Lena Dunham is less than titillated by the fact that Girls is getting its own porn parody (kinky cupcakes in the shower or I don't care). Among other objections ("because it grosses me out"), Dunham takes issue with the dude-centric sexual gaze of the porn's producer, Hustler, "because Girls is, at its core, a feminist action." The comments section under that link are basically the rudest, by the way, but off of Dunham's closing tweet that her XXX name would be "Murray Broadway," one person chimed in to say "If you’ve spent years combating the perception that you’re an entitled child of entertainment privilege, you may want to skip reminding people your first pet was named Murray and you grew up on Broadway."
I've been trying to figure out if there's anything important to say about "I Love It" for about a month now, other than the interesting footnote that Lena Dunham now apparently has influence over mainstream radio play (I heard "I Love It" on KIIS-FM for the first time the day after "Bad Friend" aired). I suppose it's interesting that Icona Pop graduated from the music blogs to the Billboard charts in a matter of months, but that doesn't excite me the way most mainstream-crashing songs do, because whenever I hear this song I have the overwhelming sense that it's trying to sell me something I can't exactly put my finger on. It's already been used in advertisements for smartphones and mail-order shoes, but there's no reason to stop there — it also sounds like energy drinks, casual dining chains, and new-wave tampons. It sounds weirdly out of date, like something that should have come out in the mid-to-early aughts when Le Tigre was still making kids with asymmetrical haircuts bomp around. If it makes Icona Pop and Charli XCX into global household names, then good for them, but I'd rather listen to "Thrift Shop" for the 358th time than continue to get shouted at by these hiply accented ladies.
At every single moment of Lena Dunham's professional existence, there has been a notable and active Anti–Lena Dunham faction. The size and fervor of this faction fluctuates greatly along with occurrences of Dunham's HBO television program, Girls, and her personal life and Instagram account. Charting the spikes of the ALD Faction, you'd have a veritable sine wave, as the action pinged between legitimate content criticism and ad hominem attacks, and heated discussion about the manner in which Hannah Horvath's boobs appeared this week. But that the faction exists, and that the faction isn't going anywhere, is indisputable. And, now, that faction has a king. His name is Christopher Abbott and — up until earlier today, at least, when he abruptly quit the show — he played Charlie on Girls.
This week the Girls in Hoodies bid farewell to Girls's divisive second season. What are we to make of the show's trajectory now that Hannah and Adam are "Together" again? How much responsibility do TV writers have to reassure us they're not as dumb as their characters? Has Ray been the hero of Girls all along? We then move on to address a different sort of televised horror, the premiere of A&E's Bates Motel, and the recently announced American Horror Story: Coven, and what it is exactly that makes a scary show work. Finally, we talk about the recent success of the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter and a modern fandom culture that just doesn't know when to quit.
Forget Steve Martin and Victoria Tennant (you probably already did forget about her): Chris Ryan and I forged our own L.A. story this week. Reunited on the West Coast, we traded stories about rude airplane passengers and desperate, day-drinking directors before digging into the regular rotation, which included the soppy Girls finale, the problematic new Phil Spector movie, and the promise and implications of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter success story. Because two is never enough, we then invited Rembert Browne in. Rem is in L.A. after 10 grueling days at the SXSW festival, and he arrived loaded for bear with stories about sketchy panels, incredible concerts, and Prince shows that never end. We finished off the hour plus with some chatter about Justin Timberlake and Chris's damning thoughts about luxury. Do you fall in the center of a Venn diagram about Lena Dunham and Large Professor? Then do we have a podcast for you!
After Adam broke down Hannah's door and cartoonishly came to her rescue, there should've been a moment like the one at the end of The Graduate, where you see Ben and Elaine sitting on the bus together, already no longer sure that busting up Elaine's wedding to run off together was the right idea, wordlessly contemplating whether it might in fact have been a terrible, irreparable mistake. Following the big grandiose gesture, after the speech that changes everything, after the hot makeup sex, there's always a soul-crushing point when reality sets in. With evil quickness, life goes back to being tedious and mundane.
Even though we're deep in blockbuster reality season — with American Idol, Survivor, and the just-wrapped The Bachelor all filling the airwaves with hypercompetitive, catfighting, backstabbing energy — the Girls in Hoodies would rather talk about the feel-good phenomenon RuPaul's Drag Race, which may just be the most positive reality show on television. All the talk of wig-tossing and lip-synching puts us in good spirits before tackling one of the darkest episodes of Girls yet. Our feelings about Adam grow ever more complicated, to say the least, but that probably won't stop us from posting Adam Driver fan art all over Tess's Facebook wall.
Hey guys, are those a bunch of nails on your floor, or are you just happy to see us? On this week's pod, Andy and I discussed the most recent, very provocative episode of Girls (1:15), and that show's blindingly good, digressive, weird second season. We then moved on to the Best New Show on Television, The Americans (15:35), with a little chatter about Justified's subtly strong fourth season. We also talked a bit about how every great show needs an "Oh shit!" moment that makes you realize you are cooking with some high heat.
