Patti LuPone—Broadway goddess, feared yeller at people who take pictures in the theater—is the harbinger of doom for Adam and Hannah on this week's Broadway themed Girls. Life upon the wicked stage ain't never what a girl supposes, we guess.
Much of the episode was tangentially related to the somewhat implausible storyline that found Adam getting cast in a production of a George Bernard Shaw play. Never mind the fact that Adam has never been particularly employable, nor that it isn't that easy to get cast on Broadway no matter how small the role: Adam is destined for stardom. Hannah finds out about Adam's success by taking a call from him in the middle of an interview she's conducting with Patti LuPone for her advertorial job. (We'll bypass writing the essay that surmises that Hannah's terrible interview demeanor is a comment on all the journalists that have interviewed Lena over the years.) LuPone sets out then to instill fear into Hannah, telling her that Broadway will make Adam an asshole who will sleep with everyone in his cast.
Patti asks Hannah if Adam is "mature." The answer, we know, is that no one on this show is really mature. Hannah responds: "I'd say in some ways he's the most mature person I've ever met, and in other ways he has not yet been born." On one hand, that's just a really great line. On the other, that paradox has been particularly evident this season. At the end of last season, Adam was the person that saved Hannah, despite the fact that he had just fallen off the wagon and treated his girlfriend Natalia terribly. When this season began, though, Adam was the most stable of all the Girls characters. His change has been unnerving. Suddenly, we're supposed to trust Adam and believe that he's the type of person who would even want a job on Broadway. The Broadway plot did allow the show to make a bunch of in-jokes, mostly from Elijah, played by Broadway star Andrew Rannells. Elijah having seen Tyne Daly get drunk and fall down a flight of stairs at Glass House Tavern; Elijah's hand job from "a guy from Pippin'"; "don't come crying to me when Kristin Chenoweth passes out because you forgot to feed her." (According to Rannels, this scene arose from advice that he got from Gina Gershon, of all people.)
The show has a habit of sometimes simply deciding a character is a certain way without justifying it. Take Jessa, for instance. Jessa was always a wild child—ostensibly with drugs in her past—but her problem was apparently serious enough to send her to rehab. Jessa's bender with Withnail (sorry, Richard E. Grant) in this episode is really the first time we've seen her in a place that's worrisome. Up until this point, her troubles have often just been part of her exotic milieu.
Both Jessa and Adam feel underdeveloped at times, even though the show clearly loves them. Perhaps this episode is the turning point, marking the start of something more nuanced for both of them. We just have to see where it goes—and if Patti is right.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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