Girls 5.07: Hello Kitty

Hel reviews Hello Kitty, episode 7 of the current season of Girls.

Apathy is a dangerous threat to the human race along with those Keep Calm posters and people who have more than one child; dangerous.

Catherine “Kitty” Genovese was savagely raped and brutally murdered outside her apartment block in Queens on March 13 1964. It was alleged that some thirty-eight people in the neighbouring apartments heard, even saw, her die and yet none called the police (although, this story has since been discredited). Fifty-two years later, her death is used in episode seven of Girls as Adam stars in an interactive re-enactment named 38 Neighbours. It’s the first time, in a long time, all characters (except for Elijah and Shosh) are gathered in the same space, if not the same room. However, I’m getting ahead of myself; first Hannah has to do something wildly inappropriate at work.

Hannah teaching has always been somewhat concerning, not that she isn’t more than capable but her lack of filter is always scary and when she is called to Principal Toby’s office, it comes as no surprise. Apparently, she has been bad-mouthing the other teachers to their shared classes and poor, patient Toby Cook is at the end of his tether with Hannah and threatens to take serious action. What does Horvath do? Uncrosses her legs and does a Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct) and flashes her vagina (the other Kitty of the title?) to her poor unsuspecting boss. When she’s recounting the incident to Fran – having escaped punishment – she fails to understand what the big deal is. “Are you that broken?” he asks her when she doesn’t get how incongruous she has been, or why he would be upset by the fact she flashes her wares to another man that wasn’t him. The following exchange made me a) want to hit him and then b) laugh like a drain:

Fran: DO NOT INTERRUPT ME! And I have asked you repeatedly not to roll your eyes at me
Hannah: I was looking up at a cloud formation which looked exactly like Blake Lively

Confession: I’m an eye-roller. Sometimes it’s involuntary or sometimes there’s a cloud formation that resembles Blake Lively… I do wonder if Hannah’s wilful sabotage is pushing Fran to the edge. He’s the sanest and the loveliest bloke she has been with but she seems hell bent on forcing Mr, Too Nice to either hurt her, or away. Permanently. She’s hard to love is our Hannah.
They arrive at the play and rather than continue their spat which is what Hannah would prefer to do, they separate, Hannah grabs Ray, and they go watch the acts unfold. Although, she still really wants to natter all the way through it, thankfully Marnie arrives and pretty much does the same, after talking to Ray. In some bizarre would-be prayer ritual, she takes his hands in hers and tells him that she has left Desi (and yet no mention of Charlie, who if memory serves was a good friend of Ray’s), she grips his hands and then tells him she needs… to be alone. We all know how self-centred Marnie is (who isn’t selfish in this show?) but it’s so bloody obtuse not to mention awkward to watch; she knows exactly how he feels about her.

Elijah is at a Harcourt-hosted party, looking adorable all suited and booted and standing alongside his man played, let’s face it, beautifully by Corey Stoll. He’s an Anderson Cooper-type and, sadly, a bit of an arsehole when it becomes apparent that Elijah is the latest in a long line of boy toys, and he goes from “feel[ing] like the only girl in the room” to really hurt and stealing toiletries and storming out of the party. When Dill “you know I wouldn’t disappoint you on purpose, right?” Harcourt turns up at the apartment hours later, wasted, Elijah attempts to take control and tell him how he feels but ends up surrendering to the polished noggin and wanton lust, only for him to fall fast sleep mid blow job.

Hannah watches Adam’s monologue until it is interrupted by the unmerciful screams of Kitty as the murder takes place i.e. two provocatively posed plaster figures lit in a red filter. As she leans out of the window to gain a better view, Hannah notices Jessa on the fire escape opposite Adam’s window and through some nifty camerawork and a really arresting shot, realisation dawns on her that there is something is going on between them. Initially there is anger and she begs Marnie to tell her what’s going on but she’s too “busy Yelping divorce lawyers to care about the sex-life of [their] second-tier friends.” *ouch* Then an unexpected visitor interrupts their conversation. Just when I thought Desi was gone forever, he comes bounding in telling Marn, that they “got the call”; and one of their songs is wanted for a scene (possibly a montage!) in Grey’s Anatomy. Where’s that cloud formation…?

Hello Kitty plays out among random snippets of dialogue and focusses on indifference, apathy and performance. It’s reminiscent of the Mimi-Rose installation last season, you know the Ask Me My Name one with all the tabards; these events are like a social experiment as to how these specific cast of characters act in a slightly odd and public forum. I think we can all agree, not so well. On the sidewalk at the end of the show as Hannah waits for, presumably, Fran she commends Adam on his acting. Jessa follows him and Hannah extends a ‘hey’ to her friend, it’s barely reciprocated and none can even say goodbye to each other. It’s devastating to watch especially as Hannah’s obvious anger has dissipated and the emotion is quiet, restrained and heart-breaking to see. Made all the more awkward by the fact that Fran has missed all of this and while she attempts to steel herself and potentially stall a panic-attack, he’s shouting at her. Yes Fran, she is a little broken and you taking her hand right now and accepting her apology is what she needs.

The irony in all of this is that compared to what happened to poor Kitty fifty-odd years ago, these little angsty dramas however well played out are somewhat trivial. R.I.P Kitty.

He’s So Fine by The Chiffons ℗Compilation 2004 Capitol Records, Inc.
Someday (You’ll Want Me to Want You) by Brenda Lee ℗1991 MCA Nashville
My Car by Tear Council ℗2015 Personal Best Records
Curse by Vicktor Taiwò ℗2015 Viktor Taiwò/Yebo Music, LLC

Hel Harding-Jones

Updated: Apr 07, 2016

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