We bring things down to a simmer with a discussion of The Walking Dead (32:45), wherein we celebrate what was possibly the show's greatest episode ("Clear") and bemoan its return to regularly scheduled programming. Come on and join us. Q-tips are totally optional.
For her latest adventure in accidental self-harm, Hannah abraded her eardrum during an overzealous session with a Q-tip; an incident based on something that actually happened to Lena Dunham if she was telling the truth in her tweets about how she ruptured her eardrum by Q-tipping it too hard. Hannah can't do anything without overdoing it. She has a lot of problems with restraint. She always wants the whole jar of olives, but that means she consistently ends up with a huge wooden splinter lodged in her ass. She was drawn immediately and then continuously to Adam because she identified with him; they share the same contradictory mixture of strict asceticism and crazy appetites. Hannah's OCD has the spiritual tinge of compulsive prayer, and she literally cannot stop touching herself. She goes only to extremes, either zero or 11. On the plus side, other than her wails of pain, grisly body horror close-ups, and pathetic call to her parents, Hannah basically dealt with her ear issue like a grownup, even if her emergency was exactly like something a toddler might do.
A defining part of Lena Dunham’s deal is that in the entertainment big leagues, she’s a rising three-tool player who can write, direct, and act. But the reality is that doing all of that on your own on a television show is too much flor just one person to handle. Accordingly, over half of the episodes of Girls’s second season were directed by others, with Jesse Peretz tackling more than anyone else. Peretz’s three episodes were the cocaine-fueled “Bad Friend,” the contentious “It’s a Shame About Ray,” and last night’s “It’s Back,” which is the last of this season’s non-Dunham-directed episodes. Peretz previously did the Charlie and Marnie breakup episode from the show’s first season and directed the indie features First Love, Last Rites, The Châum;teau, and Our Idiot Brother, as well as the Zach Braff vehicle The Ex. A founding member of alt-rock cuties the Lemonheads in the late 1980s, he left the band in its early stages and initially made a name for himself as the music-video director responsible for such Alternative Nation classics as the Foo Fighters’ Mentos-spoofing “Big Me” and Nada Surf’s “Popular.” Peretz will join the staff of Girls in Season 3 as a producer and has since started directing other TV shows. Here he speaks about the process of working with Dunham and whether he thinks Nina Persson of the Cardigans can act. (Spoiler alert: She can!)
The girls of Girls like to try on new lifestyles the same way you would shop online; picking out items that look great on models in the carefully styled pictures posted on the site, then feeling stupid when it shows up as a physical package and doesn't fit or look flattering at all. Maybe it's cut for a different body type, maybe it's way out of realistic price range, or maybe it's just not made well and falls apart after a couple of wears. They keep shopping anyway, conveniently forgetting the past so they can pursue more fantasies of new personas they can try on, ignoring former magical items that ate holes in paychecks only to become bunched up dirty laundry on the floor, pretending not to remember how much they needed that wasted $50 to make rent. PVC dresses go from shiny to scratched to bottom-of-the-basket debris. Somehow, the lust to consume springs eternal.
Molly, Tess, and Emily had a long gabfest over cosmos this weekend about branding and gender identity and decided to rename the podcast Girls in Hoodies. Now that we finally have a name that won't possibly annoy anyone on the Internet, we can focus on more important things, like this week's Academy Awards, and why exactly it's pretty much impossible not to love Jennifer Lawrence. We also chat about the now-infamous Onion tweet and the pifalls of the infectiousness of Hollywood snark. Finally, we rehash Girls’ road trip to Manitou, where we thankfully didn't run into any murderous demon babies, but where there was still plenty of irresponsible behavior on display.
It's no wonder Jessa was so horrible to her ex-husband Thomas-John's parents. She hates her own dad! She also loves him, but it's painful, as they're uncomfortably similar and he is, decidedly, quite a prick (albeit a very charismatic one). Jessa embellishes the story of her divorce to make herself sound like the victim, and you have no idea whether she thinks she's being dishonest. Maybe she really does think she tried hard to be married to someone she randomly chose, and that she was robbed of the opportunity to really work on it. Her father's interest in her life is purely superficial, and she knows it. Since they are beautiful, and seemingly rich (Jessa's dad has no identifiable job, but lives in tony Putnam County in a large, raggedy country house), they can afford to burn bridges, since new ones always seem to spring up.
Jessa's dad shows her the future that might be hers, too, if she keeps unconsciously emulating him, pursuing relationships she knows can never get too deep and fleeing at the first sign of real intimacy. Rather than open up about it to Hannah, Jessa withdraws further into herself. Just like Hannah claimed last week, Jessa's depression makes her mean. Maybe it hurts too much to discuss how her dad reels her in with promises and then vanishes at the crucial moment every single time. She tells Hannah that nothing is nobler than inspiring a young man's sexual awakening, and then acts disgusted when Hannah takes that to mean she should fuck Frank. Like her father, Jessa can be utterly convincing when she is the most full of shit. Jessa was just talking for talking's sake, like she always does. It doesn't have to matter so much what you say. All that matters is how you sound saying it.