Lion of the Blogosphere

Girls S06E02 “Hostage Situation”

This episode has some interesting sociological observations, and the display of Hannah’s body is limited to her wearing a top that’s just a tad too short which allows the occasional glimpse of her pasty floppy stomach hanging over her large-waisted jeans.


The episode opens with Marnie having sex with her crazy ex-husband Desi. (And I mean crazy in the sense that he has manic-depressive mental health issues.) Apparently, Marnie is pissed at Ray for staying at Shoshanna’s after she kicked him out of her apartment. Ray is not seen in this episode at all.

Hannah accompanies Marnie and Desi to Poughkeepsie (which for those not familiar with the New York City metropolitan area is a small city up the Hudson River about 80 miles north of Manhattan). It’s not clear, based on only watching once, whose car they are driving or whose well-decorated house in Poughkeepsie they are staying at.

There is a little bit of a theme we’ve seen before on Girls, why do people spend exorbitant amounts of money to live in crappy tiny apartments in New York City when they can live elsewhere for so much less money and have open space and fresh air?

The soap opera part of the Poughkeepsie jaunt is that Marnie discovers that Desi has been abusing Oxycontin for the last year, and this is consistent with Marnie’s character being so self-centered that she notices nothing about anyone else, not even that Desi was abusing drugs while they were married.

Marnie, who is unable to just let things go, throws a big temper tantrum and smashes his bottle of pills on the floor and steps on them, and this triggers Desi into having a crazy episode in response, because after all, not only is he crazy with mental health issues, he’s also a druggie.

I think that Desi’s craziness is part of his appeal to Marnie because it’s confused for alpha-ness.


Shoshanna wants to go to meeting of WEMUN (Women Entrepreneurs Meet-Up Now) which happens to have been founded by two girls, who are the successful founders of a company called Jamba Jeans, and who Shoshanna used to know in college but they fell out of friendship after Shoshanna stood them up for a spring break vacation in Aruba in order to hang with Jessa.

Too socially anxious to go by herself, she convinces Elijah (Hannah’s gay ex-boyfriend) to accompany her. And then Jessa, even though clearly not welcome by Shoshanna, tags along.

We see that Shoshanna is insanely jealous of the success of her ex-friends from college, and when she tries to insert herself back into their lives, she gets a rebuke because they still haven’t forgiven her for the Aruba trip, which is where they invented the idea for Jamba Jeans. The incident is emotionally devastating for Shoshanna.

Jessa has the best observation of the entire episode. She says “Here’s what I don’t understand. Why aren’t more of these women going into more practical trades. Like being a cobbler, or a locksmith [unintelligible] lady road pavers, lady electricians, lady plumbers.”

Then some soap opera drama in which Elijah and Shoshanna yell at Jessa for hooking up with Adam, which she wasn’t supposed to do because he was Hannah’s ex-boyfriend.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 20, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Television

32 Responses

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  1. Oh, I guarantee you no woman would ever wonder why we don’t become electricians. Those jobs are hard and dangerous.

    But why not nurses or bookkeepers or teachers? As far as portable skills, that you can actually name.

    Mrs Stitch

    February 20, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    • Why would any strong, liberated I-am-woman-hear-me-roar settle for anything less than doctor, accountant and professor?

      (This issue, narcissism, is hardly limited to women, of course).


      February 20, 2017 at 8:57 pm

  2. Interesting insights. Off topic, there are like 20 or so good Jane Austen movies. In the real world, back in 1805, several of the Austen heroines were, from the simplistic physical point of view, no more and no more less unattractive than poor Lena Dunham.

    howitzer daniel

    February 20, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    • “from the simplistic physical point of view, no more and no more less unattractive than poor Lena Dunham.”

      Um. No.

      Even as recently as 1980 severely overweight women in the prime nubile years were rare. When Jane Austen describes someone as plain, it doesn’t mean she looks like Lena Dunham. It means she looks like Shoshanna. Since grossly excess body weight and sickly illness are by far the top detractors from a young woman’s natural beauty, the explosion of one of those has drastically moved the average quality of female beauty in this society very far below where it was three centuries ago. Or even three decades ago.


