Girls: “Role-Play” Season 3 Episode 10 Review

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The last few minutes of this week’s episode of Girls were pretty difficult to watch.

After Hannah’s failed attempt at role-play to get Adam excited, he tells her he’s going to stay at a friend’s for a few weeks so that he can focus on the show and not deal with all the drama.

“Well that’s just who I am!” Hannah says.

“I know,” Adam replies before silence kills the room.

It’s an incredibly sad moment but also an incredibly real one. The type of realism that only Girls can deliver.

Prior to this, Role-Play had a number of solid moments in the Hannah and Adam story. The opening scenes with Hannah getting bombed with her co-workers and having to be taken care of were absolutely hysterical. I know that people drink everywhere, but the comradery between 20-something co-workers in New York City, where you don’t have to drive, is on another level. These early flashes had enough of those nuances that kind of winked at the audience that relates most to Girls.

But they also served a very specific purpose. Hannah stays at her friend’s place because she’s too sick to go home, something Adam barely notices or asks about. Anyone who’s dated a struggling actor knows that this is pretty normal, excess attention when they don’t have a gig, none of it when they do. It’s just the nature of their profession, something Hannah hasn’t gotten used to yet.

So what does she do? Puts on a weird wig and sets up an over-the-top role-play for Adam that embodies what their sex used to be like (see Season 1 for references galore). A lot of the jokes here went on a little too long, sometimes stepping into sitcom territory, but the end result was incredibly sad.

As Adam tells Hannah how he’s changed since they met, it’s difficult to realize these two might be outgrowing each other. Now he’s not living with her until after his show. This storyline was proof that Girls is masterful at portraying the life of a 20-something. Season 3 has featured the most growth for Hannah and Adam, but that same growth may separate them.

Meanwhile, Jessa is still running around with Jasper doing as much cocaine as she can. I wasn’t sold when Jasper re-entered her life two episodes ago, but here we got to see how her addiction is ruining her life and the lives of others.

Shoshanna sees that her cousin needs help. She calls in Jasper’s daughter (Felicity Jones). The trick that made this scene so powerful was Jasper repeatedly telling her to leave because he’s just going to ruin her life as well. He came across as genuine, which was absolutely heartbreaking.

Without any real closure on the scenario, Jessa smokes a cigarette outside Shosh’s apartment. She returns and says, “You look like a junkie.” Jessa finally admits it and says, “I am a junkie.” I’m still not sure Jessa’s reversal was the best course for the show, but this episode has me nearly sold.

Marnie had a small few scenes this week as she first is offered a job at an art gallery as an assistant and then finds her voice with Adam’s friend Desi. Her arc this season is starting to come together and I’m intrigued to see where she lands after the next two episodes.

Role-Play had a number of perfect moments, mostly in the Hannah and Adam story. I do think the show needs to be a bit more careful about hitting those sitcom tropes. Girls is sort of becoming HBO’s gritty version of Friends. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the show is still wickedly funny and spot-on with the realism. But if it becomes too much like Friends, the show risks losing its own unique voice. For now, I’m cautiously optimistic because this episode was the most sitcom-y yet and was still nothing short of excellent. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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