Just watched the premier of Girls' season 3, one episode on my DVR and the other on HBO's Youtube Channel, where you can watch full episodes 1 and 2. I'm really glad HBO took the lead in just putting the episodes online instead of ignoring the fact that we will find it on the internet some way, some how! I wonder if HBO might continue for the whole season. It's a worthy experiment and I predict it will pay off--in ad sales. If only we could buy the soundtrack and Jessa's wardrobe directly from the screen. So Recap: Jessa's back. Marni is not able to circumvent normal life experiences. We all love Adam because he says things that Jessa also says, but is no longer considered a sociopath. Shoshanna is unabashedly Shoshanna, speaking pearls of wisdom while still fascinated with that which we think we are over. And, surprise, Hannah needs friends.
I enjoyed both episodes and while I think we all have tendency to tear up this show and talk about what is and is not true, helpful to female empowerment, or race/class/gender stereotypical, I think both episodes at least start a conversation about two issues: therapy (or the path towards some kind of 'normal') and female friendship (or as Adam calls it 'vortex of guilt and jealousy'). I think it's interesting how Jessa is the one in group therapy, Marni turns to her mom, Shoshanna doesn't talk to anyone about her breakup and Hannah, the person who probably would most benefit from group therapy, relies on Adam. Of course, Hannah gets a gold star for her mental illness, because it helps her writing, and Jessa gets called a sociopath and kicked out of rehab after saying the one thing I wish someone told me everyday "You can't make things that mean nothing mean something".
But when do things mean something? Does this show mean something? Is it about nothing? Is it our Seinfeld?
"You're too young to understand which thoughts are useless to you"
As Jessa's father figure muses, children have all the knowledge, but none of the language and as you get older you 'start to live with the same ignorance as the very young'. I really wonder whether Lena or Judd wrote this. Or if someone's dad wrote this. It's like how I keep telling my mom I wish I had the perspective I have now when I was my sister's age. But you can't and you won't, unless we all reincarnate with our existing wisdom gained. Of course the father figure tries to sleep with Jessa and is taking drugs to get through group sessions, that's the wisdom he has gained in his life, the behavior he has practiced and perfected, the bliss he has chosen. Because everyone still learns different things from the same experiences. We want to think we learn how to do things better, but there is no better. There just is.
My favorite part of Girls is that I can watch on screen people do or say things that I have actually experienced (just like Seinfeld ;)--but it plays out in a way that I cannot control--just like life (and Seinfeld). And that is comforting.
There's this did-you-get-it are-you-one-of-us part of Girls that's simultaneously inclusive, because it is so common, and exclusive, because it is so now. The have-you-been-in-this-situation-or-not. Taylor, remember when you also quoted the Rolling Stones? I got it. Someone else might not have, but that doesn't make them better, worse, more or less cultured. It just makes them more or less included. Yet, the funny part is all you have to do is type the lyrics into google, and you get and answer. Some people think this is deteriorating something important, but again, we all do it and we all get different things out of it.
Like reading blogs where many different people say or like the same things. Even the most obscure thing, someone else likes it. Girls, like most popular things, remind us we are much more alike than we would sometimes like to think. And yet we are all distinctly individual and learn distinctly different things from our experiences. Both things help us be, and feel, normal. And while some people may think they've already fixed everything, made herself normal, the fact is you cannot fix, know, or experience everything and there isn't really a normal, there's just an acceptance of being simultaneously in and out of control of the crazy thing we all experience: life. You can tailor your experience, with the right amount of money, time, knowledge, wisdom, whatever, but you can't control it.
Which is why Shoshanna is now my favorite character. She reminds me that it's okay to sing disgusting top 40 songs with my 16-year-old sister who may or may not understand them, because someday she will understand them, and life will go on.
Is Hanna pregnant? Will Jenny Lewis come out with another solo album this year? Does Marni get over herself? Is Hannah in love with Adam or does she just think she is in love with Adam? Does it matter?
Vampire Weekend: "I’m Going Down" Jenny Lewis: "Completely Not Me" * M. Ward: "I Get Ideas" Lily Allen: "Late Comer" Beck: "Blue Moon" Miguel: "simplethings" * Christina Perri: "I Don’t Wanna Break" Oasis: "Wonderwall" Zero DeZire: "It’s My Birthday (Remix)" * Aimee Mann: "How Am I Different" Father John Misty: "Nancy From Now On" Jake Bugg: "There’s a Beast and We All Feed It" Cat Power: "Free (Gigamesh Remix)" * Daniel Johnston: "Life in Vain (Live at Austin City Limits)" Michael Penn: "Daisy (From One Man’s Trash)" *
It's everything and it's nothing. -- Thank you Lindy West. (read Jezebel's recap here)