Or, in less histrionic terms, B.J. Novak got a book deal.
As the New York Times reports, Novak has signed a two-book deal with Knopf worth seven figures, with the first book — a collection of stories — due in 2014. NBD, though, cause it's already been written. Says Novak's agent Richard Abate, "The closest analogy for me is Woody Allen. Underneath these stories is a real intellectual curiosity. I think their appeal is that they’re incredibly accessible and comic, but at the same time they’re exploring the modern condition." And if you've caught Novak live, you may have gotten yourself a sneak preview. THR says the stories will be adapted from "a series of live shows he performed at Upright Citizens Brigade." They also point out that Novak's deal gives a masculine spin to the recent trend of high-profile book projects from funny people, which includes Abate's clients Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey, plus upcoming joints from Amy Poehler and Lena "The $3.5 Million Woman" Dunham.
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.
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.
Oh Adam, you human bandsaw. Welcome back, hon. On their way to Staten Island during a wild dog chase, Ray tries to make contact with Adam by blathering aimlessly about sex (like he always does), prompting Adam to reveal that what turns him on is a woman who's comfortable in her own body, regardless of age or type. Hannah certainly fits that bill and always seemed open to exploring any strange position Adam put her in, physically or emotionally. Ray tries to prod Adam into talking shit about Hannah, but Adam is a chivalrous ape who disapproves of gossiping behind her back. He praises Hannah's often disastrous ethics because he respects her misplaced sense of justice. (Wait, does Hannah have a fetish for Libertarians?)
Once when I was a teenager watching Friends, my mom said, "I don't want you to think that's what being in your 20s is like." While I assumed she was referring to the fact that actual friend groups were more diverse and real apartments rented by people with menial jobs were much (much, much) smaller, when I asked further, she explained: "Everyone's not just sleeping with each other all the time." I still don't really know what that meant. I do know that people tend to think everyone else is having a lot more sex than they are. And that the odds of having a daylong, one-night stand with a Patrick Wilson–looking guy with a huge brownstone apartment who will flatter and cajole you into hanging out so he can bang you against a ping-pong table and then let you recover in his experience shower are … not good. Don't hold your breath for that. You'll die.
Jessa finally created a problem that she couldn't blag her way out of with charm and good looks. Her narcissistic posh charm was on trial at dinner with husband Thomas-John's parents, resulting in a split verdict. While she was able to flirt her way (as always) into Thomas-John's dad's good graces, it was at the expense of alienating his mother, who was not here for Jessa's bullshit. Thomas-John was also flustered, as he fully realized over his Peter Luger meal from hell that Jessa was never going to do anything besides precisely what she wants to do, ever.
Beyoncé sings the national anthem live at a Super Bowl press conference, admits to lip-synching at the inauguration, and says, “I love haters.” This is a woman with an infallible, built-in biological PR chip. [Applause.]