A Girl on “Girls”: Bongo Rock, Cool Dads, Camp Ramah Reunions (S1/E4, “Hannah’s Diary”)


As much as it hurts to tear myself away from Questionable Goods’ recently released Greatest Hits album, I know that it is my duty to report on the new episode of Girls.  We begin “Hannah’s Diary” with a dick pic from Adam.  With the series being so polarizing among viewers, the dick pic is something of a panacea for the audience.  Who among us hasn’t been suddenly violated by the arrival of an unsolicited dirty photo?  Hannah, Marnie and Charlie’s disgust is certainly understandable, and the action is so typical of the Adam we’ve come to know and love.  He immediately follows with “Sry” because the text wasn’t even meant for Hannah, meaning that it was definitely meant for a different girl.  This is a total dick pic faux pas. 

The incident sets the tone for the rest of the episode, which continues showing us the horrifying and somehow hilarious everyday lives of the cast.  Hannah’s new boss Rich is clearly a sexual predator, but Hannah’s coworkers insist, “You’ll get used to it,” focusing instead on the perks—iPods, health insurance, flexible schedules—and not on the unacceptable behavior.  The girls bond over the harassment, and the scene is something of a Stockholm syndrome soiree.  Hannah doesn’t really buy into the arrangement right away, but is newly desperate for the money and wants to fit in.  You can see her trying to convince herself that Rich is really just a playful guy and not a pervert, making the entire plotline more horrifying than hilarious.

A beacon shining far into the Catskill Mountains is the triumphant performance by Nobel Prize winning genius, Zosia Mamet (A.K.A Shoshanna).  This week, Zosia bumps into a handsome young Jew on the street.  We are promptly informed that this pair of Manischewitz brand cargo shorts is named Matt Kornstein™, and knows Zosia from their time at Camp Ramah, which is an actual summer camp for Jews named Shoshanna and Matt Kornstein™.  Zosia swoons and the pair is swiftly spirited away to her studio apartment where they watch a movie uncomfortably until Matt Kornstein™ uses a bum knee as an excuse to start touching her.  Knee touching quickly turns into oral sex, and Zosia wastes no time by asking for sex (ten million bonus sex positivity points for actually using spoken words to request sex), except she also admits that she is a virgin while doing so.   The hero Matt Kornstein™ is sadly revealed to be a blundering jerk, instantly repulsed by Zosia’s virtue and poise.  She is utterly crushed.

Jessa, the babysitter with “the face of Bridgette Bardot and an ass like Rihanna,” is back making uncomfortable small talk with Cool Dad and losing her charges at the park.  She is too busy lamenting the low wages of the neighborhood’s other nannies to even look at her kids, a brilliant scenario that really shows us that Jessa is too busy acting worldly to fully live in the world.  She doesn’t even consider herself to be a political person, but she would definitely help start a babysitters club to help the disenfranchised workers that actually provide childcare to make a living and not just for the sake of holding something resembling a job.  Jessa’s naivety is good intentioned, but like Hannah’s attempts to humor her handsy boss, the scene also functions to underline the disappointment we are meant to feel in these characters.

Case in point: Hannah finally works up the courage to go tell Adam that she doesn’t want to see him anymore.  As supposed pro-Hannah viewers, we know that Adam is a bad dude (he likes her “Mexican teenager” eyebrows!) and is never going to give Hannah the relationship she wants, despite her saying she’s cool and down and hip and doesn’t want a relationship.  Hannah breaking up with Adam is a good thing, but she ultimately can’t resist his constant bare chest and weird chin beard.  By the episode’s end, she is freshly fucked and content with her non-relationship with Adam, which is exactly where we don’t want her to be.

Which leads me to another place nobody ever wants to be: the Bushwick Inn.  Questionable Goods—Charlie and Ray’s awesome bongo/guitar band—is playing a gig and all the girls are in attendance.  The band debuts a killer jam about Keds, followed by title track, “Hannah’s Diary,” which features lyrics lifted from (duh) Hannah’s diary about how much Marnie needs and wants to break up with Charlie. Snooping is a very familiar sitcom trope, but at least it is set to music this time around.  Charlie embarrasses Marnie and Hannah in public just to be hurtful.  While Charlie doesn’t deserve a girlfriend that doesn’t love him, he also hasn’t earned the right to make Marnie feel like shit.  With company like Adam, the guy from The Lonely Island and Matt Kornstein™, it has been easy to be on board with the idea that Charlie is the best boyfriend ever and Marnie is just ungrateful, but “Hannah’s Diary” finally proves that Saint Charlie might not be the greatest guy in the world after all.

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