'Girls on Girls (+ One Guy)' Podcast: Beach House (of Pain)
Old grudges are bared when Marnie’s plans for a friend reunion go astoundingly awry in this week’s “Girls.”
Marnie concocted a perfect storm in episode seven, deceivingly titled "Beach House," for while the setting was indeed sandy, it was anything but smooth sailing as Hannah, Jessa and Shoshanna were dragged to North Fork for a weekend of emotional healing and French cooking. But all did not go as perfectly planned, as Hannah’s narcissism finally went through the roof and Shoshannah officially went insane (or sane?).
This week our Girls podcasters Brandon Kirby, Rebecca Sun and Jessie Katz bid adieu to Pret-a-Reporter editor Erin Weinger, in the throes of New York Fashion Week this go around, and welcomed THR social media editor Nicole Breanne as our special guest to assess the aftermath of this week’s episode.
Below, find the transcript and full audio of this week's podcast, Episode Six of Girls on Girls (+ One Guy):
Brandon Kirby: Hey, guys! This is Brandon filling in for Erin Weinger, who tonight is out of pocket dealing with the whirlwind that is Fashion Week. Godspeed to her. I’m here with Rebecca Sun, Jessie Katz and aboard this time is Nicole Breanne (massive applause). Welcome aboard. Episode seven, “Beach House,” is aptly named and my favorite episode so far this season.
Jessie Katz: Really intense. Shit blew up.
BK: Shit blew up! And Shoshanna launched the friendship cannon.
Rebecca Sun: Truth bombs.
BK: Truth bombs all around. Actually, let’s save Friendship for last because it’s such a paramount part of this episode. Let’s talk about Fashion! I know Erin’s not here so we may not have any idea what we’re talking about…
BK: But Hannah’s little stringy green bathing suit… let’s start there.
JK: We feel a little bit sensitive discussing this because we are not critiquing her body in and of itself, but we are discussing the choice that she made not to wear clothes into town, as Marnie suggested. She chose to wear the least amount of material possible for them to go grocery shopping. And she ended up being not let into the store and heckled by a passerby, who turned out to be her ex-boyfriend Elijah.
BK: Dear, dear Elijah. The return of Andrew Rannells.
JK: Yay! The return of Andrew Rannells.
RS: What Jessie is saying is that it’s not that we are objecting to the design or the style of the green string bikini but the context; because string bikinis have a very specific context…
BK: That’s a way to word it…
RS: And supermarkets and business establishments are not appropriate context.
BK: And she doesn’t put on clothes for, like, the duration of the trip. No over items. You’re at a beach house; put on—
JK: Yeah, where’s the cute little cover-up?
BK: A cute little cover-up… she did have a hat at one point.
RS: She did have a zip-up hoodie, which just made her look pantsless.
Nicole Breanne: Everyone is saying, ‘Oh, we’re not critiquing the bathing suit or her body,” but I think everyone is playing it safe. So, I’m gonna take the fashion standpoint on this and say that string bikinis are made for a ridiculous body type. Even Pamela Anderson or Kate Upton does not look good in a string bikini. That’s a really, really hard look to pull off, and I think that’s why it was chosen. But, don’t wear a string bikini… never wear a sting bikini.
NB: It’s always a fashion down.
BK: Speaking of Pam Anderson and Baywatch, Jessa’s one-piece red bathing suit. Very nice.
JK: Very respectable and subdued.
BK: Very chic.
RS: Throwback. It’s kind of got like got a little bit of a retro, pin-up girl vibe type of thing that is Jessa’s vibe.
JK: I’m sure she would rock it in her bohemian lighthouse.
RS: Wait, I have another fashion down that cannot go unmentioned. I know the string bikini is dominating our retinas, but when Hannah got off the bus in that rainbow striped ginormous straw hat with the huge flowers and the jumpsuit, it was just…
JK: Like ‘old lady off the jitney.’
RS: Very North Fork and not The Hamptons, I guess.
