Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Return to the Familiar

Criticism for the last few episodes appears to have made Hannah a bit jumpy. OCD-level jumpy. Now, I’ll admit…at first I thought this was a cheap plot point just to make every bit of unimportant minutiae seem high stakes and dramatic. Then I rationalized the erratic behavior as being caused by having to sit through a Judy Collins concert, which would be enough to make me suffer a similar fate. However, after the episode ended, I learned that Lena Dunham actually suffered from OCD and my stance softened a bit. It didn’t soften out of pity or out of guilt, it did however soften because one of my main criticisms of the show this season has been that I feel it’s steered away from relatable situations for 20-somethings. The fact that the show’s writer is addressing a very real and very personal life situation directly addresses that criticism of mine, so I’ll tip my hat and move along.

But there’s another reason why this episode was stronger than the past ones. It’s because the Boys are back in the mix. Charley, Adam, and Ray all have significant relevance in this episode and it’s because of that, that the episode is smoother, more interesting, better paced, and obviously funnier. Take that Beyonce. The episode's title proves to be rather apropos. I'm gonna say that "It's Back" refers to the general rhythm of the show that we all enjoyed from Season 1. 

Ray has to confront the fact that his antisocial and cynical ways are not going to end up being a great match for blabber-mouth Shosh. While I would agree that being a 33 year old hanging out with college kids is about as creepy as it gets, in this situation it probably would have been prudent to suck it up so he could keep tabs on his woman. Wanna know what happens when you don’t keep tabs on your woman? A dude from another HBO show is gonna jack her from you, that’s what. I will say though, props to Shosh because I did not think she had the stones to cheat….let alone with a doorman…played by an actor who only got 2 seasons on his previous show before getting cancelled.

But Ray isn’t the only one who should be keeping an eye on the person he cares about. While Hannah is busy at the shrink trying to get her nervous OCD ticks under control, Adam is scoring dates at AA. Adam’s been clean and sober for a while but he’s feeling stressed out and unburdens himself at a meeting, much to the delight of another attendee. In fact, the woman is so impressed by his honesty and poise that she sets Adam up with her daughter. The mom might be a kook, but the apple fell immensely far from the tree. She’s hot, grounded, and Adam appears to have a new sex toy to play with. 

While Hannah and Ray allow their loved ones to play the field, Marnie is doing quite the opposite. Upon hearing that Charlie has started his own company, built it out to what appears to be 20 employees, and secured what looks like a multi-million dollar loft space, (all in a manner of a couple months), she shows up unannounced at his office. Dating an artist is cool and all, but dating a millionaire is way cooler. Unfortunately for Marnie, the entire genesis of Charley’s new found wealth is behind his new app: FORBID which prevents you from calling somebody you hate…and it was inspired by her. Ouch. Marnie should see some royalties on this though, no?

When Marnie arrives home she has a mini-freakout which Ray finds amusing. While she bemoans the fact that sane, have-it-together people like her are forced to struggle through life, sad sacks like Charlie get to be rich and lavished with the gifts of luxury and fame. Or something like that. Ray, always the purveyor of sage wisdom, advises Marnie to stop all the petty bullshit and finally pursue what she wants. Enough of the hostessing and gallivanting. Marnie confides that her true passion is to be a singer and then belts out some lovely sounding tune that I was too lazy to Google.

What we have at the end of the this episode is something that we haven’t had possibly all season: many different possible paths for all the show's characters. This is a good thing and will actually have me looking forward to next episode for the first time all year. Will Shoshanna’s indescrietion bring an end to her relationship with Ray? Will Marnie become a professional singer? Will she sing naked? Will Adam start dating Natalia seriously? Or will she only make him realize how much he misses Hannah? Will Charlie ride his wealth to party it up with models in Ibiza? Or will he come crawling back to Marnie? If Charley comes back to her, will Marnie get naked? Will Jessa reappear? Is she going to be a peripheral character the rest of this season? Will Hannah conveniently conquer her recent bout of OCD to make room for a new plot point? Will her OCD continue to plague her for the rest of the season to become a ½ season arc? Will you continue reading this blog? Will Marnie get naked?

Yes. No. No. Maybe. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Yes also. Yes. No. Probably not. Sadly...I doubt it.

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