      February 20, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      • She (Lena Dunham) lost 40 or so pounds in the last few months. If she were to convert to Christianity (not to the weird liberal kind, but to real Christianity) or if she decided to follow the real precepts of Judaism, and if she keeps the weight off, I would almost envy the lucky man that becomes her husband. Also lots of guys are married to women who put on half a hundred pounds since the wedding day. I have had several beautiful girlfriends, there is something wrong with everybody – maybe bad breath, maybe body odor, maybe she eats too slow or eats too fast, is remarkably stupid or greedy – Lena is still young and may someday be the ideal wife for some lucky fellow. A loving heart overlooks faults. Anyway, I agree with everything you said from the word “Since” to the end of your comment. But don’t forget though how repulsive it is to the 20-something female of our day to see 20-something men spend a hundred hours a week “playing” on a “screen”.

        howitzer daniel

        February 20, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      • OTOH women in Jane Austen’s day had terrible teeth and probably smelled bad.


        February 21, 2017 at 12:35 am

      • Dunham isn’t a young starlet. She’s thirty.

        JW Bell

        February 21, 2017 at 7:51 am

      • For the record I am no great prize myself.

        howitzer daniel

        February 22, 2017 at 2:30 am

  3. I like your analysis of the symbolism of the Poughkeepsie trip: The land of plenty exists, but it comes at the cost of losing the City. Perhaps a temptation for viewers, or perhaps something to be feared.

    Anonymous Bro

    February 20, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    • “about 40 miles north of Manhattan”

      More like 80. (I checked but I was thinking of Plattsburgh, which turns out to be ~300 north. There’s a lot of
      New York State.)


      February 21, 2017 at 12:10 am

  4. ” She says “Here’s what I don’t understand. Why aren’t more of these women going into more practical trades. Like being a cobbler, or a locksmith [unintelligible] lady road pavers, lady electricians, lady plumbers.””

    I havent watched since Season 1 because HBO is a cesspit destroying the culture and I dont want to give them money. But I found the show amusing and Lena Dunham a funny writer. If anything the writing makes fun of the Hannah character: like when she stole the money her parents left as a tip for the hotel maid. Or when Adam is having degrading sex with her and he snarls “I want you to call me ” and she chirps in “you want me to call you?”.

    The joke, in my limited exposure, has always seemed to be on these nitwit characters. Like wondering about why there arent more lady road pavers.

    Counter-wise, the public discussion of the show always seems a defense of the characters against criticism of them. There seems to be a double game going on. Dunham makes fun of the characters but then vigorously calls for help in defending them against the wrong kind of critics.

    This sort of seems like what the NY Times is engaged in- you are either a subscriber or you are for Trump. You have to support us because we have the right type of enemies. I wouldnt be surprised if that is the HBO model- ratings be damned but offend the right type of people to get subscriber loyalty.

    I’d like to see the Lion analysis of the original “Girls” pitch (allegedly) at the bottom of this link:

    Lion o' the Turambar

    February 20, 2017 at 7:56 pm

  5. I’d like to know how HBO could call the fictional company Jamba Jeans without getting a lawsuit from Jamba Juice.



    February 20, 2017 at 8:02 pm

  6. I thought this episode was very funny, mainly when Desi was going crazy.

    Best character in the series is Jessa with her quick-wit, nonchalant attitude, and best face up close (sorry can’t get Superman with makeup out of my mind). Definitely the biggest underachiever as well. Ironic line at the end of the episode when she tells Shoshanna, who is in the corporate world, to grow up. Really though Shoshanna will never develop the mental capacity of Jessa.

    “I think that Desi’s craziness is part of his appeal to Marnie because it’s confused for alpha-ness.”