BK: And speaking of North Fork and not Hamptons, Marnie we have as a fashion up, because she was dressed Hamptons-y, right? Chic, no?
NB: Very chic. That’s the perfect thing. Hannah was dressed in the worst beach outfit you could ever imagine: the straw hat, the zip-up hoodie, the string bikini. It’s like, “Don’t wear these things to the beach.” And Marnie was, like, dressed for yachting. You know, something you would see in a magazine…
RS: Like a Ralph Lauren catalog.
NB: Something you would see in The Hollywood Reporter when we’re talking about dream vacations to The Hamptons, or not The Hamptons but North Fork or wherever.
JK: A bigger overarching theme to this episode I noticed was that in the beginning, or the first half, all of the girls are being the most extreme versions of themselves, and I think that the fashion was kind of exemplifying this, especially for those two.
RS: Marnie is somebody who is so anxious. She’s really anxious to tick the boxes of what is appropriate. She micromanages their healing time. She’s like that proto-Stepford wife, where she is a complete mess beneath the surface, but on the outside she’ll put fresh flowers on the bedside with little greeting name cards and dress like a catalog model and she wants everything to look perfect on the surface.
NB: She had that great line: “I’m okay. I mean, I might not be okay now, or look okay, but I’m okay.”
BK: She’s totally micromanaging this whole trip, and Hannah throws a wrench in by inviting Elijah and his little gay-tourage to join them and blows up Marine’s exquisite duck dinner plan. So we have them as both a down, Marnie for micromanaging and Hannah for fucking it up.
BK: So here were are, the main lynchpoint of this episode. Someone take on the Shosh blowup please, because that was just amazing. I’m a Shosh advocate, and this is a great moment for her.
JK: We have a lot of Shosh fans and we’ve had some people on the show who felt that she had trouble articulating normal human emotions.
RS: That’d be me.
JK: In this episode she’s a truth teller among the group. She exploded and leveled each girl and put her in her place more than we’ve ever seen on the show. I think that makes Shosh a friendship up, because they really needed it. The very last scene of the show, you see them waiting for the bus and they start doing their dance routine again and they’re all in sync again, so it kind of implies that Shosh put them all on the same page, which is what they desperately needed.
BK: Marnie’s little plan of friendship-mending healing time didn’t happen, and Shosh’s kind of blew the whole thing up and that worked even better.
JK: Because Marnie’s was completely superficial. It was just trying to put a cute little Band-Aid on it.
RS: Very contrived. During the afternoon Marnie and Hannah had that conversation on her bed, and both of them were being completely self-indulgent and narcissistic. Hannah was like, “I feel so bad about your abandonment issues because my parents love me too much!” It’s so narcissistic, as Shoshanna said, and it just shows that they’re getting nowhere. They’re just spinning their wheels. And one aspect of true friendship is that a true friend will be real with you and level with you in a way that people who don’t actually care about your self-improvement will never take the time to do. And so by putting all of these issues on the table, Shoshanna finally allowed them to attempt to move past them.
BK: Shosh was no longer treated as the cab driver of the friendship.
JK: Which was such an apt observation by her. She’s really been paying a lot more attention than any of us thought.
NB: Something I really loved about that scene is I felt like they were having these fake fights, like when Marnie and Hannah were being really passive-aggressive and vague: “Oh, I only bought four duck breasts.” They’re going back and forth and Shoshanna was the only one being like, “Stop it. This is what’s happening.”
BK: It’s not about the duck breasts.
NB: And even when they tried to pull her into this—“Shoshanna, you’re being so mean; you’re starting to name-call,” she was just like, pfffffft. She didn’t even care; she was like, “I’m not listening to you because I’m still on the fact that you’re a narcissistic jerk and that you do this and, Jessa, stop pretending that you learned anything in rehab.”
BK: Yeah, she really lays down the law for all the girls.
JK: Have we ever seen her drunk before?
BK: We’ve seen her on coke.
BK: Whatever, some abstract drug.
