Entertainment :: Television

HBO’s Girls :: Video Games

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Monday Feb 25, 2013
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This week’s "Girls" is another contained episode where Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) travel to upstate New York to see Jessa’s former junkie dad (Ben Mendelsohn) and his girlfriend Petula (pronounced PET-chu-la) played by Rosanna Arquette. Dad, however, isn’t the most responsible of people. He lives in a large country house that is in disarray and complains about everything he can, even though he says he is now much calmer. His girlfriend is more of the earthy-crunchy/self-help/conspiracy theorist type gal (does she play anything else anymore?) and doesn’t have a lot in common with Jessa. This makes Hannah’s arrival a godsend to Petula who explains that she manifested Hannah’s arrival so she could be the "cushion." As she states it, Jessa hates her. Not only that, Petula thinks that life may, in fact, be just a video game and we’re all just playing to get to the next level. To which Hannah wonders why Petula thinks that because "that sounds kind of real and stressful."

Petula’s son Frank (Nick Lashaway) is a nerdy, awkward nineteen-year-old who is not only socially clueless but very well could be sexually confused. (It doesn’t help that his best friend seems to be clearly gay.) The sexual confusion continues when he and Hannah have a brief and spontaneous sexual encounter in a cemetery. "And then we come into this graveyard," Hannah exclaims, "and I feel like I’m in freakin’ ’Hocus Pocus’ and Thora Birch is going to wear a little hat...!" Which is when Frank kisses her and the eight seconds of sex occurs.

Let’s take a second and just look at Hannah’s sex life. This girl has more sex than half the stunning actors and models I know. It seems that everyone, from hot doctors to nerdy teenagers, want her. Now, I love Hannah’s quirky and self-deprecating personality, but when I have trouble getting a date and she’s constantly having random sex with people who are taken with her after knowing her for five minutes, she is doing nothing to help my self-esteem.
Okay, back to the show.

"And then we come into this graveyard and I feel like I’m in freakin’ ’Hocus Pocus’ and Thora Birch is going to wear a little hat...!"

This episode, though, is really about Jessa and her relationship with her father. While they seem to have a lot in common, what they agree on is based on irresponsibility and immaturity. They are like best friends who are always on the verge of getting into trouble. But that’s ultimately not what Jessa needs, and when she finally confronts her father about it, we learn more about Jessa than we ever have. "You disappear! You never took calls! When things were bad with me and mom, why didn’t you stand up for me?" That is when her father tellingly turns it around and asks her, "You think I can rely on you?" To which Jessa replies, "You shouldn’t have to! I’m the child! I’m the child." Smart stuff and more common than we would like to think.

This exchange ultimately makes Jessa decide to take off without Hannah - leaving a note that simply says, "See you around, my love."

Hannah then has to take the train home alone. (For the record, if a friend of mine did that to me they’d be on my shit-list for years; just an FYI for any of my friends reading this.)

Regardless, seeing Jessa go through this with her parents makes Hannah realize that she had it pretty good. So she calls them while waiting for the train and tells them how much she appreciated their support. And of course - they don’t believe her. That stings, much like the pee that Hannah is expunging from her urinary tract that happens to be infected. Holy symbolism, Batman. Oh yeah, we get to see Hannah’s ass while she pees outside. Come on, we KNEW she’d get naked at some point.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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