    He strokes her ego, and he’s not a deep conversationalist, too. Shoshanna and Ray have their level, but this one is even lower to Marnie’s level/liking. Ultimately, he is good-looking. Last episode he talked about his “female therpepeutic companion who doesn’t want anything from him except a deposit of his sperm” in the future. He can get women, knows it, and acts it. In this episode Marnie angrily accusses him of staring at the girl at the yogurt place which he brushes off as being out of concern for the girl looking unwell and then he proceeds to suck Marnie’s teet through her clothes.


    February 20, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    • Marnie is not into alpha males. Look at all her boyfriends on the show. She likes needy puppy dogs who worship her. Ray might not be a wimp all the time, but she only sleeps with him after she orders him around a bit and he confesses his secret love for her.


      February 20, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      • I would agree and disagree. She is into alpha males, but because of maybe daddy issues or some need for acceptance she in a sense whores herself out to be worshipped by losers like Ray. In the earlier episodes she destroyed her panties when Charlie who was a lesser version of Ray when they first dated came back as a “bad boy” looking the part as well. She also fell for the dude from Lonely Island who portrayed an alpha artist.


        February 20, 2017 at 11:41 pm

  7. This episode had some plot holes, which is unusual since the show is usually tightly written.

    Desi is normally semi broke, but says he was taking 20 oxy pills a day. That is like a $300-400 a day habit. At that point people who are not rich switch to heroin which is much cheaper. His friend somehow is also willing to lend him what looks to be a $100,000 fully restored classic roadster. The people who actually have those are middle aged men in the suburbs and they don’t loan them out for the weekend to 30 year old friends who live in the city to drive upstate.

    She also somehow did not know this for a year of dating and engagement but discovers it on an overnight trip. Seems very unlikely. Finally, he carries them around in a large glass mason jar. That just seems bizarre. His mental breakdown also seemed unrealistic, though I’ve never witnessed one so can’t say for sure.

    Marnie going back with him is also unrealistic. He is played as really dumb and whiny, blabbing about emotions a lot. The initial attraction made sense since he was in a band and had the social proof of a hot girlfriend. But his repeated sobbing, passive aggressive act, and general dysfunction would preclude her trying to date him again, even if she did sleep with him for old times sake.


    February 20, 2017 at 9:15 pm

  8. After five seasons the main characters are running out of interactions with each other. Some of the better episodes and arcs focus on one or two of them and their interaction with some guest star. The first episode was pretty good and followed this formula. Perhaps the best scene was Hannah fawning and brown nosing to get a writing assignment, and not skipping the slightest beat when she is told they want to hire her because she is fat and unathletic and it would be funny to send her to surf camp.


    February 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm

  9. I work in the Trades so I can answer Jessa’s question about why women don’t join practical trades and become lady electricians, plumbers, and road pavers. Short answer, lots of them join a blue collar trade, realize that whatever the benefits its a lot of hard work where real concrete results are expected and quit.

    Long answer lots of women join for the relatively good pay and the lack of girls means the few there get tons of attention. But they just aren’t very good at the work. The best of them are as good as a mediocre man doing the same job, usually they are disastrous. The work is hard, and often dirty, the environment is very masculine. Feminine behaviors like whining or giving up aren’t tolerated. One of the go to lines if your hitting a nail with a hammer and its not going in is “hit it with your purse.” you say that to a girl and she will cry then go whine to the foreman. Whiners are shunned, chicks hate being shunned.They lack the physical strength, focus and dedication necessary to do these jobs well. The few who make it are usually very mannish or slip into some kind of office job usually as a secretary/mattress. They also realize that while they love being the only girl or one of only a few in a group of men. It’s just too much work and they can get male attention elsewhere without working so hard. So they quit, or never join, then whine about how men are keeping them out of the trades.


    February 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    • Going forward, routine office work is as prole as the guy rolling dung on the street, so pedestrians and vehicles can move efficiently — the pursuit of intellectual/creative leisure is the new status marker, now that we have an over-abundance of serfs.

      All one really needs to learn in today’s society is a few foreign languages and culinary skills.