NB: Wasn’t she drunk at the birthday?
RS: Well, she didn’t talk much to them. If she was drunk, all that did was remove her inhibitions because she was dead on correct.
NB: I feel like she was very much a conduit. No one really attacked her. Except for Hannah, but she was just being defensive and narcissistic, like, “I can’t even be around you because you’re so boring to me.”
BK: Oh yeah, she’s not an intellectual.
NB: The one girl who’s furthering her education is not an intellectual.
RS: Probably the most academic one.
BK: She’s not a Jane Austin novel.
BK: Fornication we have Elijah down because of his boyfriend… Pal, we’re assuming is his name? Played by Danny Strong…
RS: DANNY STRONG! Which we should take a pause and say, for those who don’t know, Danny Strong, who’s known as Jonathan on Buffy as well as Doyle on Gilmore Girls as well as the award-winning screenwriter of—
JK: Oh my God, you’re blowing my mind—
RS: Of Recount, Game Change, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Parts 1 and 2 and The Butler.
NB: That kind of fits his character, because his character is a producer of Broadway plays, right?
JK: Kinky Boots’ viral marketing.
RS: I am a big Danny Strong fan.
BK: Apparently the biggest.
RS: Guys, it’s amazing. Jonathan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer will probably EGOT faster than everybody else. I’m serious; this is the greatest thing ever!
JK: We forgot we have a crazy Buffy person on the podcast.
BK: Danny Strong is the coolest person in the world, but his character is a dick.
RS: Yes, his character is terrible.
BK: Elijah is baring his soul, and he just says, ‘Oh,” and like shrivels up.
NB: But then lets him…
JK: Accepts a kindly little BJ.
NB: Yeah. “I don’t think this is what you think it is, but you go ahead and go down on me.”
BK: Poor Elijah, just demeaning his own self worth. I really like Elijah; he can be an asshole, but he also had a minor friendship up here, because he mended with Hannah and he mended with Marnie.
JK: He tried…
BK: He tried. Fornication up we have Hannah because what did she say about Adam?
JK: Because she said she really misses her boyfriend because he asks nothing of her so she wants to give him everything. Which, okay, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here. It’s a reach. But it was in its own vacuum of a moment a nice sentiment she expressed.
NB: I’m gonna put this forward as a fornication up: the guy in the green.
BK: Guy in the green!
NB: I don’t remember his name, but he was pretty gorgeous.
JK: The Mapplethorpe subject.
RS: His life is probably a fornication up.
NB: I bet he gets a lot of fornication. Could he be a fornication up?
BK: Yes, that face deserves to be on the graph.
JK: I mean, even Jessa was trying to get that and he was clearly gay.
BK: Did he have a name? He had a name at one point.
RS: Green eyes.
NB: Guy in the green shirt.
JK: Guy who spent eighty grand on a BFA.
NB: So of course he’s talented.
BK: Finance, we’re back to the shitty boyfriend.
RS: Pal, who was responsible for Kinky Boots’ entire viral marketing campaign.
BK: Right, so he’s loaded. Poor Elijah is down because, according to Pal, all he does when he calls is he’s sleeping, which means he’s jerking off just all afternoon in his dark apartment.
NB: Which could be the fornication up if you think about it.
BK: Ew, no, that’s just depressing.
JK: What did Hannah say about Adam jerking off?
BK: She would be—
JK: Pounded like a piece of meat if he wasn’t doing that…
RS: I feel like there’s been some reference in every episode about Adam’s do-nothingness…
JK: Oh, I thought you were gonna say “about vaginas.”
BK: There it is!
RS: For those of you keeping track at home, that was your bingo for the week. But you know, is this gonna head somewhere, because we are all constantly reminded that Adam sort of has no career?
BK: He’s doing the acting thing now. He had that really good audition
RS: Oh, that’s right.
BK: Maybe that will never get brought up again, but he had that good audition.
NB: I want to bring up something since we hit our four F’s and still have time left on the podcast. I don’t chime in on the show because I’m not a Girls fan.
