a woman, she’s going to be wishy-washy, and it made sense when she went back and forth with her boyfriend, but she’s always had a strong drive for stability and success. So she walks away from a job… in the middle of it… to go screw a guy who’s acting like a douche? It just felt out of character. And while I assume Williams’ minor prude clause in her contract is to blame her sex scenes are leaving a lot to be desired in both sexiness and believability. It was a funny scene with the doll and all, but I think their positioning and body placement gave a false impression of back door loving when they were actually just trying to prevent accidental nudity. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Kate: “Look at the doll! Look at the doll!” At least we finally found out how Booth Jonathan is in bed. Which is BAD.

Rob: Very true. Well, with any luck next week will bring back a smarter Marnie…and Adam. Because seriously, where the hell was Adam? Hannah gets him arrested then we have a whole episode where’s neither seen nor mentioned? What, was he off filming a Steven Spielberg or something?

Kate: Yeah, no Adam, no Ray, just a smidge of Jessa and Shosh. What about Charlie? Is he still on this show?

Rob: Who’s Charlie? I kid to bolster your point. But seriously, who’s Charlie? Still kidding. Kind of. The point being the show’s ensemble nature seems to be taking a real hit as it becomes “The Hannah and Sometimes Marnie and Once In a Blue Moon Jessa and Shoshanna Show!”

Kate: I really miss Shosh, especially now that we’ve seen how gross in love she and Ray really are. And, when it comes to Jessa, I have to wonder – does she have a place anymore?

Rob: They’ve both been left by the wayside, and it looks like they’re now only around for diversionary laughs. I really liked the reference to Ray watching Ally McBeal as though that explains his affection for Shoshanna. Also, in case you didn’t notice, I have a hard time calling her Shosh. Jessa was never an interesting character, so I don’t miss her, but if nothing else she offered variety and is missed in that regard. Do you think this is an ego thing with Dunham or did she just overreach with her writing abilities by trying to juggle too many central characters?

Kate: Fine, “Shoshanna” it is!

I think that Dunham is still trying to juggle characters and see who fits where. It’s always been my understanding that Shoshanna was always meant to be a side character, but Zosia Mamet just really took the role and made it her own, and Dunham might still be reworking that. Also, I know that Jemima Kirke was pregnant during filming, and unless they wanted to knock Jessa up quick, it makes sense she’s hiding out. But, damn, do I want to see more of everyone else, and it looks like we’ll be getting some of our boys back in the next episode.

Rob: Nice. We should probably go ahead and end on that optimistic note and one final thought…would you watch a spinoff show called Boys that focused on Adam, Elijah, Ray, Sandy and the others?

Kate: Yes. Unquestionably yes.

Previously on Girls: Girls: ‘It’s About Time’ We Started a Column About Lena Dunham’s Golden Globe-Winning Hit, So Here It Is

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