This must be a dream sequence
February 13, 2013 9:51 AM   Subscribe

On Sunday night's episode of HBO's Girls, Lena Dunham's character has a fling with a 42-year-old handsome doctor played by Patrick Wilson. Apparently this matchup is too unbelievable for some male viewers on the internet.

Some women respond at Jezebel and xoJane.
posted by barnoley (35 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: We've kind of had a lot of Girls-related posts lately and this feels a bit like web-drama-for-web-drama's sake. -- cortex



 
The episode was fantastic and I've never seen a point whoosh past someone's head more noisily than here:

But really, the whole thing left me baffled and uncomfortable. Why are these people having sex, when they are so clearly mismatched

I submit that these two Slate reviewers have never met an actual human.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:54 AM on February 13, 2013 [20 favorites]


It was too unbelievable for my girlfriend as well, a female viewer, as well as a slew of other female viewers on her Facebook feed.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing on that show is believable.
posted by item at 9:55 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


What confused me about the episode wasn't that she's a shlubby chick getting hot dudes (nobody complains when Seth Rogan gets the hot girl) but that her character, Hannah Horvath, acts so bratty.

What I found unbelievable was that she had a fling with the hot doctor while acting like the worst example of a millennial possible.

If the point of Girls is to show that 20-somethings think unattractive, selfish behavior is A-OK, then mission accomplished, I guess.
posted by Michael Pemulis at 9:55 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best write-up of the episode I found was at The New Yorker by Emily Nussbaum. I saw all the hoopla about the episode and watched it Monday night without reading any spoilers, and felt while the plot was a little bit crazy at times, the performances were amazing and the whole thing seemed pretty believable.

Honestly, it does feel like the backlash to the show is coming from a lot of older men that might not understand these things can happen in the real world.
posted by mathowie at 9:56 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure there are no sitcoms where sort of schlumpy guys date or marry implausibly attractive women. Well, maybe a few. Hm, or possibly all of them.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:57 AM on February 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


Just to be clear, it wasn't that my girlfriend found the pairing odd, but rather the whole situation of Wilson calling in sick to spend the day in bed with her when they'd just met. Or something. I should probably actually talk to her before speaking for her any further.
posted by item at 9:58 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not like he was taking Hannah out on dates or anything. They had a fling. It doesn't mean they're socially compatible - it means they're compatible sexual partners.
posted by muddgirl at 9:58 AM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Man I am pretty much in a constant cringing state of embarrassment on behalf of the internet whenever people start their jumping up and down about how this show, of all shows on television, is unbelievable or unrelatable or representative of its creator's privilege.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:58 AM on February 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


I love how I've missed like, FOUR episodes of this show and have already felt completely out of the loop on at least two major controversy cycles that the entire internet has been angrily fighting over.

At some point I wonder whether we should start girls.metafilter.com.
posted by naju at 9:59 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Obviously, the gay experience is different, but being able to get it on easily with super hot 40-somethings with money is perhaps the only thing I miss about being shlubby in my 20s.

Yet again this show in which I can't really say I "identify" with the characters makes me personally defensive based on the reaction online. Even if I didn't love it, I'd have to respect it for that alone.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:00 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The response to the show is so weird. If you like it watch it, if you don't, then move along. It seems like every Monday after the show brings a fresh round of outrage, bean plating and huzzahs.

As a 41 year old male Mefite, I find myself in the awkward position of wondering if this particular situation would make it ok to say "Oh yeah, I'd hit that, so it's totally believable."

I'll see myself out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:01 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always wonder where people are from that they cite relationships (sexual or otherwise) between two people that aren't the same general social status, age, race, or ethnicity (without that difference being explicitly pointed at as an EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING) as "unbelievable" as it happens in a television show about people in Brooklyn/NYC.
posted by griphus at 10:01 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man I am pretty much in a constant cringing state of embarrassment on behalf of the internet whenever people start their jumping up and down about how this show, of all shows on television, is unbelievable or unrelatable or representative of its creator's privilege.

I don't tend to read television writing, but I'd imagine the reason this show gets that kind of treatment more than, say, Two and a Half Men, is that it's been touted by everyone from the press to Dunham herself as a realistic slice of twentysomething-New Yorker life.
posted by item at 10:02 AM on February 13, 2013


American men can be so thick sometimes. And I say this as an American men. No Frenchman would have trouble understanding this, at least those I've seen in French art films. Sometimes the heart (and/or the groin) just wants what it wants.
posted by jonp72 at 10:02 AM on February 13, 2013


At some point I wonder whether we should start girls.metafilter.com.

That domain could be confusing, and should probably be renamed girlsthetvshow.metafilter.com; or we could just spin off a tv.metafilter.com subsite, which would then do battle with film.metafilter.com, with games.metafilter joining the fray once the board gamers settled their issues with the video gamers, and both sides realized that both board and video games can indeed be art, unlike TV, which is generally dreck for the masses.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on February 13, 2013


nobody complains when Seth Rogan gets the hot girl

Actually that was a pretty frequently heard complaint about Knocked Up when it came out. And look at all the recent fuss about that GoDaddy superbowl ad where the supermodel kisses the nerd.
posted by yoink at 10:04 AM on February 13, 2013


As a guy, I had no idea whether the doctor character was supposed to be handsome or anything, but I don't see what's unrealistic about a 40-something guy going after a chubby early-20s gal like Hannah.
posted by gyc at 10:05 AM on February 13, 2013


I just watched this episode last night and I think it might be my favorite episode. I don't know why. It is also the most unlike every other episode.

