Girls returned to HBO last night, not that many of you noticed because the very demographic that usually watches Girls is the same that would also tune in to the Golden Globes, which is why the fact that HBO premieres it against the Hollywood ceremony always confounds me. Those who watch Girls will no doubt catch up on re-airs, but it’s also a show that likes to capitalize on those breathlessly shocking moments that everyone is going to talk about the next morning.
That moment in last night’s episode involved Desi eating out the ass of Marnie, which is a spectacularly unpleasant thing to have to write this early in the morning. And yet, here we are:
I’ve had the phrase “eatin’ da butt” (to the tune of “doin’ da butt’) bouncing around in my head all morning. I’ve had better mornings.
Interestingly, I’m sure that the first thought many who were watching that scene had was, “What does her dad think about that?” Vulture, actually, has an interview with the cast (and Brian Williams) about the scene. Alison Williams talks about how they used the scent of vanilla cake and TV magic to make it happen (no butts were actually eaten), and Brian Williams is typically droll in his reaction:
She’s always been an actress. For us, watching her is the family occupation and everybody has to remember it’s acting, no animals were harmed during the filming, and ideally nobody gets hurt.
Storywise, the interesting part of that scene is that Desi, while taking pleasure her posterior orifice, mumbled “I love this,” to which Marnie responded, “I love you.” That made it all the more awkward later that morning when Desi’s girlfriend, Clementine, approached her before a brunch performance put on by Marnie and Desi to basically say, “Sorry about seeing you as a threat. Of course you’re not a threat!” to which Marnie sheepishly replied, “Of course not!” Minutes later, Marnie was weeping outside of the diner after rude kids shout-shamed her charisma-less performance. Elijah’s (Andrew Rannells) pick-me up talk outside of the diner, however, continued to prove that on a show called Girls, the men are frequently the far more interesting characters.
Meanwhile, the events of the rest of the episode weren’t particularly compelling — it was more table-setting for the upcoming season. Hannah followed through on her promise to go to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, although she seems a little unsure of the decision now (the opening dinner scene with her parents mirrored the opening scene of the pilot, only instead of lecturing Hannah for drifting through her life, they were celebrating her move). Jessa, fired by Beadie’s daughter (Natasha Lyonne) for attempting to arrange Beadie’s suicide, is angry at Hannah for abandoning her (Jessa’s storyline is only interesting if she ends up hooking up with Lyonne’s character). Meanwhile Adam is mopey about Hannah leaving and disappointed with how his career has devolved since his Broadway debut (he has since done a lousy, embarrassing antidepressant commercial).
In fact, in the end, it is not Adam who is super, special supportive of Hanna’s move to Iowa, it is Marnie, who shows up early with coffee to see Hanah off while Adam stares forlornly from the window. (Will we see less of Adam this season as Adam Driver tends to his other projects?)
Just to touch all of our bases, I should also note that Shoshana finally graduated from college (via picking up her official degree from the registrar) and we meet her parents, both of whom are named Mel (her mom is played by Anna Gasteyer). Shoshana also apologized to Ray for trying to manipulate him back into a relationship, noting “You picked the best one of my friends to bone because I’ve never really liked Marnie that much.” I do wish we could’ve seen more of the upbeat Ray in the episode. He was beaming.
Hopefully, Hannah’s move to Iowa will creatively reinvigorate the series, first by introducing new characters in Iowa, and more importantly, by allowing the other more interesting characters in New York to develop outside of the context of Hannah. It often feels like a show that would be far more engrossing (or at least, less annoying) if Hannah weren’t in it, but again, I am naturally biased toward more dynamic, less obnoxious, and more likable protagonists. But maybe that’s just me.