by Jeremy Grossman
All the critics I’ve come across have almost all agreed that last week’s episode was “Girls’” best episode so far, and while it was definitely very good, I have to think that “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too” encapsulates best what this show should and could be. In “Weirdos,” we watch as Hannah, Marnie and Jessa go through a fairly casual day, where nothing particularly major happens, but they learn a bit, have some good times, and end the day a little wiser than they were before.
And this sort of bittersweet, melancholy-with-a-smile-type style that “Girls” tries on in “Weirdos” is a perfect fit. Because this show is at its worst when it aims for the zany and the cartoony, and the characters act like Lena Dunham’s warped view of reality (Hannah seducing her boss, Shoshanna taking crack).
No, this show should not be like a cartoon.
So in “Weirdos,” we follow Hannah and Adam on their first steps toward becoming an actual couple, and at first, it seems like a match made in heaven. They fool around in bed. They jog together. Adam even makes an effort to connect with with Marnie, offering her solace after her break-up. It all seems too good to be true, and that’s because it is, as Adam slowly shows his true colors—viciously screaming at drivers, rudely dropping out of his friend’s play that he had agreed to act in, and surprising Hannah in the shower to pee on her.
But what’s interesting about all of this is that Hannah doesn’t seem too mortified by her boyfriend’s outlandish behavior. Mind you, she isn’t thrilled, but the Hannah of the past seven episodes would have been so irritated by Adam that she would’ve screamed at him and ran home to write about it in her journal. The Hannah of episode 8 is just a bit miffed, and doesn’t even seem to care by the end.
I don’t want to say that Hannah is developing a healthy relationship with Adam, because she isn’t. There’s no way that these two will remain together for a long period of time—it’s just not going to happen. But I do think that Hannah is becoming more confident, and more in control of her emotions, and Dunham is conveying that perfectly. Hannah is not falling in love with Adam, but she is gaining maturity and awareness about her relationship and the world around her.
Marnie and Jessa, meanwhile, do fall in love. Feeling miserable after looking at Charlie’s Facebook photos of his trip to Rome with his new girlfriend, Marnie heads to a bar with Jessa, determined to “get out of her head” and stop being so uptight, as Jessa instructs.
Ironically, Jessa becomes the uptight one, when an attractive businessman (special guest star Chris O’Dowd from “Bridesmaids”) invites them back to his fancy apartment. Marnie is excited, but Jessa is disgusted. At first, it would seem like Jessa is just being a buzzkill, getting in the way of Marnie’s good time. Oh, but Jessa knows best. When Jessa and Marnie start making out, and accidentally spill red wine on the businessman’s expensive carpet, the businessman reveals his true colors—yelling and crying like a little boy who needs his nap.
Jemima Kirke has great chemistry with anyone, but her performance with Allison Williams was outstanding in the way that it turned a nonexistent dynamic—Marnie and Jessa—into the show’s most exciting dynamic of all. After all, both Marnie and Jessa have a lot to learn from each other, as Marnie learns to be more daring, and Jessa learns to be more refrained. Together, they are unstoppable. And best of all, Marnie finally has interesting things to do! (Please, please, let Charlie be gone from the show for good, so that Marnie can actually develop into a real character).
So over the course of one day, Hannah becomes more confident, Marnie takes more risks, and Jessa turns down a man (but this time, it didn’t cost her job!). This type of mature character growth is what I like to see. Just one thing though—come on, “Girls,” you have Zosia Mamet on payroll, would it kill you to actually use Shoshanna?
Jeremy Grossman is entertainment editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.