Girls: 6.01 All I Ever Wanted
”I give zero fucks about anything yet I have a strong opinion on everything, even topics I’m not informed on.”
They’re back. Hannah, Jessa, Shosh, and Marnie; Ray, Adam and Elijah too, no doubt. Forging their own paths, potentially pissing people - and each other - off, and generally feeling their way across that vast expanse that is their twenties. *Pause for thought as one recollects*
One. Final. Season. Okay, enough dwelling on the inevitable. Season six opener, All I Ever Wanted drops us straight into Hannah’s bubble, we’re unsure just how long has passed since Hannah wowed The Moth audience with her monologue but it appears to be no more than a few months. Miss Horvath finally flogs a piece to The New York Times, and Losing My Best Friend to My Ex Boyfriend is printed and scrutinised by all in the opening sequence: Ray finds a typo, Marnie’s thrilled-whilst-peeing, Adam nervously reads, Jessa refuses to look, Shosh judges. While Tad and Loreen, clearly reading apart, are super-proud. Hannah is evidently thrilled at her new literary prowess, especially after giving it up, but more importantly she survived the whole Adam and Jessa thing. She lived.
Marnie is determined to break old patterns and is taking her online therapist’s advice very seriously, she is “going through a divorce”, you know. Poor Ray has barely ejaculated before she’s telling him he can no longer share her apartment. Baby, she’s not breaking up with him but their relationship has to be all about her, baby (the adoption of this cutesy pet-name is feckin’ irritating). Run, Ray Kay, run! His only option is to move back in with JessAd, after Marnie tells him she’d prefer it if he didn’t live with Shosh. Seriously Ray, why man?
Jessa and Adam are barely onscreen at all, long enough for her to be naked, he practically so, and a disagreement over the pronunciation of yoghurt. They’ve shoved all of Ray’s belongings - including a Andy Kaufman cut-out - into the corner of the room to make space for “sex reasons”. Cut to Ray sharing pleasantries and newspaper talk over morning coffee with Shosh much to Marnie’s chagrin. Marn' ends up meeting with Desi to divide marital assets, argue over guitar pedals, and fight. He quotes Othello (well, Iago actually) and they argue some more about why they’ll never be Fleetwood Mac. The conclusion of which is, presumably, a quick conjugal in the bed she kicked Ray out of at the beginning of the episode.
Hannah is offered a writing assignment (by Chelsea Peretti no less) which will take her to Montauk, and more specifically to a female surf camp where some real housewives are co-opting the sporting pastime just like they did with Yoga. Yep, you heard right. Banana on the beach. It is as hilarious, and humiliating as you can imagine; sunburn, surf, sand and an array of swimsuits. God love her, I can’t even say she tries. It is everything she loathes and she fights any enjoyment all the way. In keeping with Girls’ blokes-go-onto-Star-Wars casting (Kylo Driver, Orson Mendelsohn, Lando Glover), another established SW actor Riz Ahmed gets a turn and plays the dope surfer-boy/instructor Paul-Louis. He’s wonderful in the role, and Paul-Louis is the tonic that Hannah needs, there’s a Buddhist-calm to him and his patience and warmth really allows our defensive Horvath to let go of some angst. Dunham and collaborator Jenni Konner wrote the dude beautifully.
There’s some real laugh-out-loud moments in this episode, ones which had me giggling long after the moment was over, including the montage sequence in which Paul-Louis attempts to show Hannah the wonders and healing properties of the beach and sea. Set to George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord it plays like a 21st century riff on From Here to Eternity. It’s funny, sweet and yet never veers towards parody. As they sip beer on the shoreline, I was reminded of The Descendants not only in visuals but with that whole idea of re-examining the past and embracing future, much like our homegirl. Or perhaps it was the Shailene Woodley sunshine vagina quote earlier in the episode that got me thinking. Will forever hear The 5th Dimension’s Aquarius (Let the Sunshine in) when anyone mentions that girl now.
Hannah has, it seems, elicited the notion that to be able to write, even adult, she shouldn’t enjoy things; she has surrounded herself with toxic negativity and accepted that is the norm. It dawns on her, during her tête-à-tête with Paul-Louis that she doesn’t really ”like” much of anything, nor knows what drives her friends, “My friends define themselves by what they hate […] too busy chasing success and defining themselves, they’re unable to experience pleasure.” (Sounds a bit like Twitter, doesn’t it?)
All I Ever Wanted is a promising start for the series, there are zero hints as to where any of the characters are heading and as long as Hannah can channel a little Paul-Louis philosophy every once in a while, she’ll be just fine.
Disappointingly, we never were invited to Elijah’s teeny, tiny, orgy.
Girls continues on Sky Atlantic, Mondays at 10pm
Amsterdam by Gregory Alan Isakov ℗2013 Suitcase Town Music
Dance Caribe by Andrew Bird ℗2012 Bella Union
Ray Charles by Chiddy Bang ℗2012 Parlophone Records Ltd
Zoom Zoom Zoom by Calypso Rose ℗2016 Maturity Music Limited/Stonetree Music
Pop (feat. Dominique Young Unique) by Bad Royale ℗2015 Mad Decent
Slow Jamz (feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx) by Twista ℗2004 Atlantic Recording Corp
My Sweet Lord by George Harrison ℗1970  G.H. Estate Limited
She’s So High by Tal Bachman ℗1999 Sony Music Entertainment Inc