I had a little epiphany watching the second episode of Girls last night. This was because I watched an episode of Eastbound and Down right before it. We’re not really supposed to like these characters as much as we’re supposed to love-hate them, just like we do the male HBO comedy protagonists before them, Kenny Powers and Larry David. And we’re supposed to cringe at how much the terrible things they say remind us of the things we say in our heads and then think better of. Figuring that out made me enjoy “Vagina Panic” much more — and it makes me look forward to the episodes that haven’t been excerpted and dissected to death as much as the first two have been.
Here are the 10 quotes that had me cringing, nodding my head, laughing and cringing again, in order of cringyness.
10. “I’ve only had sex with two and a half men.” — Hannah, making us wonder just what the half was and hope that at least one of those men satisfied her at some point.
9. “Cobble Hill — that’s like grown up Brooklyn.” — Hannah, in the job interview with Mike Birbiglia, having a conversation only New Yorkers will get, kind of flaunting the fact that they’re having a conversation only New Yorkers will get.
8. “I’m going to admit that I’ve hate read that book.” — Hannah, on Listen Ladies, the self-help book Shoshanna reads to them. This whole scene is so Jezebel-baiting!
7. “What if I want to feel like I have udders?” — Jessa, hilariously pointing out the advantages of doing it doggy style, but possibly just being contrary as part of the above-mentioned Jezebel-baiting.
6. “A little bird told me that you are getting an STD test. Fun!” — Shoshanna, in another failed attempt to mimic the blase attitude the other girls affect when they’re talking about sex.
5. “I’m actually accompanying a friend to her abortion. So that’s what I’m doing.” “Sh– that’s kind of a heavy f—ing situation.” “Is it really?” — Hannah and Adam, testing out whether their blase attitude can possibly be applied to talking about a friend’s abortion, not coming to a satisfying conclusion.
4. “How could she ruin the really good abortion that you threw?” — Hannah to Marnie, still trying to maintain the light humor about Jessa’s situation.
3. “I read a statistic that said Syracuse has the highest rate of date rape of any other school. … Which weirdly went down after you graduated.” — Hannah misappropriating her jokey attitude about sex during her job interview, destroying any hope we had that Mike Birbiglia would be in future episodes.
2. “I have very bad fear of AIDS. … It’s more of like a Forrest Gump-based fear.” — Hannah to the gynecologist, in a long speech that winds up with her concluding that AIDS would be a great way to make Adam and her parents feel guilty. The doctor is not amused, making me feel guilty for laughing.
1. “I hit a puppy once with my car. I only had my learners permit.” — Marnie, trying to make Shoshanna feel better about being a virgin. (Note: This is #1 for me only because I have a no-dead-dog rule for all of my TV and movie viewing. The fact that this made me cringe more than the terrible sex quotes probably makes me as bad as the characters in my inability to take life seriously. Sorry.)
What made you laugh and cringe most?