Girls Maturity Level Threat Watch: Episode 3

HBO Girls


The mythical Vice-style blog jazzhate that pays a first time writer with no credentials and 26 Twitter followers two hundred dollars for a post about a personal experience is an urban fairy tale. Aspiring future Hannahs making their way to New York with their liberal arts education diploma in hand and inflated sense of self at heart will quickly learn that this pay rate is more aspirational than it is accurate, just like all the prospective Carrie Bradshaws did before them. It’s much more likely that Hannah would write her first few posts free on spec or for a more nominal fee. I couldn’t help but wonder, did Hannah expense the bag of coke to jazzhate? Was I the only one confused about the fact that jazzhate was neither a free jazz blog nor a blog about hating jazz? Do you guys want to listen to some hard bop?

Hannah spent the entire day spracked out of her skull on coke with her gay ex-boyfriend. She picked up the coke through Laird the iffy junkie downstairs neighbor, mostly just to showcase the wonderfully sketchy Jon Glaser. She yells at Elijah that he ruined her potential blog post, but “I Did Coke for the First Time With My Gay Ex-Boyfriend and He Confessed That He Fucked My Female Best Friend” is exactly the kind of hooky lede that SEO optimization-thirsty editors love to run. If Hannah wants to exploit her own personal experiences for cash, she had better be ready to spill everything and sell out anyone. She also shouldn’t be too surprised when she loses friends over her self-proclaimed honesty, runs out of experiences to write about faster than she anticipated, and feels like a phony trying to have new ones just for her work. She needs a side hustle for her own sanity, like a blog that’s just about snacks.

Having alienated all of her real friends except Jessa, who talks more than she listens and is mostly absent, Hannah will have plenty of time to think about all that has happened when her coke comedown really kicks in. It may have been cathartic in the moment to tell off Marnie and Elijah and proclaim them both socially dead to her, but Hannah knows that her holier than thou attitude is bullshit. She is overwhelmed with primal jealousy and that ancient feeling of horror at being left out and lied to about it. She feels rejected, so she fumblingly kisses human hacky sack Laird. The next day she’ll have to sort out whether Laird’s seedy den gave her bed bugs or if it’s just coke bugs, whether she’s really going to insist on Elijah moving out, and whether she can at least get a worthwhile blog post out of the whole experience. Tonight with the very last of her considerable buzz she’ll just funnel her inner turmoil into Laird.

Maturity Level: I DON’T CARE! I LOVE IT!


Marnie’s journey was every bit as epic as Hannah’s. She left her already terrible new job serving drinks with a Playboy bunny smile to lecherous aging Mad Men in order to go find out what the inside of Booth Jonathan’s studio and balls looked like. Despite his every best faux-dangerous effort to creep her out with his intensity, Marnie peered through the violent image Booth Jonathan projects and saw the sassy doll within. Looking very Megan Draper, she evaluated Booth Jonathan’s horrible art and decided it was incredible. Marnie’s interest in art may actually be genuine. She just has terrible taste, and lacks the necessary mastery of International Art English to properly advance. BJ’s video art tunnel set to Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing” was a parody of Vito Acconci style immersive installation art, but it wasn’t too far off from reality.

Also pretty real was Marnie’s elation at having succeeded in her conquest of Booth Jonathan, who she famously publicly masturbated to in the first season. Never mind that the actual sex seemed like an out-of-body experience for Marnie, and not the kind that ends with her having an orgasm. She didn’t care. She was happy just to be nominated. While too much coke makes Hannah super uptight, Marnie is more open-minded than ever. She revels in her freedom to walk out on a meaningless job, to go places without reporting to anyone, to text from the toilet. Accusatory and still pretty speedy, Hannah only proves she makes Marnie’s life more difficult and that Marnie might be better off without her. For someone with such a thin skin about criticism, Hannah sure can dish it out.

Maturity Level: Trending Laterally in an Interesting Position


Feeling so guilty about hooking up with Marnie that he plans an overcompensating fun night out in which he pays constant attention to Hannah? Or merely trying to stay wherever the free cocaine is? Both.

Maturity Level: Gradually Unbuttoned

Booth Jonathan

We knew Booth Jonathan would be bad in bed after we saw his art. Actually, we knew he would be a dud last season when he was first introduced and gave Marnie his ridiculous, oft-quoted pickup line: “The first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man and I know how to do things.” That’s only what seduction sounds like in erotica, Draco Malfoy slash, and pickup artist manuals, all of which Booth may well have read. A proper seduction involves the complex interchange of glances while delaying the obvious question on the table. Booth Jonathan is just a lot of talk. He merely scampers over and coyly asks Marnie, “When was the last time you had thex?” Next thing you know she’s in a bank vault studio underseeing a personal installation of Jorma Taccone’s ass dimples.

Maturity Level: Sassy


A gentle soul, all Laird really wanted to do was party and bullshit and watch cartoons. Laird resembled a pot dealer more than a coke dealer or a heroin junkie. Coke dealers either look like a sweaty Joe Lo Truglio in a leather jacket or they are really scary girls. Laird isn’t a real dealer; he’s just a weird guy who knows where to get drugs (because he’s addicted to heroin). He’s totally creepy, but still nowhere near as creepy as Adam. He’s more nonthreatening than Charlie. He only has Hannah’s best interests at heart. Sure, he also introduced her to cocaine, but it was only out of being so desperate that he’d use any excuse to talk to Hannah. His kindness was reciprocated.

Maturity Level: All Good

Jame (Editor Of jazzhate)

The Girls girls keep encountering signs that adulthood is not the straightforward trajectory into maturity and grace they had been led to believe. The adult women they encounter such as Jame, Marnie’s mom, the icy gallerist who shot Marnie down last week, and Marnie’s blonde pigtailed ex-boss, seem no closer to maturity than the 20-somethings. They aren’t necessarily warm or nurturing mentors to the younger generation. They’re often competitive and still making their own stabs at relevance, be it through hiring the youngest writers possible to write faux-shocking blog posts about what it’s like to be young and fucked up right now or trying on Cynthia Rowley scuba pants.

This makes it harder for the girls see what exactly they should be aspiring to, since the adult women they meet seem to inspire more contempt and fear in them than respect. It’s possible that Jame is a soft parody of blonde uber-editrix Jane Pratt, who for a while turned a blind eye to columnist Cat Marnell’s rampant drug use, since Marnell’s speed-fueled posts about the uselessness of beauty journalism were a traffic magnet for her site XO Jane. Jame’s presence shouted, “I’m not a regular editor; I’m a cool editor!” Not that there aren’t cool editors (hi, guys!), but something about Jame’s whole vibe read as equal parts clueless and predatory.

Maturity Level: Tween


She was last seen selling some stuff, rocking a weird Princess Leia side bun she probably learned how to do from Lauren Conrad’s website, and complaining about being forced to watch Ally McBeal all night by her pro-torture boyfriend.

Maturity Level: Humblebrag


Like Jessa couldn’t have scored Hannah coke! I mean come on, as if.

Maturity Level: Don’t Do Me Like That

Filed Under: Girls, Girls Talk, HBO, Lena Dunham, Recaps

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert