During the first season of Girls, I wondered why Hannah didn't have a blog. Her self-obsession, lack of privacy boundaries, and conviction that she has important things to say about the mundane ("the voice of a generation") are all qualities that lend themselves well to the kind of confessional pageview bait that populates the online landscape today. So it was perfect that on last night's episode, Hannah was excited to be working on "an article that exposes all of my vulnerabilities to the entire Internet" for a site that was pretty clearly based on xoJane.com.
Hannah meets with a kooky blond named Jame who heads up the site JazzHate.com that takes its editorial direction from an esoteric sign involving "magic" and "comfort" that Jame has hung up in the office. She wants to give Hannah some freelance work because she "seems sweet." Instead of pitching stories to JazzHate, Hannah gets ideas pitched to her from Jame.
"You could have a threesome with some people you meet on Craigslist. Or do a whole bunch of coke and then just write about it."
Page Six picked up on the reference. Apparently Girls producers denied that Jame was based on Jane Pratt. (What!?) But Pratt actually responded to the Post:
"It's not that far from how we work," Pratt told us. "I've never told anyone on staff to snort cocaine. I encouraged Cat Marnell to snort actual bath salts."
So Hannah runs with the coke angle. But the thing is, she really doesn't need to. If that's the professional path she wants to go down, selling pieces of herself for a paltry $200 a pop—treating her life like it's her friends' stoop sale—then she has plenty of material to cull from without having to resort to cheap stunts cooked up by someone else. She called 911 on a guy because he was texting her too much! Her best friend slept with her gay ex-boyfriend! She has HPV! She went black and then she went back! Her whole life is rife with It Happened to Me headlines.
When memoir is really good, it's because it's coming from a really authentic place. Despite Jame's motto, the magic doesn't happen when you're out of your comfort zone. It happens when you write what you know. Part of Hannah's whole thing is that she doesn't completely know herself yet, which is why she falls into these traps. But that's what she should be writing about! (Or writing at all—she did all that coke and the only thing she managed to write was "RAISE SHOW DOGS" on her bedroom wall with a Sharpie.)
This is exactly what Lena Dunham has been doing, and why Girls is so brilliant, and last night's episode was the best—and funniest—yet. There were so many perfectly-played, laugh-out-loud moments. The exchange between Hannah and Laird (Jon Glaser), the recovering addict who lives in her building:
Hannah: Oh my God, you have a turtle?
Laird: Yeah. And I'll never not have it.
The Duncan Sheik song that was part of Booth Jonathan's installation. The doll he made Marnie describe when they were having sex. ("She's sassy?") The show has really hit its stride as a comedy.
I hope the show pursues Hannah's venture into blogging. Embarrassing oneself on the Internet is definitely something that happens to otherwise intelligent young women eager to break into publishing. It would be really interesting to see a show capture that moment in a writer's life. But it's also totally believable that Hannah's personality wouldn't be able to handle something like that. She broke up with a guy when he gave her a less-than-glowing review of one of her essays. But it's something she could write about! "It Happened to Me: Internet Commenters Are Mean."