Hannah is an asshole. We’ve know this all along, but her actions in “I Get Ideas” go so far beyond her usual terrible behavior that it is actually, surprisingly, shocking.
The fact that Girls works on any level is a minor miracle considering just how unlikable Hannah is, but the show’s ability to directly confront her flaws and have other characters call her out on her bullshit makes for especially satisfying television.
Let’s start with Hannah’s new boyfriend, who I finally learned is actually named Sandy and not “Donald Glover.” On the surface, Sandy seems like a good match for Hannah: funny, charming, not too serious about the relationship. We learn that he’s a republican, but only because Hannah and her friends make such a big deal about it. Nothing in his actions suggest right wing at all, and even though it really shouldn’t be any of Hannah’s business what he believes, she allows her imagination to run wild. Of course, there’s much more to being a republican than opposing gay marriage and gun control, but being an ill-informed, selfish, and judgmental person, this is immediately the only thing Hannah can grasp on to.
All of this comes to a head when she asks Sandy if he has read an essay she wants his opinion on, and after claiming he’s been too busy to do so (trying to shield Hannah’s feelings while keeping their relationship casual), he finally admits to having read it, saying that is was very well written but it wasn’t for him. His criticism is that nothing happens, that it was like waiting in line on all the nonsense in your brain, and while Hannah’s writing certainly reveals a lot about her, this fight immediately shifts to what Hannah wants to fight about. After bringing up the gay marriage and gun control stuff, Hannah thinks it would be smart to bring to Sandy’s attention that two out of three men on death row are black. “Thank you for reminding me how difficult it is to be a black man,” Sandy says. “I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic,” responds Hannah.
Hannah claims to have never once thought about the fact that Sandy is black, which he immediately calls her out on — That she’s just another one of those white girls moving to New York who wants to work on her art and get a fixed-gear bike and date a black guy. Hannah wants to believe that she is ‘post-racial,’ but the whole ‘not seeing color’ thing is the biggest part of her problem. Sandy IS black, and whether Hannah likes it or not, being black has played a huge part in shaping him into the man he’s become, what he believes in, how he views the world and how the world views him. But instead of wanting to open up to Sandy about their differences, trying to understand one another, and maybe planting enough trust in the relationship to give it a chance to grow, Hannah avoids all those adult scenarios and does the easy thing and breaks up with him.
Clearly, writing Sandy’s character into this show is a response to criticism from last season saying that the show was too pasty white, and I admire the hell out of how they tackled the race issue head on here. Hannah isn’t a racist, that’s clear, but she’s sheltered and ignorant and that’s why she’s surrounded by white people most of the time. She’s a hypocrite because she wants to accept everybody for who they are and she has this ideal that people are people no matter what color their skin is, but then in so many words she puts Sandy down for not being the right type of black person.
But Hannah’s issues are far from over. After the breakup with Sandy, she’s lying in bed when she gets a text from Adam, who is outside her window (he responds with a very funny and creepy “I saw you turn off your light.”). Hannah and Elijah were discussing how murder-y Adam could get after the breakup earlier, and the show has some fun with that image here with Adam scaring the shit out of Hannah after coming into the apartment with the key she gave him. Is Adam out of line here? Absolutely, but Hannah panics and calls 911 only to hang up immediately after. Adam isn’t there to murder her, of course, he just wants to try and win her back in a very creepy way. “As a man living my man life, my desire for you cannot be repressed,” he says just before he kisses her on the cheek in another sweet if slightly deranged moment, but after Hannah is adamant that he leaves, he gets the message loud and clear and goes.
But not before the police show up responding to the 911 call, which Hannah very childishly denies having ever made. While she wishes to retract her actions and deal with the disturbance internally, after Adam’s name is run through the police database, he is arrested for his unpaid parking tickets and public urination charge. Adam is not without his faults here, but once again Hannah throws him under the bus (although at least not literally this time).
Hannah is a mess. Clearly. Her narcissism has gotten so bad that it’s starting to affect more than just her personal struggle of becoming a more functioning member of society. Now she’s dragging others down with her.
– I suppose we should catch up with the other girls: Marnie can’t get a job in the art world and decides maybe it’s not the worst thing to rely on her good looks from time to time as she accepts a job as a hostess at some high-end club. Of course Hannah doesn’t approve, as she would never sell out her craft to rely on her sexuality. Marnie and Elijah also wrestle with coming clean to Hannah about their sex (Marnie wants to, Elijah doesn’t, although he had no problem confessing to his boyfriend, “it was like three pumps and then I lost my boner.”).
– The only Shosh we get is a quick scene of her and Ray happy in bed together, and Jessa is living with Thomas John and he got her three puppies, which she named Garbage, Fucker, and Hanukkah.
– Jessa doesn’t care about Democrats or Republicans because they are all dirtbags. This is why I love you, Jessa.
– I tend to agree with Sandy on the fact that there’s no way Hannah quoted Missy Elliot accidentally. Also, Hannah doesn’t believe in blue balls.
– Andrew Rannells’ stink eye is Emmy-worthy.