The Nybro Action Team consists of Hjalmar Sveinbjőrnsson and Alex Bejerstrand, two under-employed friends and former Nybro residents now living in northern Sweden. Hjalmar is a student and a chef; Alex helps run his father's talent agency. They will be recapping Season 3 of HBO's Girls.
I stamp my boots to the ground as I enter my house, another snowy day in a tucked-away valley, deep in the north countryside of Sweden, it's been -14 F most of the day, warm compared to the last weeks. Earlier in the day, I had a long phone call with Alex to discuss the third episode.
He was walking through the gray sludgy snow, through the grayness of Stockholm city, while I glide through the silence of winter on an old wooden kick sled, surrounded by forest and farmhouses.
A perfect moment slowly ruined by his description of the episode I was about to watch, making my way uphill back home, this untouched country snow seemed to get grayer by each step, colored by the traffic of my mind, as I think back to previous Girls episodes and what I am about to watch. This one is called: "She said OK."
The view from Hjalmar's "student house" in northern Sweden.
We start with Adam and Hanna, he sits in a chair in the kitchen while she cuts his hair, describing how unattached to hair he is, he is so deep, suddenly his phone rings, he answers and seems to be calming a hyperventilating person down, "breathe with your stomach" he says, then proceeds to give his current address and then hangs up. Hanna asks worriedly who called, he replies: "My sister."
We cut to his sister and Hanna sitting at the table, Adam in the background bouncing a ball off the wall. Let's take a moment and imagine how his older sister might look like? Are you ready?
She looks like the younger version of the crazy cat lady in The Simpsons, not kidding and guess what, she is also crazy and currently homeless after getting left on the side of the highway by her boyfriend. They argue, Adam refuses to let her stay at their place but Hanna wants to help her.
His older sister really explains a lot about Adam's character. One of the sibling beefs is that she tried to euthanize his grandfather, but in the next scene Hanna tries to convince him unsuccessfully, she makes up a terrible bad excuse to his older sister, she is not allowed to stay. But stricken with moral guilt, Hanna invites her to her 25-year-old birthday party, what could go wrong?
Instead of the intro to the show, we get a fan-made version of "What I Am" by Emma Bunton, starring Marnie, remember that song? "I am not aware of too many things, I know what I know, if you know what I mean?" That song is a masterpiece, only intelligent Valley Girl song that is so hardcore it is basically promoting suicide instead of learning with this amazing line:
Choke me in the shallow water
Before I get too deep
We find out in the end of the video that Marnie's ex-boyfriend put it up on YouTube. She is at home, yelling down some employee at YouTube but then apologizes, end scene.
We are at Ray's place, he just hired his first employee that was not in his friend circle and he is showing her to the door, he then shares a short conversation with his old boss, who apparently is terminally ill, but refuses to tell Ray what he is sick with so Ray does not care but instead discusses how he is worried about the future, being a boss, and controlling his employees. Personally I have to say I like Ray more then most characters. I actually find him also the most realist character on the show, probably because he most of the time stays the fuck away from the friend group.
We are now at the party, only 8 minutes into the episode, finally something big will happen. We've got Hannah's somewhat dysfunctional friend group and Adam's crazy-cat-lady of a sister in the same bar, let's get ready to RUMBLE!!!
Hanna, Adam, and his sister are greeted by Marnie and Hanna's parents, who are there to celebrate with their daughter but also pay for the alcohol until 22:00, I thought at least half the friend group had real jobs, what is the deal? But anyway, Hanna is covered in makeup, Hanna's parents comment how good she looks, Marnie just makes a comment how Hanna could look like this every day. I personally find makeup unattractive, not because I am a feminist but because "sex sweat" washes it away, wrarrr. Adam's older sister greets the paying parents "European"-style, hugs and mouth kisses. It's not even shocking, that character tries too hard, Hanna introduces Adam as "and you remember Adam from my period of mental illness," spot on.
