The only logical explanation there is as to why Lena Dunham consistently writes Marnie as the one of the most unlikable, aloof, and deeply toxic characters on television is that Girls is really just a slow-simmering revenge plot against Brian and Allison Williams. I jokingly threw out this theory back in November when all we had was a trailer. Now, three episodes into this uneven season, I just have one question: What kind of dirt does Ms. Dunham have on the Williams family?
The answer to that, like many questions about this tumbly season of Girls, is unknowable. Like, when did Marnie become so unconsciously rude? And why Hannah, the number-one target of Marnie's rudeness, thinks it a great idea to put this beautiful monster in charge of her 25th birthday is beyond me. A monster who says things like this about you, in front of you to other people on your birthday: "I keep telling her she can look like this every day if she wanted.” A monster who yells at YouTube customer service associates. A monster who forces you to sing a song from Rent so she can hog your birthday spotlight.
In seven minutes or so of screen time, Marnie managed to do all of that. And when it comes to Marnie's/Williams's singing, it's treated not unlike her rendition of "Stronger" — aggressively embarrassing. The biggest problem with all this overt meanness and assertive rudeness is that I don't buy it. I have a hard time believing that Marnie, after what she went through in the first two seasons (a break-up, being assaulted by an art installation, getting fired, getting dumped again, having Hannah pick Adam over her) wouldn't learn from those lessons. I could also be giving Marnie just too much credit.