In this week’s episode of HBO’s Girls, actress and writer Lena Dunham really put it all out there and in more ways than one. Much of this episodes criticism stems from Lena’s body and her *gasp* willingness to throw it in everyone’s face. The Huffington Post called her fat and her sex scenes disgusting, then tried to replace her with Keira Knightley to ease the pain.
This episode was painful and it was confusing, but real women all over the country are celebrating Lena’s courage and authenticity. The episode started with Hannah at the coffee shop working with Ray. A man comes in to complain that someone has been placing garbage from the shop in his trash bins. Ray and the man yell at each other before Hannah quits the job out of embarrassment for Ray’s behavior. What follows this incident is shocking and fascinating, a definite turn from what we’ve seen this season.
Hannah goes to the man’s amazing remodeled Brookstone down the street and admits that she was the one who put the trash in Joshua’s bins. He offers her some lemonade after she somewhat forces her way inside. For her honesty and just because he is on the rebound and because Hannah seems like a fun time, the two start having some amazing kitchen counter sex.
Yes, this scene does show Lena Dunham’s body. Yes, guest star Patrick Wilson strips off Lena’s horribly fitting jumper and fondles her small breasts and large thighs. It remains hot and keeps being hot, yet uncomfortable as they have sex a second, then a third time. He invites her to stay. She says she knows when it’s time to leave. But he literally begs her to stay.
The next day he calls in sick to work. Joshua is a doctor and recently separated from his wife. He doesn’t really seem willing to talk about it. Hannah plays ping pong in the nude and they have a nice brunch outside. He asks her to stay again. Now it’s getting weird.
Hannah takes a shower in his dual shower/sauna and passes out in the steam. He carries her to the bed, wraps her in his bathrobe, and strokes her hair. She breaks down. Then she admits that she is jaded, but truly wants to be happy and have men treat her properly. This is an admission friends, family, and viewers have been craving for two seasons. Why does Hannah bail on things she cares about, but put up with terrible behavior from men? Even she is perplexed by the idea.
Joshua acts a little put off, but patiently listens and asks her to stay another night. When Hannah wakes he is at work and she spends the morning eating breakfast on the back patio, reading the paper, admiring his wardrobe, and then she makes his bed. She decides it is time to leave and takes out Joshua’s trash, perhaps as a peace offering. We can assume that Hannah will never be back.
Critics will tell you that this was disgusting to watch, that Lena Dunham shouldn’t be showing her body or have the audacity to play sex scenes. They can go stick it where the sun don’t shine. This is a real show, written by a real woman, and watched by real women. This is what life looks like. Ask anyone you know and they’ll tell you that they know a girl that could get a rich recently separated attractive man to have sex with them and it doesn’t make sense. But in the real world, men have sex with women and they rarely look like Keira Knightley.
It’s the emotional vulnerability that these type of men can’t handle. It’s the reality that men like this can’t accept. Lena Dunham plays it well and deserves every badge of honor her courage can earn.