The appropriate response to Girls, a television program about a bachelor who pretends to be gay in order to live with two attractive female roommates without arousing the suspicions of his conservative landlord, is to turn off the TV and read Capitalism and Schizophrenia on the toilet. But it's David Byrne's birthday, so here is a recap.
The only take on Girls that matters was written by Liz Phair in 1993:
I take full advantage
Of every man I meet
I get away
Almost every day
With what the girls call
What the girls call
What the girls call
The girls call murder
Episode Five of Girls was directed by Jesse Peretz, the son of racist pamphleteer Martin Peretz and sewing machine heiress Anne Labouisse Farnsworth Peretz. For those keeping score at home: Add Peretz to artist Laurie Simmons, playwright and filmmaker David Mamet, Bad Company drummer Simon Frederick St. George Kirke, newsman and Gawker correspondent Brian Williams, and former CBS News president Andrew Heyward as members of that elite club of proud wealthy powerful parents whose adorable children are enjoying creative play in the HBO sandbox.
We open with a preposterous fake quasi-inquisition: Brian Williams' daughter's penisless boyfriend is forcing Laurie Simmons' daughter to read aloud from her diary, in wherein she recorded precisely how penisless she regarded him to be. Brian Williams' daughter looks on. This is how Generation iPhone fights about shit: Honestly, openly, artificially. The penisless boyfriend stalks out, angrily.
Brian Williams' daughter wants him back though.
"I hate everyone who loves me," says Laurie Simmons' daughter, upset about something.
Laurie Simmons' daughter and the Drummer from Bad Company's daughter are walking down the street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (probably), arm-in-arm, as young ladies are wont to do, talking about their lives and feelings and generally supporting one another, womanly. Laurie Simmons' daughter complains that her boss is handsy. "Why don't you just fuck him?" says the Drummer from Bad Company's daughter. "For the story." Or the television episode.
Brian Williams' daughter, who has been dating the penisless boyfriend for five years, doesn't know where he lives. This unlikely circumstance comes in handy, dramaturgically speaking, as it necessitates an encounter between Brian Williams' daughter and the penisless boyfriend's cranky friend, eating up some time. Brian Williams' daughter wants to know where her penisless ex-boyfriend lives. The cranky friend, who is working at a coffee shop, reluctantly proffers the information, "because it's starting to smell like a bath and bodyworks in here."
Brian Williams' daughter finds her penisless ex-boyfriend's apartment, a tiny studio populated with stackable modular blonde wood structures whimsically arrayed. She is wearing like six-inch heels. They talk interminably. Over and over again, they say things to one another. "Please don't break up with me," she says, stiffly and with concentration. "Please just don't."
The Drummer from Bad Company's daughter wears a bathrobe everywhere she goes. She's going to fuck the old guy she works as a nanny for.
FLASHBACK TO THE MID-AUGHTS.
It is 2007. Oberlin College. God, remember 2007. Holy shit remember the Scissor Sisters! OMG. Things were so different then. God you used to wear your collar up, you dork!
They actually did this, on Girls, ironically. A flashback to 2007 when the penisless boyfriend and Brian Williams' daughter met in college. At a party. She ate a pot brownie but freaked out BECAUSE SHE IS SO UPTIGHT AND UNFUCKED BY A REAL MAN. The penisless boyfriend calmed her. The five years that elapsed between 2007 and 2012 constitute 20% of Laurie Simmons' daughter's life.
Laurie Simmons' daughter tries to fuck her boss. Nothing in the five extant episodes of this television program even comes remotely close to indicating that the character represented by Laurie Simmons' daughter would ever consider aggressively propositioning her boss, but there you go. For the story. Her boss laughs at her. She threatens to sue him for sexual harassment, on account of his handsiness.
"There's no suing app on your iPhone," he tells her. He makes a good point. Laurie Simmons' daughter quits. He tries to stop her. "You're great! You don't know how to do anything, but you have so much potential."
None of the foregoing makes any sense to the extent that this television program has established continuity or context. Think of it as a one-off sketch.
The Drummer From Bad Company's daughter fucks some guy. She is leaning out the window, and he is behind her. This is how the iPhone generation fucks. I see it all the time in Williamsburg, walking down the street. The guy she is fucking is an ex-boyfriend who just wanted to stay in touch and has already moved on to a serious relationship with 38-year-old lady. The Drummer From Bad Company's daughter just fucked him to make a point: "I cannot be smoted. I am unsmotable." Smote is the past tense of smite. Smitten?
The penisless boyfriend agrees to take back Brian Williams' daughter. They begin to have sex, almost fully clothed. So uptight, she is! Then she all of a sudden changes her mind and breaks up with the penisless boyfriend, while his penis is inside her.
Laurie Simmons' daughter visits the angry woodworking actor. He rejects her. She goes to the bathroom and cries (or makes a crying face with no actual tears, which looks STRANGE on the toilet). She emerges from the bathroom. He is on the bed masturbating. He asks her to verbally abuse him while he masturbates. She indulges him. He keeps masturbating. She demands money, and takes a $100 bill from him. He keeps masturbating. He asks her to step on his testicles with her feet. She yells at him, but doesn't step on his testicles with her feet. He ejaculates.
A grateful nation of twentysomethings rejoices that, at long last, a television artist commensurate with their febrile desires has emerged to chronicle the granular reality of their collective generational life in all its window-fucking, ball-crushing glory. Skrillex.
Watch this space for next week's recap of Girls.
Image by Jim Cooke