Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Girls" - "On All Fours": Can't get much wronger

     Marnie (Allison Williams) in the midst of the worst
     decision she's ever made.
     Photo Credit: HBO

Something happened on "Girls" this past Sunday (March 10) that I don't think has ever happened before: part way through the title card, the logo changed colour. When it first appeared, it was pink on a purple background, then transitioned to green on a yellow background. According to colour theory, pink evokes feelings of immaturity and silliness, but also of nurturing and unconditional love. Green suggests self-reliance, but also an unhealthy possessiveness.

I didn't look into previous title card colours as they aired, and I don't have the time to do it now. Who knows whether Dunham and co. ever take the logo colour into consideration. But the actual changing of those specific colours in this episode doesn't seem accidental. "On All Fours" was a fairly natural extension from last week, where we revisited Hannah's onset OCD in a much more horrifying form (personally, I'm pretty squeamish about things being done to my ears so that whole story was hard to watch). We knew from last week that Adam having a girlfriend would make its way back to Hannah at some point, and she took it about as embarrassingly as she could have, trying to think up reasons to like her only knowing her first name and nearly crying when Adam calls her "kid". Shoshanna continued to have no clue what she wanted out of her relationship with Ray other than knowing that she wanted it, which made it all the more disheartening for her to hear Ray described as an asshole by nature. I know the whole point of that relationship is that nothing about it makes sense and there's really nothing to it, but I'm starting to find it uninteresting and I hope there's some more serious development on that front in next week's finale.

I recently mainlined all 18 episodes of "Enlightened," which has its own cringeworthy moments. But show me the most hard-to-watch moment of "Enlightened" and I will show you Marnie singing "Stronger" at Charlie's party, which is maybe the most excruciating but simultaneously hilarious sequence ever televised. In fact, this was a really funny episode despite how dark things got at times. Hannah telling her parents about the 12-15 very close friends she had was a classic Lena Dunham delivery, and pretty much everything happening at Charlie's party (especially the douchebag talking about how restaurants are just a part of him and Shoshanna's reaction) was hysterical. Even as bad as things got between Adam and Natalia, Adam Driver got to work in some good physical comedy in their dance scenes.

So let's talk about Adam and Natalia and the thing she really didn't like, possibly the most excruciating and not at all hilarious sequence ever televised. Credit where credit is due, the show went for it. Nothing about this show is whitewashed, so why start with rape? The "too far" moment for me was the actual shot of Adam's semen. When you're paying a monthly fee to subscribe to HBO, you expect sex, nudity, and violence as a compensation. But I think I still would have understood just how horrifying that was without the borderline pornographic "evidence". If we're choosing to read into the logo colour, it seems like any break Natalia will be making from Adam will be as clean as the one Hannah made from him. I might have a better idea of where this would be headed in a 12 episode season, but with only 30 more minutes to go, my guess is as good as yours.

Season two of "Girls" ends this coming Sunday. Here's hoping I handle the breakup better than Marnie.