Hannah and Marnie go for a private conversation, they just love each other and even in the same order, first they love themselves and then each other. Marnie is so happy to get to host this party, such a nice distraction from her ex-boyfriend, she can take so many amazing pictures for Instagram and she is SURE that her ex checks it. What a fantastic person you are Marnie, even Hanna is bit weirded out by you. They walk through the party, ignoring the only person that is trying to get Hanna a present, but these are hipster times and you only give birthday gifts that are ironical, like ugly hats or a surfboard. If you live in an area were you can't ski, then get your hipster friend a pair of skis, he or her will love it.
They walk through the whole establishment until they reach the bar in the back of the house were Jessa and Shoshanna are waiting, its Girls time, I am starting to agree with one of my commenters that this show is trying to be Sex and the City meets Louie.
They are sitting around the table and discussing the YouTube video, we cut next to the stage and some hip band is going to play. I know this because they are a two-people band consisting of a drummer and a ukulele player/singer. Ray stands in front of the stage and seems to be enjoying the performance, actually it is not half-bad but in the background we can see Adam's sister "sexy dancing" towards him. She tries to gets him to dance, going from politely questioning his "not dancing" to explaining to him that she leaves her body during sex, its called "dissociation." He is still not interested in her or the act of dancing, instead she proceeds to bite him violently on the arm, he storms away straight to another part of this establishment, which seems to have an endless numbers of rooms with a stages and a bars. They might be doing a tribute to Twin Peaks in this episode.
Ray sits down in this new room, next to another man trying to get the attention of the bartender who is on the other side trying to hook up with some chicks. I hate those types nearly as much as I hate morning radio DJs, soulless succubi of the mainstream music industry, but anyway.... Ray's new friend see ms to just have meet this "tantalizing vixen" that he came here with, by the name of Shoshanna Shapiro, Ray's life-sucks meter went up 3.4 points and he lies about knowing her. His new friend tells him how "wild and crazy" she is now, Ray's meter showing 4.7 by now.
I hope the series finale has an episode with Ray freaking out and leaving the friend group, starting his own show called Ray, it's totally going to make it, just like Joey, remember? Skrillex.
We are back with Hanna, Adam, and the paying parents, they are talking about his sister but Hanna pleads for him to have fun, he agrees. "Age of Consent" by New Order starts playing, and he carries her over to the dance floor while Ray walks across the room heading to the exit, where he spots Shoshanna through the window having a cigarette. It's time for him to "man up" and be her friend. The conversation lasts for like 7 seconds of extreme awkwardness until he tells her that he is tired of the acting, the small talk and being nice to her, wishes her well in her life and walks away, he is still the most likable character in my eyes.
Now we've got about 10 minutes left of the show and this is far too long for a simple Gawker recap so let's speed this up. Hannah's editor shows up, wearing a "soft" punk outfit and noticeably on coke or some kind of uppers. He borrows a phone from Marnie to install "grinder"—after a Google search and Wikipedia research it could be one of many things, but probably is just a "geo-social networking application geared towards gay, bisexual, and bi-curious men" or a "geo-social networking application geared towards sub sandwich, hoagie or grinder loving men" or maybe both? Science.
But he leaves them after couple of snotty comments to do some Grinding, imagine it would be the same to meet my editor, I already pre-installed Grindr for that occasion. But back to this lightning-fast conclusion! We are in one of the larger rooms. Marnie goes on stage to get Hannah to sing a song from the musical Rent. I actually saw that musical when I was a preteen, still remember because the teacher in my school told me it could turn me gay. Those were the days ... focus Hjalmar!
Illustration by Alex Bejerstrand.
As Marnie and a reluctant Hanna are singing the song, fighting starts in the room upstairs. Everyone leaves to see the fight, Hanna is relieved, while upstairs Ray had started an argument with Hannah's editor, who ends up throwing Ray across the room on a table, then apparently beating him up, never shown though, instead we see Adam and Hanna leaving, coming home, stumbling into the hallway, kissing passionately until he lifts her on the kitchen table, Hannah needs to pee first, she opens the bathroom door and screams, Adam's sister is standing there naked from the top down with a glass in her hand, couple of words are exchanged then she breaks the glass with the grip of her hand. Things calm down, crazy-cat-lady is patched up and we are in the bedroom with Hannah and Adam and he proclaims that his sister has won.
The end, this was a long recap and I am sorry for it, I could have done key points but what is the fun in that, until next time—Nybro Action Team.