The following excerpt is from Slate’s review of last Sunday’s episode of GIRLS where two men hash out their feelings about the episode:
“Engber: I felt trapped by my unwillingness to buy into the central premise. Narcissistic, childish men sleep with beautiful women all the time in movies and on TV, so why should this coupling be so difficult to fathom? I think it’s because Hannah is especially and assertively ugly in this episode. She’s rude (“what did you do?” she asks Joshua, referring to his broken marriage), self-centered (“I’m too smart and too sensitive”), sexually ungenerous (“no, make me come”), and defiantly ungraceful (naked ping-pong). In sum, the episode felt like a finger poked in my guys-on-Girls eyeball, or a double-dog dare for me to ask, How can a girl like that get a guy like this? Am I small-minded if I’m stuck on how this fantasy is too much of a fantasy and remembering what Patrick Wilson’s real-life partner looks like?*”
This man is basically saying that Lena Dunham is too ugly to land a guy like Patrick Wilson. He says he’s talking about the character of Hannah, but then he LINKS US TO A PICTURE of Patrick Wilson’s girlfriend (Dagmara Dominczyk) to prove how implausible this storyline is. He is basically pitting these two real-life women against each other in a “hot-or-not” competition!
He mentions other unlikely pairings in film and TV such as ”Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith” in According to Jim and how this one is so implausible because not only is Hannah too ugly looks-wise, she’s also incredibly ugly ~*~on the inside~*~. His arguments, in my opinion, are for the most part unfounded.
She is deemed “rude” by asking a question about this man’s divorce in a direct manner. This is perhaps the only argument I can see from his point of view, though I see this directness as a character trait of Hannah’s and not necessarily a flaw.
She is deemed “self-centered” by saying “I’m too smart and too sensitive,” a sound bite I think this man has taken ENTIRELY out of context. Hannah is in the middle of a realization and she’s more or less ranting. Sometimes you just have to talk to try and make sense of your feelings and she’s doing just that. She wonders if Patrick Wilson’s character thinks she’s a crazy girl. He says no, and she continues rambling about how not crazy she is, just that she wants to “feel all of the things.” When she says she’s “too smart and too sensitive,” she isn’t saying compared to anyone else. She is saying that she thinks too much and feels too much in the most general of ways. In the end, Hannah can be a very self-centered character, but what 24-year-old isn’t?
She is deemed “sexually ungenerous” by asking her partner to make her come first. Honestly? HONESTLY? I’m pretty sure she’s still going to have sex with this man and he will inevitably climax. How dare a woman want to be aroused before taking a dick. Let’s get real. Sex is much more fun for both parties when there’s some lubrication involved.
Lastly, and most horrifyingly in my opinion, is how Hannah is deemed ”defiantly ungraceful” for playing ping-pong in nothing but her underwear. This offends me on two levels.
- This complaint implies that woman are supposed to always be elegant and lithe, and it’s only acceptable for them not to be if they do it by accident. But for a woman to be purposefully “goofy” — FOR SHAME!
- Would a game of topless ping-pong be deemed so “defiantly ungraceful” if Lena Dunham were a size 2 with a big rack? I mean, no one had any complaints about the fact that Patrick Wilson was playing some naked ping-pong. Is it because our society finds the male nipple less controversial than the female? Or was it simply because Mr. Engber doesn’t find Dunham as attractive as Wilson’s real-life girlfriend? WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH NAKED PING-PONG?
The article continues on for a while after this excerpt and I urge you to read it and make your own judgements on what’s being said but for what it’s worth, Daniel Engber asks if he’s small-minded and for me, the answer is a resounding yes.