The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Girls Season 6 Episode 1 was, for the most part, par for the course – with one major exception. Hannah is now (finally and officially) a (reasonably) successful writer. In print!
The season premiere opened on the publication of Hannah's story about Jessa and Adam's relationship in the New York Times' Modern Love section. There's no doubt that this is a big deal for her career – it's a big deal for any writer, in real life, to land their work in the Times.
The Modern Love column – which is read by all of her family and friends (except, notably, Jessa) – managed to get her a meeting with an editor who assigns her a new story. One that's, predictably, completely wrong for her. But because she's Hannah, she does it anyway.
The editor is played by the always-amazing Chelsea Peretti (of Brooklyn Nine-Nine), who keeps up with Lena Dunham's twitchy Hannah energy perfectly. Their sole scene together in the diner is very brief, but I'm left hoping that she'll have a reason to turn up again this season.
I read Shailene Woodley likes to go to a private area, open her vagina, let the sun in, and that's how she gets her glow. So when she goes to, like, the Insurgent premiere, that's not makeup, that's sun in her pussy.Hannah
As an aside, does anyone else think it's weird that Hannah is continuing to milk this Jessa/Adam thing for all it's worth? She even mentioned to the editor that it's what led to her breakthrough Moth monologue (an admittedly epic moment on the phenomenal Girls Season 5 Finale), which in turn led to the Modern Love column.
It definitely was not easy, and I definitely feel like I'm more of, like, a dumpling than a woman at this point.Hannah
Her surf school story ended up being kind of a bust, as far as I can tell, so I'm starting to wonder if she's just a one-trick pony.
But though Hannah's jaunt out to Montauk likely wasn't the most useful trip professionally, it ended up being prime territory for some (possible) character development.
Riz Ahmed (of The Night Of, Rogue One, and The OA) appeared on the premiere in a one-off appearance as Paul-Louis, a stereotypically lackadaisical and sweetly dim surfer dude. His interactions with Hannah were completely hilarious, but also weirdly kind of legitimately heartwarming.
Anyone who watched The Night Of is fully aware of Ahmed's talent as an actor – his work on that show as Naz was incredible.
Having seen him in that role (and in other, serious roles) made it infinitely more amusing to watch him as Paul-Louis, a good-natured but sort of stupid guy who was ultimately a total mismatch for Hannah in more ways than one.
Hannah: Hey, if I order some more drinks and charge them to my magazine, would you want one?
Paul-Louis: Yeah. Thanks. I love drinking. But I'm cool, because I can drink a lot and not be an alcoholic.
Hannah: Very, very dope.
Paul-Louis: It's tricky, but...
It was immediately obvious that Hannah was going to have a fling with Paul-Louis – that wasn't remotely surprising. But their brief courtship provided plenty of LOL-worthy moments, starting with Hannah flashing him (after not realizing she should've been wearing a bikini under her wetsuit) in their very first scene.
Also, Paul-Louis referring to the ocean as "the big blue medicine pill."
Paul-Louis: What's the cure for everything?
Hannah: Uh, penicillin?
Paul-Louis: Salt. Tears, sweat, the sea. Think about it. I call it the "big blue medicine pill."
Cry-laughing forever about this.
But really, I don't think I've laughed as much at anything on this show as I did at Hannah and Paul-Louis getting down in that club.
Dunham is truly a master of physical comedy and her complete lack of embarrassment makes Hannah's awkward antics priceless.
Hannah spilling her bright-red drink all over herself when trying to drink it while dancing and gyrating, ass fully out, on the dance floor was almost as funny as Paul-Louis' bemused-but-intrigued reactions to her behavior.
Oh my god, I know him! He's my surf teacher! I'm gonna fuck him!Hannah [to nobody]
Hannah (and really all of Girls' girls) have a tendency to never really make legitimate character growths. They sure always seem as if they've matured, but it never quite sticks.
It's so much easier to love something than to hate it, don't you think? Love's the easiest thing in the world.Paul-Louis
So despite the fact that Paul-Louis' whole "love is easier than hate" shtick certainly seemed to have gotten through to Hannah on a base level, I'm not fully convinced she's going to carry that lesson back with her to the city. Much as she claims that she wants to disentangle herself from the "toxic people" (her friends) back home.
