My Blog__ #GIRLS Episode 2: Vagina Panic
Reacting to HBO’s Girls’ problems. Words by Kate Brown.
Another week of Girls, another week of opinions. So far, the HBO show we’re all talking about, has been largely centered around sex. The time when makeup comes off, clothes don’t hide you, and problems of power become apparent, even in the dark. The second episode of Girls titled ‘Vagina Panic’, dives into the bed sheets head first. This time, the troubled 20-somethings touch on all the realistic and unrealistic potential issues you've once or twice (or a million times) mulled over in your head--fear of STDs, fertility, virginity, bad sex, abortions, periods, and condoms including the stuff that gets up around the sides.
In Hannah's "love" interest, Adam's apartment--where everything is grimy, much like him--Hannah is repeating bad behaviors. Last episode, Adam turned her around and told her to “play the quiet game.” This time, she’s unexpectedly told to role-play as a scared, 11-year-old junkie that Adam’s sexy alter ego has salvaged from the streets--the kind of eleven-year-old that carries a Cabbage Patch lunchbox.
Clearly, Hannah's perpetually shirtless Adam couldn't care less about how she’s feeling. He disappears for days at a time and ignores Hannah's texts as readily as her emotional needs. One moment he's telling she looks less fat these days, then later putting her in a chokehold. She's confused to say the least.
But back in Greenpoint, the "loving relationship" sex isn't any better. Marnie and her longtime boyfriend Charlie, who she referred to as a "creepy uncle" in the last episode, are going through the motions of candlelit, soft-music sex that looks painfully boring and desperately awkward (creator/director/writer/star Lena Dunham really has a knack for this). And despite Charlie’s die-hard loving intentions, Marnie is over it and can barely face him during the deed. "Turn me over," she tells him. He replies, "I thought you hate it that way."
Much like in life, the hard truth of other's situations is painfully clear to the viewer. It’s comically obvious. It's so easy to know what’s best for our friend's lives, but we can't seem to apply the same advice to our own. Quit your job, dump him, move on. Maybe when it comes to our own lives, we're too close to gain perspective.
In Nolita, Shoshanna is on the bedroom floor. Unlike the other girls, she's not having sex, but she’s totes making a manifestation board to the sounds of Kelly Clarkson while Jessa, the worldly one of the crew, wistfully smokes (weed) out the window with headphones on, listening to French music.
Sitting beside her hyper-contemporary girlfriends on a park bench snacking on Tasti-D-Lite, (who even eats Tasti Delight anymore?), Shoshanna stands out as the diametric opposite to the other three. If the show strictly revolved around her--we would all laugh thinking “we’re not like that.” But when they’re all sitting there together, mulling over male ignorance and a book on love that even Hannah admits that she “hate-read” once, we’re laughing at them all. This moment leaves us, trying to place ourselves somewhere in the middle, unsure where we stand.
We're then taken to the sex clinic for Jessa's abortion appointment. Marnie is freaking out about being barren, as they wait for Jessa to show up. She's late for her appointment, because she's getting fresh in the back of a bar with a stranger. Meanwhile, Hannah is thoughtlessly rambling to her gyno, coming to the conclusion that maybe she wishes she had AIDS. Shoshanna admits to Marnie that at the age of 22 she's a virgin. Frigid Shoshanna appears to be taking her own sexuality the most seriously out of them.
Girls’ plays a game of opposites. Uncaring sex vs. dutiful sex. The stereotypical clueless girl like Shoshanna seems regressive at first, but our "contemporary" girls aren’t doing much better. Maybe virginity is undesirable at our age, but is thoughtless sex any better?
Maybe the answer Girls provides is that there isn’t an easy answer. But we keep searching for one. And that’s what keeps us watching.
We sit and screen "Girls" every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO. Thoughts on this Episode? Did you hate it or love it? Did you hate-love it? Let us know.