Girls Recap: “Hannah’s Diary”

The existence of "sexting" might be old news for middle-schoolers around the country, but for prudish Hannah (Lena Dunham) receiving her first text message dick pic is a thoroughly traumatic experience. Most shows would only describe the offending image, but Girls goes the extra mile by actually showing us the "semi-erect penis wrapped in a squirrel skin" followed by an in-depth conversation about its meaning. But the ultimate cringe moment comes moments later when a follow-up text reveals the text was actually meant for another girl.

Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke Photo

Undeterred, Hannah rips her shirt off and responds with an equally racy pic. All this happens before the opening credits and naturally, Hannah's degradation is just beginning. She's finally found a job, but her much older boss, Rich, gives her a highly inappropriate massage before she's even closed out her first week. Turns out this is nothing new to the other ladies in the office, who excuse Rich's creepy advances by explaining that he's such a nice guy that he's been known to give out iPods as birthday presents. If Sex and the City celebrated the birth of 21st-Century feminism, Girls mourns its premature death.

Shoshanna, meanwhile, looks as though she might finally be on the verge of losing her v-card, as she meets up with an old camp counselor who's not turned off by her incredibly awkward quirks. ("Didn't you try to kill yourself by sucking all the air out of a raft?" he asks). Speaking of awkward, Charlie continues his misguided attempts to save his relationship by building a coffee table out of found objects as a surprise for Marnie (Allison Williams). Unfortunately, he enlists the help of his friend Ray, who not only rummages through Marnie's underwear drawer but also spends the afternoon openly fantasizing about incest. Needless to say, most shows couldn't draw laughs from this, but Girls somehow makes it work.

 

 

Another of the show's finest qualities is that it frequently takes unexpected turns that never feel forced. Of course Hannah suffers through another grope session with her boss, but surprisingly he asks her outright if "the touching" bothers her. Unbeknownst to Hannah, however, her real humiliation is taking place at her apartment, where Ray's snooping has caused him to stumble onto her diary. It's mostly boring musings about "keeping bread in the house," but it also contains something so shocking that he feels the need to conceal it from Charlie.

It would be an understatement to say the girls of Girls are having a hard time transitioning into adulthood. "Hannah's Diary" shows several characters trying and failing to clear the final hurdles that stand between themselves and becoming grown-ups. Hannah has a job now, but makes the foolish decision to share the details of her sad sex life with her co-workers. Jessa is also employed, but she proves herself to be the world's most inept babysitter when she loses the kids she's watching. Shoshanna, meanwhile, looks as though she's finally about to get laid, but ruins it when she reveals to the guy that she's a virgin.

It's failure as usual for the show's four central characters, but the episode features a brief moment of empowerment for Hannah (the first of the series, thus far) when she confronts her friend with benefits about the fact that he clearly has the same arrangement with several other women. Unfortunately, she not only caves and has sex with the guy again, but the episode ends with her most cringe-worthy low point yet. Hannah joins her friends for a performance by Charlie and Ray's awful hipster pop band, only to find that their finale features lyrics taken directly from Hannah's diary. The passage in question involves Hannah pondering why Marnie continues to date Charlie and musing about what it must be like to have a boyfriend with a vagina. Needless to say, the song didn't go over well, but we'll have to wait until next week to find out how damaged the friendship between Marnie and Hannah truly is.

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