Meanwhile, in the city with those "toxic people," the other major storyline of the premiere centered around Marnie and her relationships.
Mid-divorce, Marnie was understandably not interested in having a live-in boyfriend. Of course, being selfish as always, Marnie didn't really care that kicking Ray out of her apartment would leave him effectively homeless.
And because Marnie is insecure about Ray's history with Shoshanna, she also attempted to forbid him from staying with his ex. Ray and Marnie also called each other "baby" approximately 45,000 times in that one conversation, which was brilliantly annoying.
Alas, it doesn't seem that Marnie and Desi's divorce is going to stick. A combination of Marnie's insecurity and Desi's timely reassurances led to them having sex (right after they finished divvying up their assets, naturally).
The circumstances that led to their hookup were pretty clear and completely in character for someone like Marnie.
First of all, just based on that quick snippet of Ray and Marnie having sex near the premiere's beginning, it's clear that they're not particularly sexually compatible. Marnie, it seems, just enjoys the fact that Ray is devoted to her and adores her.
Which he does... simply because she's so firmly "out of his league," physically. I don't get them as a couple. At all.
Second of all, they don't seem to be at all compatible on any level other than sexually either. The scene with Shosh, Ray, and Marnie, when Marnie came to bring Ray coffee while he was staying at Shosh's place, really drove that point home.
Shosh and Ray's conversation struck me as slightly out of character for Shoshanna (since when is she being pretentiously snarky about newspaper columnists?), but it made the point it needed to: Shosh and Ray are meant for each other.
Marnie now knows it. Ray might not know it yet, but he will soon enough.
That incompatibility with Ray, paired with her moment of self-doubt being alleviated when Desi passionately assured her that she was musically talented, led Marnie and Desi to have sex. Because Marnie is, at her base, an insecure little girl who needs constant reassurance. Sigh, Marnie.
The premiere ended with Hannah begrudgingly having some growth, just as Marnie was backsliding in a major way.
Hannah initially wanted to remain behind in Montauk because she was captivated by Paul-Louis' relentlessly optimistic and care-free attitude, the polar opposite of her anxious, OCD-ridden self.
Of course, her idea of her life in Montauk, with Paul-Louis as her boyfriend, was a figment of her own imagination – it all came crashing down when he told her about his girlfriend and their open-relationship. Hannah had a picture of an easy beachside life, but that wasn't real at all.
Hannah, like Marnie, is constantly looking for things (and people) outside of her to complete and/or fix her. This season seems set up to find at least those two of the four main characters on a path to the realization that they need to be by themselves for a while.
I'd be shocked and disappointed if either of them wind up romantically involved with any guys at the end – it would seem to undercut the entire message of the series.
- Elijah throwing an orgy for the purposes of networking made me laugh out loud. Oh, how I love Elijah.
- Jessa and Adam appeared only briefly during the premiere, with Hannah's ex-BFF lounging around completely butt-naked in pure Jessa fashion. Their scene with Ray was hilarious, but mostly because of Ray's increasing discomfort at the idea of sleeping where Jessa's vagina currently was. Jessa and Adam, for their parts, were being incredibly obnoxious. Like, more so than usual.
- Despite all that, I still really enjoy Jessa and Adam two together. What the heck is wrong with me? Those two are just a perfect fit.
- Riz Ahmed raps in real life, so I loved that they threw in a quick bit of his rapping as Paul-Louis! (Also great: Hannah's pronouncement of "I'm going to f*ck him!" to literally no one, followed by a hard-cut to them making out.)
- Marnie grimacing in pain as Desi grabbed her chest while he cried about their divorce (right before they started having sex) was a small but incredibly funny moment.
- Three cheers for Nurse Laura, the no-bullshit Montauk surfing school nurse who wasn't at all there to coddle Hannah during her faux front arm injury. She was the real MVP of this premiere.
What did you think of "All I Ever Wanted"? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and remember that you can watch Girls online here at TV Fanatic anytime!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.