Girls: Hello Kitty Review

Girls delivers a great episode that manages a successful balance of drama and comedy.

This Girls review contains spoilers.

Girls: Season 5, Episode 7

From the title of this episode, I assumed we’d be checking in with Shoshanna and how things are continuing to fall apart for her in Japan. On the contrary, Shosh is the only character who doesn’t appear in this episode. The kitty in question is Hannah’s vagina, which she flashes at the dean in order to get out of trouble (in what way this ends up working for her is never exactly fully articulated).

This leads to Hannah and Fran having another fight about how inappropriate her behavior is, like, all the time. However, that fight isn’t really the focus of the episode as Fran and Hannah ultimately share very little screen time. Instead the fight is presented at the start and then tucked away for the majority of “Hello Kitty,” but is used to, quite smartly, color the events that follow. Basically, Hannah is in a shitty place emotionally from the outset and things only get worse for her.

The episode takes place almost entirely in the building of an interactive theater play that Adam has a role in. This is an ingenious setting for comedy as well as a great way to put (nearly) all of the show’s principals in one location. The play is a theatrical retelling of the murder of Kitty Genovese that imagines what was going on in the mundane lives of the people in the apartment as she got stabbed to death outside. The play is hilariously bad, featuring lines like “We were just livin’ our boring lives, baby.” And Kitty’s murder is represented by a really ugly sculpture of her and her murderer that are bathed in red light periodically, accompanied by a prerecorded shriek.

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But the drama Hannah is going through is her most tragic of the season as she discovers Jessa and Adam are now together. The moment she realizes this is beautifully and simply done as Hannah stares from a window to Jessa standing on a fire escape. The camera pans from Jessa to where she’s looking, at Adam, who’s leaning out of another window, and then back to Hannah as she forms an understanding of the situation.

The setting comically undercuts everything. As Hannah storms away from the window, we hear the prerecorded shriek again. Further, all she wants to do is talk with her friends about what she’s feeling, but this is technically a play and you’re supposed to stay quiet and let the actors act, so Hannah keeps being shushed. Marnie is also on the scene and tells Ray about how she’s left Desi and now wants to be alone. This is, of course, not quite what Ray wants to hear and so he’s rather curt with Marnie. But, on the other hand, he’s actually taking the play very seriously, which is a funny aspect to his character throughout the episode.

Speaking of Desi, he is, unfortunately, back with news that one of the songs he and Marnie made is going to be used in a pivotal moment in Grey’s Anatomy (“They say it’s for a huge fucking scene! Somebody fucking dies, Marn!”). I’m not really happy Desi is still around, but the scene he appears in is hilarious and it’s great to see Marnie is sticking to her guns about the divorce, though now she’s stuck with Desi to keep their music project going.

The only thing I didn’t like about this episode is how it occasionally cuts from the play to Elijah at a party with his new famous boyfriend, Dill. Sorry, but there just still isn’t a ton to this story yet. Dill is sort of treating Elijah like a boy-toy rather than a boyfriend… or is he? There’s really not much more to the story than this and I still don’t feel like I have a good grip on the character of Dill, so cutting to this story that’s trying to build drama with a guy we barely know kept killing the momentum of the drama going on between all the familiar characters back at the play.

But otherwise I’m happy to say this is another really great episode that brilliantly balanced its drama and comedy. It’s encouraging to see another very solid episode of Girls in a string of them, considering I was so down on this season in the beginning. I’m eager to see where the final three episodes will take us.

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