Girls Recap: In the second episode problems are solved in magical ways that can only happen on TV

Last week we met the girls of Girls. This week, they’re the “ladies” according to Shoshanna’s self-help dating manual, but mostly we’d just call them clueless. Not in a Dumb and Dumber way where they’re idiots, but in a way that kind of makes us sad.  Have you ever heard the Four Burners Theory of success? One burner represents your family, the second is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work—to be successful you have to turn one off, and to be really successful you have to turn off two. Well, never mind turning off a burner, at best these girls barely have two turned on! Speaking of getting turned on, there’s not much of that happening this week: sex isn’t bringing any of these girls happiness—so let’s see which problems prompt the girls to camp out at a SoHo health clinic.

Bring on the problems! »

Girls Problem: Jessa is pregnant.

In the first episode of Girls we heard Hannah lament about a girl who had no one to accompany her to an abortion. So when it’s Jessa’s turn to divest herself of a pregnancy, her friends offer overwhelming support, turning her abortion appointment into an event deserving of tears (Marnie), jokes (Hannah) and expensive candy (Shoshanna). The day of the abortion begins with frozen yogurt and a feminist discourse on the rules of dating. We really didn’t think you could eat before surgery, but maybe frozen yogurt’s non-food status is OK? Then, when she should be at her appointment, Jessa instead goes AWOL, trying to prove to herself that she doesn’t want this baby by exposing the fetus to White Russians (and, earlier in the episode, pot). Ignoring her friends “word alerts,” she finds a guy to make out with who we’re to believe is nice enough to call his mom to say he’s “OK in the city” but confident enough to make out with an aggressive girl in a stairwell. Between kissing him like she’s going to eat his face off and yelling at him when he asks what she wants him to do (Jessa’s more like Marnie than she’d ever admit) she discovers she’s bleeding and thus her problem has magically—in a way that only ever happens on TV, ladies—taken care of itself. Problem solved.

Ten years from now: According to Jessa she’ll have a bunch of kids with men of different races. Like she’s populating the It’s A Small World ride at Disneyland. (That may be an Angelina Jolie joke we stole from someone.) Jessa still feels very much closed off, and it’s hard to get a sense of what she really wants in life beyond new experiences—but we’re sure that eventually having a child will be seen as one of those new experiences. She’ll probably dress it in sarongs and not let it take part in trick-or-treating at Halloween because of the hegemony of chocolate manufacturing.

Girls Problem: Hannah doesn’t understand Adam (the guy she’s hooking up with) and doesn’t see that he couldn’t care less about understanding her.

You know that opening scene of Bridesmaids where Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig partake in awkward sex? That scene looks like erotic made-for-the-big-screen capital “L” lovemaking compared to the sex we see between Hannah and Adam. His sex fantasy world includes pretending she’s an 11-year old junkie with a Cabbage Patch Kids lunchbox. Most 11-year-olds we’ve seen lately are already wearing thongs and platform shoes, not carrying lunchboxes or bothering with the Cabbage Patch Kids, so his fantasy seems a bit out of touch, but still mostly weird—which we guess is what we’re supposed to be feeling when we hear it. Hannah, who isn’t swept away by carnal desire, has plenty of time to ask questions and attempt to play along self-consciously. Is her brain on because her G-spot isn’t getting any attention, or is the fact that her brain is so on making it impossible for her to get turned on? Either way, she’s clearly not comfortable at all, and when she says, “I almost came,” the statement makes us hate her a little for how big-time she’s lying to herself. Later at a job interview, we see Hannah is capable of easy back-and-forth (what one might call witty repartee) with men, just not with Adam. Too bad she blows it all up with a rape joke. It’s so out of left field that we have to wonder if she self-sabotaged. Hannah makes us cringe again when she comments to her gyno, in all seriousness, that if she got AIDS (a.k.a. the disease Robin Wright Penn’s character in Forrest Gump died of), she’d then have something to hold over Adam’s head. She feels she has so little power in this relationship that she thinks a terminal illness guilt trip could improve things—proof that Hannah has no idea that this relationship will never satisfy anything within her. We’re sure it will take her the whole season to figure this out, if she ever does at all.

Ten years from now: Hannah will have met enough guys that she has clicked with to know when it’s worth putting in the effort versus when it’s time to make a bad joke and run. She’ll also have had enough good sex to not tolerate bad sex, almost or otherwise. (We hope.)

Girls airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO Canada. Tune in next week when we’ll tackle more Girls Problems.