Girls is a show that takes pride in shocking its audience, what with all the naked ping pong, creepy doll sex, and pantsless trips to the ER, but in “Together” they did the most shocking thing of all and turned into a standard rom-com just in time to close out season two.
This season has seemed disjointed and fragmented due in large part to the girls having very little to do with each other. Each has been having a particularly rough year, yet their friendships weren’t what they fell back on. Instead they found their solutions (for better or worse) in men. I’m not a hug fan of that connotation, but I guess I can find solace in the fact none of these “solutions” will last through the end of season three.
Like all good rom-coms, “Together” was heavy on the reconciliations and first up was Marnie and Charlie. After their inexplicable hook up last week, Marnie and Charlie looked hot heavy again, except when Marnie attempted to point this out Charlie shot her down faster than even Booth Powers. Marnie made a big scene, because that’s what emotional, desperate women do and forced Charlie to chase after her so she could give him her own variation of a Harry speech (that ended “I want to watch you die.” Because this is real love, not Hollywood love). Charlie ate it up because despite all this perceived togetherness and the oodles of money that suggest maturity, he’s as whipped as he ever was. Does Marnie actually love Charlie or is she just grasping for the closest thing to stability after her roller coaster year? I’d have to go with the latter, but at the end of the episode they were walking down the street all dressed up and happy looking and in TV land that means true love. Rom-Com Cliché Number 1: Check.
But romantic comedies aren’t always positive, there’s usually some heartache as well and Girls knew well enough not to leave that out of this homage. Enter Ray and Shoshanna. Shosh had been feeling guilty since her make-out with the doorman a few episodes back and that guilt caused her to really examine her relationship with Ray and she found it lacking. As much as I enjoy Ray and Shoshanna equally, as a couple they were never going to last forever. Ray, to his credit, tried harder at saving the relationship than he’s ever tried to do anything else. After Shoshanna’s outburst about his lack of ambition Ray made an attempt to get his life together that started with resolve to finish his degree in Latin studies (because that will get you far in life) and ended with a gig running a new Grumpy’s and an impressive title.
But it wasn’t enough because the lack of ambition wasn’t really the problem. Shoshanna has always been the most self-aware of all the girls and lived up to that low bar again during the break-up. The problem was their age difference and the general oppositeness of their personalities. Shoshanna is too young to be as jaded as Ray, and I think even with age she’ll never reach that level. Opposites may attract, but they hardly ever last. Luckily, there was an anonymous tall blonde to take her mind off the break-up. Perhaps next season she’ll jet off to an island, reclaim her groove, and spend the rest of the season dating a gay guy. Rom-Com Cliché Number 2: Check.
And then there’s Hannah.
Hannah existed in a more indie rom-com, not because her storyline was edgier or less contrived than the others, but because it actively attempted to be as depressing as possible. Yes, it is unfortunate that her life has spiraled so far out of control. Her OCD reached debilitating levels, but it was also obvious, no matter what she told her dad, she wasn’t taking her medication. This is why it’s difficult to sympathize or like Hannah; she makes her own problems and then wallows in the effects.
She could take her OCD medication, she could put effort into her book instead of sitting on the counter and eating cool whip out of the container, she could attempt to reach out to a friend who isn’t currently hiding away from the world or at least not hide from the one who makes the effort to check on her. But none of these are solutions to Hannah. The only solution is to reach out to Adam, who she has previously described as a stalker, and hope that he rescues her. Which he does, because this is a rom-com and because, what most rom-coms don’t tell you is the only type of guys who are going to come running, shirtless through the streets of Manhattan, to hold you when you have seriously messed up your life are certifiably insane. Kind of ruins the moment, right? But nonetheless, Rom-Com Cliché Number 3: Check.
Perhaps this assessment is too harsh and the real takeaway is that sometimes young girls, who have grown up to rom-coms ruling their lives, think that a relationship (or lack thereof) will solve all their problems. These seemingly clichéd and contrived storyline are just yet another mistake these girls need to make before they can get their lives together. At least I hope that’s what Lena Dunham was going for because otherwise it was standard, chick-flick drivel and I’d like to think she’s better than that.
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