Sunday, February 28, 2016

Girls recap: Season 5, Episode 2, "Good Man"

The “white man!” cry of alarm directed at Ray (Alex Karpovsky) by a non-cisgender barista after he insults her, first by assuming she's male and then by asking if she's female, echoes throughout the entirety of “Good Man.” Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her friends all have their awkward moments as they alternately embody or encounter the blurring of gender and sexual boundaries that have continued to accelerate since their college days, but it's the straight—or until recently passing as straight—white men among them who struggle hardest to adapt.

Hannah's discomfort with changing mores shows up mainly in her reaction to her recently out father, Tad (Peter Scolari), as she overshares information about him to her boss and then ping-pongs through a cringe-inducingly clunky encounter with Tad's recent Internet date, veering between aggressive insults and overly personal compliments. As usual, though, Hannah is more often on the giving than receiving end of social awkwardness. She kisses Elijah (Andrew Rannells) goodbye with surprising passion in front of Fran (Jake Lacy), whose discomfort she brushes off smugly: “This is a very specific relationship. We have to be able to express ourselves. We worked very hard to get here.” And when her T-shirt-clad body causes Fran's roommate to launch into a tirade about her “fucking bush,” Hannah finally responds, with the annoyance of a modesty-free millennial, by pulling down the shirt—and further shocks the roommate by inadvertently baring her breasts.

Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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