BK: She hates it.
NB: I hate-watch the show, but this episode I actually enjoyed it and, Jessie, you said this episode was a turning point.
JK: This episode was traumatizing for me.
NB: But this was the first time I watched the show and thought, This is a show that has substance to it. This was the first episode I watched where I was like, This is a really well-written, really well-acted, well-directed episode about friendships and how you actually fight. And of course everyone has had those weekends where it’s like, This is gonna be the best weekend! All my girlfriends are gonna get together! and then it just falls to shit.
BK: It’s an amazing episode about friendship, and so far in season 3 we haven’t really seen the friendship. We’ve seen this rift that’s been created, and the rift has finally been addressed and it’s so refreshing. I really loved this episode.
NB: It was really well-executed by all of the characters. I feel like this was the first time that all of the characters were three-dimensional.
BK: Everything gets put on the table for the first time in a while.
RS: It’s kind of a bottle episode; they took all these characters and they put them in this beach house so they have nowhere else to go. And I love that even that pivotal fight starts with the great dance party. They do this great dance and it’s so fun! But the way in which things fall apart is so in character; the way that Marnie just cannot let go of her unrelenting perfectionism and exhausting perfectionism and Hannah brings up good points, and you can see these characters’ personalities are putting them on all these different paths that are finally colliding. It’s constructed really well.
NB: I feel like that’s the first real example of being that age with those friends, at that moment where it’s like, Am I friends with these people because I like these people? Or am I friends with these people because I’ve always been friends with them?And then at the end, like Jessie said, to see them all sitting there, that’s just such a sweet moment because here you’ve just blown up at each other and then… I didn’t get the ‘in sync’ moment at the end, I didn’t get that. I’m not as deep as all that. I really liked when everyone woke up in the morning and the first thing that they did was start cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. Because that’s what girls do. We’re gonna fight, and then we’ll clean up an outside mess but we’re really kind of cleaning up…
BK, RS, JK: Awwwww
JK: That was pretty deep.
BK: There’s the deep! You got it, Nicole.
RS: I kind of want to leave it at that because that’s so beautiful, but what you were saying reminded me of the idea that when you’re younger, the people that become your friends; it’s almost because of incident. You happen to be going to the same school or you happen to be next door neighbors and everything is all activity-oriented. Everybody only cares about their own problems and they just kind of talk parallel to each other. And then at some point, when you have a mature relationship, you realize that relationships—any kind of friendships, intimate relationships—they’re a choice. They are something that you choose to do and you choose to work at. I felt like with the cleaning of the kitchen and then that wordless final sequence, these girls are realizing they’re really different, they’re maybe even incompatible in some ways but they’re choosing to work at it, which is what a true friendship is about. It’s about choosing to work to make someone a part of your life. It was really beautiful.
JK: But guys, you’re gonna have to hold my hand here because I’ve always been the biggest Hannah defender. I love her to my core, I’ve gotten in hundreds of hours of arguments defending her honor, and after this episode, I am over it.
JK: I feel used and abused. I can’t take it anymore. I ‘ve totally seen through it. Rebecca and I have gone over this many times in the office, and I don’t know if I just finally got thoroughly indoctrinated by her. I’m in the cult of Hannah-hating….
BK: But she’s always been unlikable.
JK: Or if it’s because I watched this with a concussion, so maybe, Lena, if you’re listening, maybe it’s not personal. It’s just brain malfunctioning…
RS: Jessie would still like to be your BFF; I can attest to that.
JK: Yeah, but I don’t know how to feel about where we’re going now, because I don’t want to be on this Hannah train anymore.
BK: Well, on that lovely note, Jessie hates Hannah now, so tune in next week when we find out if she still hates her.
BK: Next week Erin will be back with us. Godspeed, Erin, enjoy Fashion Week. Thanks for listening, guys, and we’ll see you next time on Girls on Girls Plus One Guy. Thanks, all!