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Worldly Distractions: Girls 4.8 - Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz




Weird couple names, I know, but apparently they belong to Hannah's parents. And some other people we've never met. This show has never really focused on Hannah's parents except as walking ATMs, so I'm a little intrigued. Shall we?

For some reason we get a "previously on" this time, all about Hannah's becoming a teacher (and a decent one at that). We are also reminded of Hannah's disastrous date with Fran and Zachary Quinto's existence. Hannah also lets go of Adam for realz for realz, or does she?

Hannah's parents go to couples therapy. While they're walking out of the building, Hannah's dad casually drops that he's gay. (Which, by the way, is something Elijah totally predicted a few seasons back.) Her mom is in total denial when she hears. However, Mr. Horvath is sure. Mrs. Horvath turns angry, telling him he's making it up and is just jealous she got tenure. He admits that his timing could have been better, but he knows he's gay and it's not going to change. Mrs Weir Hannah's mom can't fathom that it's not about her.

Despite being okay at teaching, Hannah is still terrible with boundaries, chatting with Cleo (Maude Apatow) about her love life in way too much detail. While they're discussing Cleo's boyfriend who had sex while touring Auschwitz (long story), they run into Fran, who was the other half of Hannah's ill-fated date from last week. They awkward it out for a bit. Cleo suggests to Hannah that the two of them skip class and get something pierced. Even though, you know, Hannah's supposed to be leading said class. Yikes.

Once they're off school property and thus Officially Fucked, Cleo asks Hannah about the deal with Mr. Fran Parker. For some reason, Hannah is okay with taking relationship advice from a fourteen-year-old.

More Desi and Marnie bullshit. He's brought her some guitar pedals and she doesn't get their significance. I just find Desi such a clod. Marnie seems to agree, since he spent their entire advance on said pedals. They have an incredibly dumb fight and I am dumber for it. And Alison Williams, your acting game is so off this week.

Jessa counsels Soshana on her relationships while Shosh does something weird to her vagina. For that matter, Jessa is still trying to get with Ace, Mimi's ex, which is not very successful. We also learn that she's keeping a tally of the men who have attempted suicide because of her. Erm.


But on to more important matters! Shosh has a date with Scott, the soup guy from that job interview she had a while back. Jessa encourages her to be surprising, forgetting that this is Shosh and she will earnestly take it way too far.

Hannah and Cleo wind up in a sketchy piercing parlour, where they decide on a frenulum piercing (that thing under your tongue). It's sexual and you can hide it from your parents! Dear God, everything I've said about Hannah being a good teacher? I take it back. For whatever reason, the piercer is totally cool with giving an underaged client a highly sensitive and delicate piercing, which should tell both of them to run run run in the other direction.

(Note: While googling this, I have also learned that a frenulum piercing can mean the stuff under your penis. I'm sure you are all pleased by that little fact.)


Hannah makes Cleo go first, which means that she'll never do it. Not to worry, I'm sure this incident will be included in Cleo's memoirs in the years to come. Hannah also helpfully describes the process to Cleo, complete with tools, which does little to reassure her. Apparently, it hurts like fuck. Considering how much she's moving, the piercing has likely been royally fucked up already, but Hannah (because she knows these things) urges the piercer to "just push it through". Admit it, you're shuddering right now. And then the bitch chickens out out getting the piercing herself. Yeah, I can't believe it either. Cleo is justifiably horrified, though she does have a kickass new piercing, so not all is lost. Hope it was worth probably losing your job, HANNAH.

Ray continues his campaign for the district board, which Shosh helps him with. She turns out to be an inspired campaigner. Even if she does make up half his platform on the fly. They move on to slightly less comfortable topics, like their love lives. Ray's is going nowhere, while Shoshana is looking forward to marrying a soup tycoon. He talks about a girl he is still kind of in love with. Shosh assumes he's talking about her, which is super awkward. Oh, Jesus fuck, it's not Marnie, is it? It IS. Seriously. I have no idea why any guy on this planet would be into Marnie. Goodhearted Shosh continues to campaign when she hears this, but a few feet further away.

We cut somewhat jarringly to the Horvaths, who are reeling from the day's announcement. Mrs. Horvath can't stop crying. They're preparing for a party, but no one is in the mood to celebrate. Meanwhile, Hannah apologizes to Fran for the awful date, which is a non-apology as usual. He grudgingly accepts this, but balks when she suggests hanging out again. Well, no shit, HANNAH. To make things even worse, he once had a crazy ex who poured battery acid on his plant, so he really really wants to get away from the clingy girlfriend thing. They argue about who thinks what of whom. Hannah claims it's misogyny on his part. Whatever the truth is, they're sure not getting together.

Meanwhile, Scott discusses his own crazy ex, which I really thought was a first date no-no. He and Shosh get along pretty well, though. She talks about her job hunt and how she feels like a loser. He encourages her not to feel down - she'll get there.

Tad and Loreen go to dinner with Avi and Shanaz, who are another academic couple and HOLY FUCK AVI IS THE PONTIFICATING GUY FROM A SERIOUS MAN. You know, the one Michael Stuhlbarg's wife ran off with and - anyway. Things are tense between the four, to say the least. They celebrate Loreen's tenure. The men and the women separate into groups. Avi immediately zeroes in on the marital stress.

More ex talk from Shosh. She's clearly still kind of in love with Ray. They bitch about exes some more. They'll make a great couple. Shosh tries to whip out some dirty talk, which throws him for a loop. Especially since she's not very good at it. Yeah. It's awful. "Slimy vagina", indeed. Fortunately, Scott is able to laugh it off. They go back to pointing out celebrities and having a great time.

At dinner, the couples complain about their kids. Tad proposes a toast to Loreen, which sounds nice on the outside, but is incredibly generic and bland if you know what's going on. Loreen can't stop laughing at it. A bit drunk, she finally cuts him off and stomps out of the room. Avi tries to calm things down. After a moment, he goes upstairs and takes her aside. You see, it turns out that Avi and Loreen had an affair last summer, cementing Fred Melamed's status as Hollywood's official wife-stealer. Nice going, Fred.


He uses this incredibly inopportune moment to try to seduce Loreen again. Claiming he's in love with her, he begs her to go with him. Honestly, he's more pretentious than the entire cast of Frasier put together, and that's saying something. Giggling, Loreen turns him down.

Desi apologizes for setting money on fire. He's had some time to clear his head, and he fucking proposes. Marnie the Moaner and Desi the Dumbass are headed down the aisle. Jesus fuck no. My cat is more ready for marriage than those two bozos, and I don't even have a cat.

Tad and Loreen finally find some private time to discuss his gayness. She goes into graphic detail about what he wants to do with which body parts. Just then, Hannah calls with her usual bullshit. Tad, reasonably, doesn't want to tell her the news in the middle of the night over the phone. Loreen insists that he do so. Hannah is nattering away about her own crap. Finally, Loreen barks out "Your father is GAY!" and puts an end to it. Love ya, Loreen. End credits.

So. I'm really glad this episode happened. It was great to take the focus away from The Girls for a while, and to shed some light on the supporting cast. Not to draw a Freaks and Geeks parallel again (sorry, Becky Ann Baker), but it did remind me of the occasional glimpses we got into the parents' lives, and this was just as well-written and honestly drawn - though with a fair dose of wackiness, being a Lena Dunham show, after all. And as the plotlines with the younger cast showed, the girls have been getting into a bit of a rut lately. Marnie and Desi...blah. Shosh and Scott, aw. But most importantly - what the fuck happened to Jessa and Adam? I guess we'll find out next week.

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    • marmalade


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