Girls: “Beach House” Season 3 Episode 7 Review

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Beach House may have felt a bit more like a sitcom than Girls fans are used to, but it proved by the end what makes it more than that.

I also should clarify: by sitcom I do not mean bad. Actually, this episode probably had some of the funniest moments of the series yet. It was designed to be fun until it wasn’t, which worked. For the most part, the episode felt real and effectively reunited the main foursome.

Marnie has, at least in her mind, planned the perfect vacation for herself, Hannah, Jessa, and Shoshanna. From the moment we see her putting name cards on the bedrooms she is assigning to her friends, the problem that the characters are going to face becomes clear. Maybe a little too clear, hence the comparison to a sitcom. The set-up felt a bit too much like an episode of Friends. That being said, Girls feels more like a spiritual successor to that show than Sex and the City or any other at this point.

The rest of the girls arrive and have great moments together fighting for beds and complaining about the weather. But the episode really kicks off when Hannah randomly runs into Elijah while grocery shopping in town. After suffering from a bit of over-exposure in the first half of last season, Elijah had a welcome, subdued return, as his new boyfriend seems to have gotten him on the right track.

Marnie of course gets annoyed when Hannah invites Elijah, his boyfriend, and their two other friends back to the beach house. But that’s also when the episode took its most fun turns. The dance routines and the pool shenanigans all had stellar comedic moments.

But after dinner doesn’t go the way Marnie planned it, it’s time for a Girls smackdown. All four of them start hurling insults at each other tearing down the very friendships Marnie was trying to save. Shoshanna, who has been aloof all season, had some of the brightest moments here as she was clearly the meanest but also the most honest.

This fight felt just as real as the one that caused Marnie to move out in season one (which reminds me, this season so far is just as good as season one, so let’s stop complaining about season two). But alas, when they wake up in the morning they clean the kitchen in silence.

These are the moments that separates Girls from FriendsNew Girl, or The Mindy Project. We don’t need a big make-up conversation. Instead, the four of them sit in silence waiting for the bus and start to do the dance routine Elijah’s friends taught them. The slow piano score was a bit cheesy, but the moment mostly landed before the cut to black.

Beach House worked for so many reasons. It was a clever way to bring Elijah back into the fold while giving us some of the funniest moments in the show’s three-season run. But it also gave us the main foursome being themselves and interacting at length for the first time in quite a while. Girls is often championed as a near-perfect representation of female friendships. I say that isn’t gender exclusive because, as a male, this episode still had more than a few “too real” moments that reminded me of my friends of both genders. For that, I can forgive the sitcom set-up and some cheesy music because Girls is a near-perfect representation of all friendships, and this episode once again proved that. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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