Girls: “Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz” Season 4 Episode 8 Review

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Well, Elijah called it way back in Girls‘ third episode. Hannah’s dad is gay.

“Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz” was about as busy as its title indicates. Most characters had a plotline in this crowded episode, with varying levels of success. But the big one that Girls‘ dwindling fanbase (have you seen the ratings lately?) will be talking about this week is the revelation that Tad, Hannah’s father, is gay.

Why? Perhaps because the love lives of the titular women have only become more boring as the season has gone on. Maybe they wanted to showcase the tremendously talented Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari in their own subplot. Whatever the reason, it’s a very strange narrative decision.

A gay character is hardly a big twist on television anymore, mostly because it shouldn’t be. But a man married to a woman for decades coming out is an avenue not many TV shows explore. The larger question is whether Girls is the right place for this story to be told. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the scenes Tad and Loreen share, it feels like a different show (specifically Transparent if Maura were a gay man and not a transgender woman). These two could spinoff and do a whole series on their own about their future after this revelation. But I’m not sure what this storyline will contribute, if anything, the the journey of Hannah and her friends. The scenes Baker and Scolari shared were among the best acted moments Girls has ever delivered, so I can’t fault the show there. But the whole thing feels so out of place and random. It’s no secret that this is the worst season of Girls (aside from “Sit-In”), so this is a plotline that could make or break the show. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

Elsewhere, Hannah was in her own little world of failed romance and drama that she causes. It’s creepy how close of friends she is with this random student. Also, the tongue piercing scene was f*cking disgusting and completely unnecessary. Back in season two, Girls made Q-tips everyone’s worst enemy through another random, though well-told subplot about Hannah’s OCD. This show has shown us before that it isn’t above gore, but the piercing scene was no more than torture-porn. Why did the camera have to linger so long on the blood and the needle? What was this supposed to accomplish? It was just gross.

Even more anger-inducing was Desi, who is so broken and under-developed as a character. First he proves exactly why he shouldn’t be in a relationship by spending all of his and Marnie’s money from their upcoming album. How does the show solve this problem? Have him propose. Marnie says yes because Girls is as lost as its characters are.

The one saving grace of this episode was Shoshanna’s interactions with Ray and the new man in her life. The new Shoshanna/Ray friendship really sings. The two continue to play off each other incredibly well and establish that they have at least grown a little since their break-up.

But the best scene of the episode was Shosh’s date. This new guy seems great for her, but her rant about job-searching was on-point. Shoshanna is learning that hard work doesn’t always pay off as quickly as you want it to. Girls started in 2012 when it was nearly impossible for graduates to get a job. Here we are in 2015, where the economy is better, but finding the right fit for work is as difficult as ever. Depending on where the last two episodes of the season take us, Shoshanna may be the season four MVP.

“Tad & Loreen & Avi & Sharaz” illustrated that Girls is running out of story to tell. Though handled well, Tad’s coming out feels very out of place. It might be time for Lena and her crew to start thinking about closing the doors after one more season. Grade: C+


Some Other Notes:

– One big takeaway from Tad and Loreen’s storyline was that Loreen hasn’t been entirely faithful to her husband. Perhaps their marriage was in more trouble than we ever thought.

– No Adam this week, which was definitely the right decision. Hannah needs to evolve without him.

– The scene with Loreen in the car broke my heart. Thankfully, even though we’re not quite there yet, the world is evolving to a point where members of the LGBTQ community don’t have to hide behind a facade of normalcy. Tad’s coming out was courageous, but I feel more for the woman who spent her life loving a man that could never love her back.

– Has Jessa even had a subplot this season at all?

– Ray, you are way too good for Marnie. Now go find someone your age.


By Matt Dougherty

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