Let’s cut to the chase: Last night’s episode of Girls is not the kind of thing that lends itself to the kinds of flip, jokey recaps we typically produce. In fact, being the one to discuss the episode at all feels slightly icky, as it focuses specifically on the experiences of young women placed in uncomfortable positions where power dynamics complicate consent. (I re-read that last sentence at least six times, and I’m still not sure it properly says what I want it to.) Still, the episode necessitates conversation, and I hope this post creates space in the comments and social media for others to weigh in with their takes. (Plus my editor shot down my earlier attempts of getting out of this.)
Beth dances for Gatsby’s love in his doggy fantasy. Via screenshot
Well, fuck. I thought I had this series figured out. But episode 3 of High Maintenance justdefied almost every convention set up by the series to date.
As we’re only three episodes into the season this statement may not bear much weight, but: “Grandpa” is the best and most beautifully complex episode so far. This week’s story introduces us to Gatsby, the dog who moves to The Big City from Indiana.
We had to know a transplant story was coming — it’s the tremendously incisive High Maintenance, after all — but this was an especially refreshing and original take on it (literally from a dog’s perspective) and there are some honest to god real emotions there. With that dog, man. That fucking dog has gravitas.
Gatsby is a listless dog who gets into trouble around the apartment, but only for lack of any real attention or affection from his owner, Chase (Ryan Woodle). Chase’s first response to the dog’s unruly behavior is to get him a dog walker, Beth (Yael Stone of Orange is the New Black).
Beth made brief cameos earlier in the web-series as well, selling mushrooms to Chad and The Guy in “Sabrina” and then buying weed from The Guy in “Esme.” In a stunning fantasy sequence that emerges through Gatsby’s patient gaze while he watches Beth drinking from a water fountain, we see the dog falling hopelessly in love with her (the way she “presents” herself to Gatsby in that erotic dance will always be the kicker for me). (more…)
Life is a highway, except Hannah is not going to ride it all night long, and certainly not for the next three months.
On last night’s Girls, Hannah abandons Fran’s planned summer road trip about an hour and half outside the city and breaks up with Mr. Nice Guy at a rest stop once and for all. Stranded in her pajamas, she calls up Ray. He drives up in his fancy new coffee truck, but, when she tries to give him the customary thank-you blowjob, he crashes the aforementioned truck, leaving them stuck on the side of the highway. In her infinite brilliance, Hannah hitchhikes back to New York with Huck from Scandal. Shosh is back from Japan and struggling to find work, but not to find her ex, Jason Ritter. He finds her waiting for him in a sushi restaurant and gives her a little dressing down about being a dumb, whiny 20something — which, if that’s his thing now, he’s going to be awfully busy on this show. (more…)
Finally, a wedding episode of a show where everything goes wrong.
The boys are back in town. But not boys, Girls. And not really in town, more like at a rich country house. Like all the best Girls episodes, last night’s season five opener whisked Hannah and friends away from the city. Oh, you don’t care? You stopped watching Girls around the time Marnie started doing Kanye West covers? We get it. Girls stopped being an exploration of 20somethings scraping by in Brooklyn long ago, opting instead to see just how insufferable its characters could become.
Judging by last night’s episode? Pretty insufferable! Worse yet, it’s a wedding episode, when everyone’s at their worst. But this is the penultimate season before these Girls (presumably) become WOMEN, so we’re sticking it out to the end, albeit sometimes begrudgingly. Even if it seems like they’re running out of friends to hook up with. (more…)
Scorsese called for the punks, and the punks answered. Photos by K.R.
Characters from near and far (Jersey) gathered Tuesday afternoon at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Hell’s Kitchen fabricating a beautiful contrasting scene of edgy aesthetics to a Catholic backdrop. However, they were not coming to find religion. Instead, close to 400 punks, rockers, metalheads, Warhol geeks, hippies, cross colours and disco enthusiasts adorned the church steps in hopes of being featured in HBO’s upcoming rock and roll drama.
The drama, backed by big hitters including Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, Terence Winter and George Mastras, will follow the life of Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) who was Head of A&R for American Century Music in the late 70s. The period drama follows Finestra through exploits of the drug/sex-fueled music scene in NYC, as he attempts make a career in finding the next biggest sound in a time and place that fostered a sonic myriad of post-disco, angst-y punk, thriving rock and roll and emerging hip-hop. Between the big names and the era that’s still capturing imaginations, it’s obvious to see why people would be excited about the project and eager to be a part of the series, even if that means just being a background fixture. (more…)
This weekend, Videology announced they can’t continue the Game of Thrones screenings they’ve been hosting for two years after receiving a cease and desist letter from HBO. Something about piracy, Northern Walls, and corporate lawyers. Videology’s not the only place around here that’s been illicitly showing Game of Thrones though, and we reached out to some of those other bars to hear what their plan was. The consensus: Winter is here and Game of Thrones viewings have gone underground. Welcome to the era of the Game of Thrones speakeasy. (more…)
Can you look like this? Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger want you! via Flickr user Pual Townsend
Do you frequently tell people how you miss “the old New York?” Did you move here with a studded leather jacket, a collection of Dead Boys records and a fierce desire to shoot up on St. Marks, only to find that the new drug of choice on the LES is frozen yogurt? Well, for once you’re in luck, because Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger are casting for a new HBO series and they need some background extras to portray punks, disco fans, early hip-hop fans and other denizens of 70s New York nightlife. (more…)
Are you racked with indecision about paying for HBO, like Cercei? via Flickr user EyesonFire89.
HBO’s new stand-alone premium service, HBO Now is finally here! This means you no longer have to be a cable subscriber in order to watch any of their stellar programming. Not like you weren’t downloading it somewhere illegally, but at least now there’s an honest way to go about it. In tune with the growing popularity of online-only content like Netflix’s original series, an HBO Now subscription caters to the internet-watching generation—not to mention those of us who are too broke to afford cable television. But the question is, are you gonna spring for the $15/month, or just keep stealing HBO Go from your friends’ parents? (more…)
A hot topic preceding the Oscars before the real controversy of Neil Patrick Harris’ bad job as host overshadowed everything was the fact that Hollywood is white as hell. Just a bunch of whiteys giving each other awards, talking about how Selma couldn’t get award votes because the stars wore protest t-shirts and then when a Mexican director actually wins an award there’s a completely bizarre green card joke. HBO figures maybe they can fix this by getting more women and minorities into the movie business, so they’re looking for women and minorities for their intensive writing fellowship/TV development program. (more…)
Maybe Hannah will write one of those “Leaving New York” personal essays
The seasons are changing, and with them brings the cool chill of millennial Brooklynites fucking up, fucking each other, and…moving to Iowa? That’s right, Girls may not be back until January, but the season four trailer dropped over the weekend.
Hannah looks happy writing about herself and frolicking in cow country, Adam seems apathetic and tortured about it (per usual), Marnie’s getting laid by her taken bandmate (which totally won’t backfire), Shosh is about to get bitch slapped real hard by “The Real World,” and by the end of the season Jessa will be dead with four midgets in an opium den in Saigon. I jest – but who knows? I wouldn’t put it past Lena. If anything, this season looks like it will be a nice departure from the very dark, grim, and ultimately depressing tone of the last. Hopefully things are on the upswing for these twentysomething tropes, because Girls is basically a Farmer’s Almanac for how well us millennials will weather the ensuing year.