This week on Girls, Hannah gets a real office job at GQ. No, she’s not posing as the before picture for a makeover article like Ray suggests. She’s writing for their “advertorial section” — you know, those articles that are sponsored content. Or, as Ray informs Hannah when she quits her job at his coffee shop, “It looks like a real article so they trick you into reading it, and then you find out it’s a paid advertisement. Which is both morally and creatively bankrupt.”
Poor Ray has to deal with a different cast member quitting her job at the coffee shop just about every episode. Maybe it’s because everyone’s fleeing Grumpy’s and Ray’s that Ray feels the need to attach himself to Marnie. I’ll skip much of the Ray-Marnie drama of this episode. Suffice it to say that they spend half their time arguing and calling one another stupid and the other half laughing and having sex.
The disdainful way in which they address each other begs the question, why are they together? Simple: neither character has any other option but to hang out with the other. When Marnie gets ready to storm out after she and Ray scream at each other in a Chinese restaurant, he points out that neither one has anyone else with whom they can eat lunch so they might as well eat together. Have any of these characters (besides the late Grindr user David) heard of online dating?
And if Ray looked around, he might realize he has more options. Shoshanna, after spotting a positive review of Ray’s new coffee shop in a magazine, regrets breaking up with him and decides it’s time for her to get a serious boyfriend. But rather than taking aim at the now-successful Ray (much like Marnie did with Charlie last season after his app took off), Shoshanna decides to fall back on her dumb college f*** buddy, who, according to her, cannot even find the library. That relationship will not last long. I see a showdown for Ray’s heart brewing.
The real highlight of this week’s show was GQ‘s snack bar. Apparently GQ gives away free food all day — including donuts, finger sandwiches and even lox and bagels from Russ & Daughters. Seems like an extravagance in an industry where magazines must run advertorial content to stay afloat, but we’ll let that slide.
On day one, Hannah can’t get enough of the snacks. She brings them armfuls to a meeting — which she dominates, by the way — and even smuggles some home for her and Adam to celebrate her great new job.
Sure, Hannah’s killing it at GQ, but it’s just temporary. As she tells her coworkers (one of whom says he hates her face), she’s a “writer writer, not, like, a corporate advertising, working-for-the-man kind of writer.” But it turns out that all of Hannah’s coworkers are even more legit writer writers than she is: One’s a decorated poet, another published some great essays in n+1 and a third was in The New Yorker. And they’ve all been at the GQ advertorial job for years. Why? The snacks. Well, that and healthcare, job security, etc.
Thus Hannah learns the hard truths of the life of an artist: be thankful for the job for which you are overqualified.
There are a lot of other things Hannah could learn about working at an office. For example, don’t gossip about coworkers on the phone while sitting in a cubicle. People can hear you. This is what Gchat is for. Also, if you’re going to cry, go to the bathroom. (In fairness, Hannah’s tour to the ladies’ room got sidetracked by the snack bar, so she may still not know where it is.)
Hannah tries to quit the job, afraid she’ll be seduced by the snacks and all they represent (i.e. a cushy corporate life that involves no creativity or suffering). She quickly changes her mind because her boyfriend is currently making a living by selling janky dreamcatchers on Etsy. But she promises herself to write for three hours every night and on the weekends. She gets home to start this new routine and immediately passes out on the couch. Passing out while trying to be productive after work is probably the most relatable moment of Girls thus far.
One last thing: Adam is doing auditions now. If Hannah and Adam break up, can we have a spinoff show where Adam goes to L.A., tries to make it as an actor and says horribly honest but hilarious things to everyone in Hollywood? Like an even more inappropriate Larry David but darker? Just a suggestion.
Hannah’s pitch for an urban male look: “The Kabballer. He’s a little sleazy. You know, he’s, like, out looking for sex. But he’s wearing Kabbalah bracelets, so you know he’s spiritual. He’d, like, f*** some serious enlightenment into you.”
To Ray when he brings her vegan muffins: “Wow. Muffins from the place you run. What an extravagant gesture.”
Jessa (who got maybe two minutes of airtime this episode):
Shopper pointing to a dress Jessa is trying to sell her: “Isn’t that small for a one year old?”
Jessa: “No, unless your child is morbidly obese. Then I can’t help you.”
Shopper: “Okay I’ll take it.”
Shoshanna & Jessa:
Shoshanna: “Ray really seems to have the respect of his peers on the [basketball] court.”
Jessa: “Oh, that’s amazing. It’s really hard for a Jew to gain respect in sports.”