I recently got xfinity tv set up online which means now I have access to so many TV shows that were not available on Netflix (hello season 3 of New Girl, and all HBO tv shows I’ve been dying to watch forever). This means that I may or may have spent the past two weeks watching the entire season of True Detective as well as all of Season 1 and half of Season 2 of Girls.
Let’s talk about Girls. I heard all about it a couple years ago when it first came out but didn’t get into it at first. I saw a couple of episodes which I enjoyed, but I didn’t really love it. I thought it was trying too hard to be quirky and “real”. With all the episodes at my fingertips now I decided to give it another go, and I’m so glad I did because now I love it! I think now that I’m slightly older (20 is definitely different than 17/18) and I actually live on my own away from home makes it easier for me to relate to all the characters. I see parts of myself and my friends in literally every single one of the characters on the show.
I just watched the episode “One Man’s Trash” (season 2 episode 5) and finished it feeling completely in awe of the show on a new level. The episode is different than any other Girls episode so far, and I love that the show took that risk to do something new and interesting. It could have totally failed, but this episode was pleasantly surprising and refreshing. This episode feels like a short film. Actually, it really feels like it could be based off of a short story. Out of the usual cast, only Hannah is in this episode so if you had never scene a girls episode you could watch this one without any confusion.
The episode is fantastic because it allows for Hannah’s to have major character arc within the 25 or so minutes. The episode also comes completely full circle by the end in subtle yet meaningful way. The episode goes like this: A man walks into the coffee shop where Hannah is currently working at the start to complain because he has found trash bags from the coffee shop in his own trash bins two blocks away. He is rightfully frustrated about this and complains, only to be treated rudely by Ray who says he and all his employees would never do that. Hannah then scolds Ray for treating the man so rudely and walks out and heads to a nearby brownstone. When she knocks on the door and the man who had just been at the shop complaining opens it, we realize that Hannah must be the one who’s been leaving the trash there because she knew exactly which brownstone to go to. Being awkward and unable to directly communicate, Hannah has weird small talk with the guy and is invited into his home. It’s a lovely home which Hannah describes perfectly as looking like it’s out of a Nancy Meyer’s film (think the light/beautiful/tooperfectlyperfect decor you’d find in Steve Martin’s house in Father of the Bride).
She confesses to leaving the trash at the man’s house because she lost her garbage key and doesn’t want to tell Ray. She also admits that she finds it fun and exhilarating to have to sneakily drop the trash in his bins. They end up have sex in that moment, after which he cooks her a steak on his balcony from which she watches twenty year olds party beneath them. She spends two days with the man, who we learn is named Joshua. Hanna and Joshua play ping pong, read the newspaper, have sex, and just do normal and pleasant activities during their time together. On the final night, Hannah accidentally passes out in his sauna/shower, and we she comes too she confesses to him that he’s and his put together life has made her realize what she wants: a normal happy life. She’s been searching for experiences and trying to feel so many things, and she comes to understand that she is standing in the way of herself and a happy life. It is a big moment in Hannah’s life because she’s realizing something she has never admitted to herself. Of course this realization doesn’t equal change, but it’s a good start for Hannah. Joshua, who by the way is 42, see’s how lost and confused Hannah is (she is only just starting to figure out what she wants, and he’s already there) and is sort of turned off by her after this conversation. They have one final night together. She wakes up alone the next day, takes out his trash, and leaves.
It’s Girls, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see a off-kilter episode like this come out of an HBO show that already is “edgy”, I only wish more tv shows would try out riskier episodes like this!