When ‘Girls’ keep it Real “Free Snacks” S3E6 Review
Season 3 of HBO’s Girls finds our four protagonists in the same conundrums of two seasons past. Lena Dunham, 27 is the show’s creator, director, and main writer. She also stars as Hannah, who’s “friends,” Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirkeand), and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) are still pretending to be BFFs even though they grow intensively tiresome of each others’ personalities and are all still searching for meaning in their young lives in the city that never sleeps.
People who enjoy this show can relate to the theme of finding yourself, the fact that it revolves around women whom often pass the Bechdel test (how long two women on a show can talk to each other about something other than a man), and that Dunham isn’t afraid to take it all off and be proud of her body. Others have expressed concern that the show has lacked people of color (Donald Glover appeared for a few episodes in season 2 and Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks appeared once in season 3). Oh yeah, these girls are very hard to like. But that’s the point of Dunham’s work and how she keeps her show real.
As the first woman to win a Director’s Guild Award for Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series, both sides can agree that Dunham has accurately depicted the psychology of the millennial generation. Young people today have a set timeline for major life goals and they struggle to cope when things don’t go according to plan, and in season 3’s episode 6, “Free Snacks,” this sense of entitlement is personified through Hannah’s continued struggle with her expectations.
After a failed e-book deal Hannah starts her Big Girl job as a writer for GQ Magazine. She’s really excited to make salary for her craft - that is until she tells Ray, who bursts her bubble by informing her it sounds like she’s going to be writing “advertorials,” which he says, “is both morally and creatively bankrupt.” Ray has a special knack for keeping it real and bringing Hannah and her friends back down to earth. In the previous episode “Only Child,” Ray broke the fourth wall by pyscho-analyzing Marnie’s character as if he were a blogger watching the show on his couch:
“For beginners, you're extremely judgmental. You came in here and immediately insulted me and my neighborhood. You come across like you're better than everyone and you want no part of their lives, and then when you're excluded from things you're outrageously offended, and hold on to this grudge. Also you're unbearably uptight. And you use people, you use people a lot. So much so that even when you try to connect and be sincere it comes across as phony. I think that actually more or less sums it up in a nutshell: you're a huge fat fucking phony. But that being said, I still like you. Because behind it all I think you mean well. And I'm old enough to recognize that all of this bullshit comes from a very deep dank dark toxic well of insecurity. Probably created by your absent father. And that allows you to be a sympathetic character.”
After verbally undressing he does so physically and they have sex, making things “awk,” as Shosh (Ray’s ex and Marnie’s friend) would say. In “Free Snacks” Ray attempts to be “a gentleman and a squire” by calling Marnie to “check in.” The odd pair goes out to lunch where they argue very loudly. They don’t know why they’re trying to make this work but they are because well, as Ray tells her, “You have no one else to eat lunch with, and neither do I.” Depressing, huh?
Meanwhile back at the GQ offices, Hannah is enjoying the free snack room in the office and it’s so impressive that the real GQ Magazine playfully lowered expectations by posting a picture of their actual snack room on their Tumblr. It’s just a typical vending machine and it’s not free. Bummer. Hannah dumps a pile of snacks on the table in her first meeting, before providing a plethora of ideas and never allowing other senior writers to speak. When those co-workers share their horror stories about how long they’ve been at GQ, Hananh says that she doesn’t plan to rot there like they have because, “I’m like a writer writer, not like a corporate advertising ‘working-for-the-man’ kind of writer.” Way to keep it real, Hannah.
Her co-workers assure her they felt the same way, and then ten years flew by. In typical overreaction fashion, Hannah dumps her head in the sink before marching into her boss’s office to announce her resignation. Hannah’s boss replies with a nonchalant, “Alright, Hannah. There’s a lot of people who’d love to have your job.” “That’s it?” Hannah asks, remorsefully. “That’s it.” Her boss replies. Hannah walks out, walks back in and says she was just kidding but by then her boss is too busy looking at decorations for her place to pay any attention. “You wanna just email me and let me now if you still work here?” Buurrnn.
In her article for the Huffington Post, Leigh Weingus shows how Dunham has created characters this generation can relate too, even if we want to hate them. No one can deny Dunham’s acute portrayal of turmoil this generation has between feeling an entitlement to fight for goals and dreams and realizing when dues need to be paid first.
"Reports of Our Snack Room Have Been Greatly Exaggerated." GQ Magazine, 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.
Weingus, Leigh. "Why The Moments In 'Girls' That Pissed You Off Are Actually Brilliant." Entertainment TV. The Huffington Post, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.