Girls: “Free Snacks” Season 3 Episode 6 Review

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Hannah got quite the dose of corporate life in the most thought-provoking and probably best episode of the season yet.

First off, I appreciate how this episode sort of leapt forward, ignoring the presumably nasty fight Hannah and Adam had after she kicked Caroline out, skipping the job interview process, and just throwing us in on Hannah’s first day as an advertorial writer for GQ. I’m sure the end of the last episode won’t be ignored, as the whole season has been peppered with the seeds of a Hannah-Adam breakup, but the show trusts its audience to understand the ramifications of Hannah’s actions, which means we don’t have to see them in such a direct way like the couple screaming at each other.

Now, into the meat of this outstanding episode.

Every writer knows what it’s like to be in Hannah’s position. You want to write what you want to write. But sometimes an opportunity comes along that needs a writers’ skills and will get that rent check in on time (hell, I review Girls for free, I get paid to edit market research reports). And this opportunity will have perks (Hannah’s wide-eyed reaction to the free food was some of Lena Dunham’s finest work as a comedic actress). Even the office culture and the people around you become this hybrid of fascinating and comforting.

You had to love the writing here. Hannah’s co-workers somehow appeared already fully fleshed-out, the point being that they are established at this company. It was as if a whole spinoff could take place in this office. This new cast of minor characters makes me hope this won’t be as short-lived as Hannah’s many other jobs.

Also, Hannah is actually pretty good at this job she doesn’t totally want. Her boss and co-workers both point that out to her barely after her first team meeting. Sometimes Girls portrays Hannah as such a helpless blob, which made it wonderful to see her excel in this role.

But when Hannah realizes that they all started here just like her, seeing this as more of a stepping stone than a career, she freaks out. As we all have/will/do. Hannah then invites herself into her bosses office to quit. “There are a million other people who would be happy to have your job,” her boss says.

Of course, Hannah immediately regrets her decision and takes it back. “I can’t really handle this right now, can you email me whether your work here or not?” her boss replies. Welcome to corporate culture Hannah.

Joe, the co-worker who stood out the most, tells Hannah she can still be a writer and to write on nights and weekends (something you, reader, are witnessing in some meta debauchery as you read this). She goes home to Adam who wants to celebrate a callback he got for an audition, but then immediately falls asleep. Welcome to working a nine to five Hannah.

Meanwhile, Marnie and Ray seem to be continuing their weird sexual encounters, but this week it felt much more believable. There was no romance attached, just their loneliness. The two have pretty solid chemistry as they seem to be trying to avoid each other and then eventually give in. As Ray pointed out, neither of them has anybody to have lunch with right now.

Shoshanna continues to be an enigma this season. She seems to want Ray back and then she starts dating this guy who couldn’t find the library for a while. She even acknowledges during sex that they aren’t right for each other. I’m not sure Girls knows what to do with Shoshanna this season, which is reflected in her character arc of not knowing what to do with herself. It’s not really working.

But the rest of the episode was so good that I’m willing to ignore it. Depending on where the show goes, Free Snacks could be a turning point for Girls. Hannah has her first real-person job and is figuring out how to balance it with her dreams. There are people a lot older than 25 still doing that.

This episode really struck a chord with me. Maybe it’s because I, like Hannah, am also a writer working in the corporate world. Maybe it’s because I’ve been given the same advice to go home and write what I love to write. Maybe it’s because I also had to grow up and figure out the best way to pay the bills. Whatever it was, it has me writing what I love to write about: damn good television. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

 

 

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