Girls Review: “Incidentals” (Season 3, Episode 8)


Girls Review: "Incidentals" (Season 3, Episode 8)

What is it like to get what you want? Hannah came very close when she landed her first book contract, but then that fell apart. Now she has a job that isn’t quite what she wanted but might turn out to be what she needed: a salaried writing job that provides her with a steady income (more than her rent!) even if it does not feed into her artistic aspirations. Adam, on the other hand, has obtained what he wanted: a role in a play on Broadway. How will it affect his relationship with the newly compromised Hannah? We haven’t quite found out yet, but this week’s episode of Girls offers some pretty strong hints that there is conflict on the horizon.

The greatest indicator yet of how far Hannah has fallen in her artistic ambitions is her interview with actress Patti LuPone, in which she and LuPone invent an entire backstory about LuPone having osteoporosis (including an adorable-sounding French bulldog named “Pippin”) because that’s what Hannah’s current assignment (an advertorial promoting a bone density drug) demands. It would be a pretty embarrassing situation for someone with a modicum of self-awareness, but Hannah seems blissfully free of that particular hang-up at the moment. The conversation also gives her a chance to kick-start her anxiety over Adam’s success coming between them, thanks to some discouraging words from LuPone.

That anxiety spills over into every conversation Hannah has for the remainder of the episode. Whether or not they say it or even imply it, Hannah gets into her head that everybody is telling her the same thing: now that Adam has made it to Broadway, he’ll be having loads of sex with fans and other Broadway types and she is going to be left behind in the dust, with only her reasonably-sized paychecks and free snacks to comfort her. It’s an understandable anxiety to have–success does change people–but it’s a bit early on to start experiencing that anxiety. Plus, Hannah being Hannah there is the potential for her to take it to a clinically insane extreme.

Meanwhile, Adam already has made a new friend from his limited Broadway experience: the handsome, musically talented Desi. There is certainly an unambiguous irony to the fact that Adam and Desi become friends immediately after Adam tells Hannah over the phone, “I’m not here to make friends” (which, incidentally, would also make him perfect for any number of reality TV shows). Desi proceeds to win over just about everyone, with Hannah being the lone holdout. No doubt her aversion to Desi is directly related to her newfound insecurity vis a vis her relationship with Adam, because let’s face it, Desi is pretty goddamn charming and what other reason could she possibly have to not get just a little bit moist at his presence?

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