Girls Season 2 Review “I Get Ideas”

My main complaint about last week’s premiere of Girls was that there wasn’t really much substance there to chew on, and boy, does “I Get Ideas” assuage any fears that the show doesn’t have any bite. This week we get some of the best scenes the show has yet to offer, and even beyond that, it was funny. Like, really, genuinely funny.

One common criticism of the show is that all the main characters are repugnant. (In terms of personality, not physically – that’s been said too, but I’m not dignifying it with further discussion.) I don’t disagree, but where I part ways with those who say that is I believe the show’s writers are fully aware of that ugliness, and that that’s kind of the point of Girls. In the first scene, look at how Elijah admits to not telling Hannah about what happened with Marnie. George writes it off as another piece of immaturity, but the show gives us the reason why: Hannah has incredibly thin skin. She can’t take even the lightest of criticisms. When Sandy finally admits he didn’t really like her essay, she flips out, at first mildly, but then totally, bringing in politics and race, and breaking up with him by the end of it.

And that conversation, about race, was very obviously Girls trying to address some frequently-raised problems people have with the show. All in all, I think it mostly worked; what it seemed to be saying is, “Hannah the character is clueless about race, but we, the writers, aren’t.” We’ll see how that plays out as the season/series go forward, but for now, it was a satisfying bit of character development. I just hope more characters of color come into the show (look at the first episode, and see how many black extras are in the party scene – clearly, it’s on the show’s mind), or Donald Glover comes back, and this wasn’t just a one-time instance of addressing that issue.

On a funnier note, Jessa is still her insufferable self, and two of her lines are some of the bigger laughs of the night: “I’m so used to painting things I hate, like my mother. Or scenery,” and, “All that matters is that your rising signs are compatible.” In the same scene, Hannah puts a chihuahua into her cleavage, and it all served to remind me that this show is supposed to be at least partly a comedy. Likewise, Elijah and Marnie’s fight in the doorway is incredibly fun. Andrew Rannells and Allison Williams display a chemistry that I didn’t see with them before, and I hope we get to see them interact like this more often.

Most important in the show’s broader plots, however, is the final scene, in which Adam comes over, uninvited, to Hannah’s apartment. It starts on the absolutely perfect note of Hannah, in a post-breakup slump, trying to cut her own bangs from a youtube instructional video. From there, though, it moves someplace darker; last season, Adam started off as a creep, a complete weirdo who was more than a little threatening, but then was slowly painted in and humanized. Here, he’s allowed to be a creep yet again, and all at once we as an audience believe that he would see what he was doing as totally innocent, and yet still understand why Hannah would feign dialing 911.

They fight, where she finally screams at him to leave, and then the police do show up, and Adam is taken in for some other, minor charges still unresolved. It’s absolutely compelling, and “I Get Ideas” ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, which is not like Girls, but, I think, totally effective here. For an episode that let us see the worst sides of our protagonist, it was a fitting end, and I can’t wait to see how the show handles Hannah’s guilt next week.