Girls: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot


I’m going to jump right in.

To introduce the characters, we have:

Hannah- the main character. The episode opens with an uncomfortable dinner conversation at a fancy restaurant between Hannah and her parents, who are discussing cutting off financial support as she has been living off her parents’ cash for her two years out of college. Accustomed to help from her parents, she scrambles to achieve independence. She proceeds to lose her prestigious internship in the struggle to get some dough from her arrogant and sassy boss. Hannah’s obvious low self-esteem rises from her high school days; she confessed to have felt bad about herself during sophomore year when she gained a bunch of weight and took on a “riot girl” attitude and got multiple tats in attempt to control her shape. She lowers herself to sex-slave status with creepy rude boy(friend?) Adam, who rarely answers her texts. I was warned about a gross sex scene, and oh lordy was that uncomfortable. A sad, awkward life indeed, but also very real. Her discomfort with her appearance and her financial instability right out of college are very realistic problems girls encounter today.

Marnie- Hannah’s roommate, and her better side, kind of. She is very pretty, has a steady job at an art gallery, and has a perfect boyfriend who adores her. She is level-headed and logical, and serves as Hannah’s Ego when Hannah makes decisions (such as what to do about her financial sitch). Marnie’s problem is that she no longer feels anything for her perfect boyfriend, another very realistic problem– it’s ironic how such a perfect life could be rejected while Hannah is struggling with almost every aspect of hers.

Shoshanna- superficial, whiney-voiced, Juicy Couture sweatsuit-wearing rich girl. She is your typical Mean Girl and adds little to the plot besides giving Jessa a place to stay while roasting Jessa’s (and my) ears with her vocal fry.

Jessa- she is lol. She is a British, gypsyish-hippie girl, and is known for her promiscuity. She is Hannah’s bad side, kind of. She is also Hannah’s high school friend who gave her a prison tat on her butt. Her life is a pretty big mess, and we find out that she is pregnant. She seems to serve as Hannah’s Id when making decisions (such as what to do about her financial sitch).

I also wanted to note something in the episode that was relevant to our discussion in class on Turkle’s Flight from Conversation: a conversation between Marnie and Hannah on the “Totem of Chat.” They were discussing Hannah’s communication with Adam, and how he never texts her back:

Marnie: The lowest that would be Facebook, followed by g-chat, then texting, then email, then phone. Face-to-face is of course ideal but it’s not it this time.

Hannah: How am I supposed to get him face-to-face if he refuses to text me?

This dilemma Hannah faces supports how inefficient virtual conversation can be, but also how dependent we are on it. Meeting up with someone face to face is hard because we rely on virtual conversation to organize the meeting. Hannah ends up calling Adam, which seemed to work best, the closest she could get to face-to-face conversation according to the Totem.

In summary, I’m liking this show so far—it’s comical and quirky, and really underscores the overwhelming awkwardness and random difficulties middle-class (but still seemingly over-privileged) girls encounter in their final transition to adulthood.


  1. I haven’t watched this show, but my boyfriend is a huge fan. He keeps pestering me to watch it with him, despite the fact that I a) don’t have a tv and b) don’t have HBO. I convinced him to quit bothering me about it long enough to adjust to college life, but I am anticipating the day he begins to badger me again. He’s not exactly the most convincing person, but I’m interested in learning more about this show.

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