I have never been in a position to bang a 42 year old, regardless of hotness, but honestly, within the scope of the show (or hell, even outside of it), it doesn't seem all that unbelievable.

What did seem unbelievable was the idea that someone who has obviously been driven enough to make megabucks to fund that sweet pad just took a day off of work without fretting about it even slightly. I know highly successful, highly driven people, and I can't see any of them doing that.
posted by phunniemee at 10:05 AM on February 13, 2013


Chemistry happens. A smart guy at 42 should by now realize he's going to be happier with someone he gets along with than someone "suitable" - and sometimes what some people see as abrasive or annoying, others might see as charming or endearing or not even have it register.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:05 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Two ex-colleges of mine recently got married. He weighed about 300lbs but was an absolute top bloke. She was the hottest girl in the office and the nicest person you'll ever meet.

I've only just turned 30 and my wife is turning 38 in a couple of months.

Fuck these "social commentators" and their "believable" social norms.
posted by Talez at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Look, I'm just going to do what I usually do with worthy cable shows: marathon them over the course of a month 3 years after the fact.

Once you folks settle whether it's worth watching, call me.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


naju: At some point I wonder whether we should start girls.metafilter.com.

Why not! We can add the other two already open Girls threads. I think we get a new one for each episode.
posted by troika at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2013


As a 41 year old male Mefite, I find myself in the awkward position of wondering if this particular situation would make it ok to say "Oh yeah, I'd hit that, so it's totally believable."

I had been wondering about whether it might be possible to bring back the clock, because surely people haven't been using that expression recently...? Shows what I know.
posted by Jpfed at 10:08 AM on February 13, 2013


And yet there are a million sitcoms where, shall we say, unconventionally handsome men have conventionally gorgeous wives or girlfriends, and nary a stink is raised about that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:09 AM on February 13, 2013


I don't see what's unrealistic about a 40-something guy going after a chubby early-20s gal like Hannah.

Do you really think she's chubby? I know she kind of sells herself as that, but I've always seen her as someone who's in the 'average' range.
posted by item at 10:09 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fuss for me about the GoDaddy ad was about the nauseating sound effects, not the people on either side of the kiss.

I just watched this episode last night, and the script sets up Joshua as someone who's been alone for months. His wife left him in March-ish and it seems like summer in the show. He doesn't relate to his neighbors; the only thing in his life is work. He seemed sad and lonely and just enjoying having someone else around, until Hannah is too awful to be around any more.
posted by gladly at 10:10 AM on February 13, 2013


Or, what Monsieur Caution said.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:10 AM on February 13, 2013


My father-in-law's quick response to any question asked about the events in a movie or TV show: "it was in the script."
posted by filthy light thief at 10:10 AM on February 13, 2013


As far as realism goes, I tend to agree with this, from the AV Club:

In addition, the episode shows us just how phenomenally lonely Joshua is. He’s trapped in this neighborhood, surrounded by people whom he has nothing in common with, and though he has all the trappings of success, he’s also living in a giant house all by himself. This is all an elaborate way of saying that if you want to call the episode self-indulgent, I’m not going to stop you, but it’s also very successful at feinting toward an explanation for why this brief, intense connection forms between these two people.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:11 AM on February 13, 2013


The relationship between Marnie and that dreadful art person is much harder to buy for me personally than the fling in this episode, which actually seems like one of the more plausible sexual relationships on this show.
posted by enn at 10:11 AM on February 13, 2013


On GIS for Dunham, I take it she's in the same chapter of the "Women Who Are Drop-Dead Gorgeous But We All Pretend They're Not Because We're Hollywood Fuckheads" as Janeane Garofalo?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:11 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, is it me or is a lot of "criticism" (i.e. moaning) about this show because reviewers and commentators have made a decision (regardless of Dunham's actual intent for the show) as to what the show is trying to do and represent, and are now going back and back to the bottomless well of how the show has fallen short of these expectations they decided it should fulfill?
posted by griphus at 10:12 AM on February 13, 2013


To me the episode was more about how those flashes of insight we get about ourselves can happen at any time, under any circumstance, and often in those moments of our lives where we are completely outside of our regular element. In that sense the episode was entirely realistic. Just because the instance portrayed might be extremely rare, it's not as unbelievable or unique as instances we've all had (involving sex or otherwise) in our own lives. I will admit, however, that I did think, "She writes this so she could theoretically come up with whatever hot fantasy she wants to and get away with it."
posted by thorny at 10:13 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey good another Girls thread I wonder what a bunch of people hate about Girls this week.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:14 AM on February 13, 2013


I have never seen one second of this show and I feel like I know all about it. It seems like everyone watches it and everyone's talking about it.

This must have been what it was like for the One Person who didn't watch Lost...only this is probably a lot less confusing. Does Girls have a polar bear? Or hatches? If it did I might start watching.
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:15 AM on February 13, 2013


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