Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sextimento in the City

Last Sunday's "One Man's Trash" episode of HBO's Girls begins with Hannah's "sexit" and ends with her sexy exit. (WARNING--spoilers ahead.) Hannah goes from a Lucille Ball moment (you know, that wide-eyed guilty expression when Joshua complains about the trash) in Grumpy's to a potential "Ted Bundy situation," segues to a "Nancy Meyers movie," and then the episode ends like a Woody Allen film when they were still good. Even though there is but one girl in this episode, it feels to me that this one encapsulates what Dunham's been trying to convey with the whole series.

Here, the veneer of hip makes a "rash exit" and segues to the beautifully quotidian (in the Wallace Stevens coffee-and-oranges-in-a-sunny-chair sense):

"What is it, Sweetie?"

"Please don"t tell anyone this, but I want to be happy."

And so it goes--we all need the eggs.

"One Man's Trash" is the wonderfully awkward and uncomfortable brief encounter between the 42-year-old Joshua (Patrick Wilson) and 24-year-old Hannah (Lena Dunham), and uncomfortable not just because of Dunham's unabashed naked body (topless ping pong, anyone?), but because we keep fearing for the other shoe to drop--for him to treat her badly, for her to piss him off, for theTruly Awkward Inevitable End to the idyll.

But then the rendez-vous comes (pun intended), simply, to its natural close. "Josh-ua" goes back to work. Hannah luxuriates in breakfast-and-the-paper on the patio in his cashmere sweater.

 And then Hannah's in her own, um, outfit again, but just as she's about to leave, she goes back and then exits carefully with Joshua's neatly bagged trash. I was sure she was going to toss his bag in Grumpy's dumpster. Potentially satisfying, but that would have made this any other episode of Girls. To have made that choice would have been to undercut the sincerity of the sentiment in the episode, which is its real nakedness. Or should I say it's sextiment?

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