      February 20, 2017 at 11:49 pm

  10. “why do people spend exorbitant amounts of money to live in crappy tiny apartments in New York City when they can live elsewhere for so much less money and have open space and fresh air?”

    1. Jobs.
    2. Status


    February 20, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    • Right. And, not unrelated of course, getting to live near today’s attractive Millennial singles … such as the Lena Dunhams of the world … waitaminnit, yuh oh …

      Greg Pandatshang

      February 21, 2017 at 12:09 am

    • Dating.

      David Pinsen

      February 21, 2017 at 2:06 am

    • Wrapped up in #2 is proximity to brains. The Bay Area can’t be beat on this front. Meetups with extremely bright consultants, software engineers and technical writers, i.e. rationalists, (in trendy weird drinking/dining establishments) is a major plus to being in this excessively and nauseatingly talked-about locale.

      Their artsy counterparts have benefits too – you won’t see many cutting edge audio-visual performances w/ yoga bodies in Stockton – even if they’re terrible when it comes to politics.


      February 21, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    • To be honest, the secret problem is that even in the so-so areas in the suburbs, rental units aren’t that much cheaper than the city, and the real estate pricing for ownership is better but the property tax eats up any savings.

      David Alexander

      February 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

  11. To me the point of this episode was the conflict or tension of friends –people you like, want to be with, purely for sympatico reasons, vs. good friends for other or a mix of reasons. Remember Bizarro World Jerry and his friends from Seinfeld? Seriously, there’s the friend selling/leading you into stuff vs. the friend following or serving or being more, I don’t know, neutral, sensitive, knowing. Which is real friendship? Both at times? When? What? When? How?

    Shosh loses it because she had made a commitment with others then broke it for Jessa. We can infer Jessa did a hell of a sales job that day. And Shosh, if she’s honest, never really looked back until tonight. Her feelings of guilt over screwing the emotions of those two others –needlessly, gratuitoussly, is amplified and complicated by their success. Shosh is the bad guy in at least two senses, the second one very important in America: bad as in commercially worthless. She feels she missed and burned a huge business/economic opportunity and connections. And for what? Jessa’s snarky short term charm. She blames Jessa for being a selfish salesperson, a sort of temptress towards the evil of breaking commitments and promises instead of being a strong moral friend. ‘Course the fact this overlaps with Jessa’s current shack up arrangement which is simultaneous wih Marty’s bed hopping right from Shosh’s first love back to Desi also amplifies it.

    But there’s no apology from Jessa and she replies with a point: take responsibility for your choices.

    Finally, note how the promiscuous gay man’s rationalizations and somewhat amoral and thus weak remarks in joint support fade into the background as Shosh’s comes to appreciate her need and desire to, in fact, as Jessa says, grow up.

    Something similar happens in the Marni – Hannah scene.

    But I view the Hannah character as somewhat psychotic but this is a long comment already.


    February 21, 2017 at 12:41 am

  12. The funny thing about WEMUN is there are real organizations like that spouting the same b.s. as the Jamba Jeans girls.

    Desi is physically weak. The scene where Hannah and Marnie fend him off after Marnie throws him out was funny but unrealistic. An average young male addict driven to violence by seeing his stash destroyed would have seriously hurt the girls.

    David Pinsen

    February 21, 2017 at 2:11 am

  13. Speaking of “Girls,” don’t forget to go see the new movie starring Allison Williams. It’s a titillating fantasy flick about how white people spend their whole day scheming up ways to do harm to black folks.


    February 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

    • I saw that trailer. Was like huh?!

      I got the impression of a black protagonist battling it out with racist whites and assorted ghosts of Uncle Toms. Yes, ghosts.


      February 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      • I thought it was about a haunted house with racist ghosts.

        Which is realistic. You’d expect the ghosts of former slave owners to be racist.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 21, 2017 at 1:09 pm

  14. You may want to check out Big Little Lies also on HBO. It’s an SWPL drama set in scenic Monterey featuring rich power wives and a relatively poor single mom.


    February 21, 2017 at 11:31 am

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