It’s Monday which means a new episode of Girls aired last night. Yes, I’m adding fuel to your “I’m sick of hearing about Lena Dunham and her television show” fire. Last night (Episode 27, “Free Snacks”), viewers watched as Hannah (Dunham) secured an advertorial writing gig at GQ. In true Girls fashion, it is an opportunity that Hannah almost immediately begins to shit on. I will spare you from a full episode summary (if you have yet to see it, or if you can’t stand to watch the show Vulture has an on-point recap) and instead provide just a brief synopsis.
The episode appeared to be a step in the right direction for Hannah; she quits her barista job at Grumpy’s and is initially overjoyed to start a job which utilizes her self-described “myriad talents.” Her excitement quickly dissolves and is replaced with dread after realizing that her cushy new job has become a creative trap for her co-workers. They all started out like Hannah: trying to balance work with their own personal projects in hopes of making a name for themselves in the literary world. To Hannah’s horror, the benefits of GQ are too enticing, too comfortable. Her co-workers have abandoned their dreams in favor of a fully-stocked snack room. Cue a full-scale Hannah Horvath meltdown: complete with tears and a trip to the bathroom to stick her head under the faucet (An aside: Do people actually do that? She’s done that twice, albeit one time she was high on cocaine).
“Free Snacks” was one of the more uncomfortable installments to watch. While last night’s episode did not include anything traditionally unsettling (e.g. Dunham’s character rupturing her eardrum with a Q-Tip amidst a fit of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Adam’s mentally unstable sister Caroline (guest-star Gaby Hoffmann) suddenly appearing completely bottomless and crushing a glass with her bare hands), I still experienced bouts of anxiety. Why? Because I hated to admit that I knew exactly how Hannah felt. While I don’t necessarily identify with Hannah Horvath’s obscure, borderline-unhealthy detachment from reality, I do recognize some uncanny parallels to myself within the
monster character Lena Dunham has created.
Like… it’s sort of eery. Follow the Yellow Brick Road…