The 'Girls' Season-Premiere Gut Check: Karaoke, Emojis, and Sleepovers

James: No, I've never known anyone who used emojis in serious relationship discussion. I mean, I object to text for any serious discussion, much less relationship discussion, but it happens. Emoticons also happen.

Ashley: Yes. I don't emoji (do emoji? use emoji? speak emoji?), but it seems like it takes a lot of imagination to compose a message in just little tiny pictures. So I can see how a sender might think a well-crafted emoji message is a cool, creative accomplishment, while a receiver who's not as enthused might only think, "Wow, you spent a whole 20 minutes on one text. That's... really weird."


Facebook and exes: Shoshanna unfriends Ray on Facebook because she doesn't want to see him all over her news feed. What's the etiquette here?

Eleanor: Good move. I generally think it's a bad idea to try to remain friends with an ex, on Facebook or in real life, for the first few months after a breakup. You gotta move on. The person who was unfriended shouldn't feel slighted and definitely shouldn't say anything to the ex about it. Let her (or him) move on.

Chris: I'm vicious when it comes to unfriending people. Every couple months, I try to cull down my list of friends on Facebook—it seems silly to me to stay connected with people I'm not interested in seeing. So, mark me down for Team Shoshanna on this one. If she doesn't want to see him on her newsfeed, she's right to unfriend him.

Of course, if she still wanted to peek at Ray's profile occasionally, she could've also just changed her newsfeed settings to not show his updates. I do this a lot and I have absolutely no shame about it.

James: Ah I could go ON about this. Never unfriend anyone. The sensation of eliminating someone with the click of a button is a dangerous one. Well, unless there's a serious issue like they assaulted or stalked you and it was necessary that they not have access to your profile. Because that's what UNFRIEND says: I don't trust you with knowledge of what's going on in my life. If you just don't want to hear about someone on your feed, you can hide them. Unfriending is above and beyond necessary. I've even argued (anonymously) in favor of—if you do have to unfriend someone—reconciling and refriending at a later time.

Ashley: Poor Shoshanna. Being spontaneously ambushed with unwanted details about your ex's life post-you has been depressing for generations—and Facebook has made surprise bummers like these a frequent and routine part of our lives. Not wanting a former "lover," as Shoshanna puts it, to keep popping up on your Facebook feed is totally normal and, I'd say, justified.

But: I feel like she would have benefited from knowing there's a setting that allows you to simply hide certain friends' activities from your feed. Something tells me Shoshanna would have loved to retain selective snooping privileges.


The last persecuted groups: As Elijah ponders whether he might be bisexual, he posits that the only groups of people you can still make fun of are bisexuals and Germans. True?

Eleanor: Mmm. Good question. I guess I'd add hyper-religious people? Southerners? People who buy stuff from infomercials?

Chris: What about gingers? I pity the red-haired, bisexual Germans out there.

[Puts on serious pants.]

There are many, many groups of people in the world who are still regularly mocked, teased, and downright abused for their appearances and life choices. Elijah's line made me laugh, but only because it was so absurd.

James: No, you can make fun of anyone.

Ashley: Answering this question feels like walking through a minefield. But some people might add Republicans.


Platonic boy-girl sleepovers: Hannah and her gay ex-boyfriend Elijah wake up spooning in a twin bed at the beginning of the episode; at the end, Marnie crawls into bed with her spiteful ex-boyfriend Charlie because she "just needs to sleep next to someone tonight." Hot new trend?

Eleanor: I think this is where I start to show my age. This happened a lot in college, when everyone was living on top of each other and no one was married. Now that I'm a late twentysomething in a big-ish city with a good deal of friends who are married, people seem to have grown out of the co-ed, non-sexual cuddlefest.

Chris: I haven't heard of a platonic spooning trend that's sweeping the nation. Although, I'd love to see a 60 Minutes expose on it: "TEENS CUDDLING! Are your kids doing it?

When Hannah and Marnie lived together last season, they slept together spooning so Marnie could avoid Charlie. This episode shows them both doing it for the sake of narrative consistency, I think. Hannah's always down to cuddle with her roommate. Marnie's rendezvous with Charlie seemed to be more about missing him—or the intimacy that a relationship with him provided—than it did anything else. If you can't feel close to somebody, you want to feel close to some body.

I've got an idea: why don't we just blend all of this together as the trend-to-kill-all-trends for aimless twentysomethings? Let's open up a karaoke bar called Spoon. The logo can be a spoon emoji. And don't worry about the money—our parents will help out. That's what friends are for.

James: I mean I've done it a few times, minus the spooning. I don't think it's a trend. If I may take this show unduly seriously for a minute, though: Marnie needs to leave Charlie alone! Just because she's sad for a minute doesn't mean she should mess with this dude who she's already proven she can't love! No, it's not okay for her to go spend the night in his bed, in this case! Okay, that's all.

Ashley: Yeah, that's a real thing.

I like the point that Chris makes about how spooning is actually a recurring element on Girls now. It fits with the show's whole post-grad-millennial-problems refrain. The world is becoming a lonelier place all the time, apparently, and some say the whole span of a person's twentysomething years can be especially lonely. Lonely people often like to snuggle with people they're fond of (or at least very familiar with, in Marnie's case). Human touch is something we, as a species, crave, and something many people get less and less of once we're not little kids or college students anymore—so featuring some snuggles on the show seems real and appropriate.

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