Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of Lena Dunham

by Aly Semigran March 10, 2014 10:41 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Lena Dunham

How you already felt about Lena Dunham going into this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live more than likely dictated how you watched and, thus, felt about the episode as a whole. If you're cool with Dunham, you probably got a kick out of the episode, but if you're not -- what appeared to be the entirety of the Internet -- you couldn't stand it. Even though I've had some issues with Girls this season, I tend to lean closer to Team Dunham, so I thought overall this was a pretty damn good episode. (Though, maybe compared to last week's Jim Parsons disaster, everything seems like a damn good episode.) Still, there were overwhelmingly better sketches than weak ones, and after a shaky monologue, Dunham settled in as the night went on. Sure, the SNL writers kind of went the obvious route with her (nudity!) but it was, overall, one of the stronger showings in 2014 so far. Here are the best and worst moments from Lena Dunham's debut as SNL host, with a little help from Liam Neeson and Jon Hamm:

<i>Girls</i> Finally Got Great Again… And It Only Took Until the Season Finale

Who could have guessed we'd be here? Who could have guessed that Season 3, which got off to such an ugly and joyless and borderline unwatchable start (if anything ever trumps "Dead Inside" as the worst episode of Girls ever, I'll be legitimately surprised and horrified), would end on such a touching and effective and funny note? If the fairytale Season 2 finale felt like a lame cop-out (which it was), then last night's Season 3 finale "Two Plane Rides" brought the show back down to earth where it belongs. It was bittersweet series of endings, to say the least, for Hannah and Co. But in your 20s, those are far more common than those elusive happy endings, anyway. Certain things about "Two Plane Rides" felt rushed, which is really too bad considering they could have cut the bullshit from earlier this season to make room for compelling story lines like Jessa's complicated request from Beadie to Shoshanna's understandable meltdown. For the first time in a long time, Girls has not only left me wanting more, but put me back in these girls' corners. Well, except for Marnie. Marnie is the worst.

Girls: The Beginning of the End (Again) For Hannah and Adam?

by Aly Semigran March 10, 2014 5:00 am
<i>Girls</i>: The Beginning of the End (Again) For Hannah and Adam?

It was only a matter of time. The groundwork has been laid for almost the entirety of Season 3 about how there are too many cracks in Hannah and Adam's foundation for them to sustain a healthy long-term relationship. These two may be crazy for each other (crazy being the operative word here) but their relationship started as such an uneven mess that it's impossible to build it from the ground up. As much as Adam would like to argue that Hannah still associates him with his "older" version, it's a little hard to do that when scorned ex-girlfriends show up at coffee shops or he acts distant and moody on a moment's notice. But Hannah's just as much at fault, too. She is self-absorbed, but also puts Adam on an impossible pedestal even when he doesn't necessarily deserve to be up there. Last week, Adam told her "I'm very committed to you "at this time" and her mother tried to plead with her "You're so special you deserve everything…he's nice, but stay open to possibilities" and it all seemed to fall on deaf ears. These two are operating on very different frequencies (see: how they both dealt with the subject of death this season) and as much as we want them to be perfect together, these are two imperfect people.

Girls: Now As Unbelievable As It Is Unlikable

by Aly Semigran February 2, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Girls</i>: Now As Unbelievable As It Is Unlikable

In case you hadn't noticed, I really did not have any fond feelings for last week's episode of Girls. I thought it was nasty and ugly and showed not only the immaturity of these characters, but the show itself. (You'd like to think that by Season 3 there'd be some emotional growth for the female characters on a show called Girls.) On the other hand, "Dead Inside" allowed me, as a former champion of this series, to disconnect from even remotely liking any of these characters for good. It concretely proved that these are terrible, selfish sociopaths and I'm no longer laughing at their once-relatable twentysomethings-in-New-York-City antics, but marveling slack-jawed at what Millennial monsters they are. That's not to say I still wasn't disgusted with some of their behavior in last night's episode, "Only Child," I'm just no longer surprised by it. This is the M.O. of the show now. Well, the girls, anyway. That said, in addition to no longer being likable or relatable, Hannah and Co. are now utterly unbelievable.

<i>Girls</i>: “Dead Inside,” the Most Appropriately Titled Episode Yet

Boy, did I really hate this week's episode of Girls, "Dead Inside." I mean truly despised sitting through this skin-crawling episode. And it's not just because the series has concretely proven, once and for all, that the main female characters (Hannah in particular) are actually just self-absorbed sociopaths with few remaining qualities left. But it's that the men seem to be the only characters left with any shred of decency or interesting characteristics or compassion. I'm not saying that Lena Dunham has to make her girls on Girls inauthentically sweet or overly emotional version of themselves, but I do think she has to make them marginally human human beings. They are not. They are mean, nasty people. And again, I don't need heroes and I don't need flawless characters (that's boring and doesn't ring true to life) but the line is blurred about whether we are supposed to be rooting against these people or gleefully basking in their outright horribleness. I quickly lost my patience with Entourage because it glorified a pack of emotionally vacant jerks who got everything they wanted, even if they didn't deserve it, and it became a marathon of pointless, joyless excess. Girls may not be a show about excess, but it does make you wonder if any of these women will actually grow up or they'll get to continue their path of selfishness and we have to just go along for the ride. Are the guys of Girls going to continue to be the only personable characters? Or can the girls get in on that action at some point, too?

Today's TWoP News: Thursday, January 31, 2013

by Ethan Alter January 31, 2013 3:13 pm
Today's TWoP News: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looks like Walter White is doing some planning for his future.

TV on DVD: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

by Ethan Alter December 11, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Watch Lena Dunham get her girl power on.

Gallery Girls: Emphasis on Girls

by Rachel Stein August 14, 2012 6:01 am
<I>Gallery Girls</i>: Emphasis on <I>Girls</i>

In the latest of Bravo's string of TV shows that aren't about Real Housewives in title, but do circulate around a group of over-privileged idiots, Gallery Girls premiered last night. The series is about several unpaid interns who work at various mediocre galleries throughout New York City. Based on both the pilot and the season preview, there seem to be some turf wars, money problems and probably a lot of other things that have absolutely nothing to do with art or anything remotely transcendent brewing.

Today's TWoP News: Monday, August 6, 2012

by Ethan Alter August 6, 2012 4:22 pm
Today's TWoP News: Monday, August 6, 2012

Emmy episode submissions are in. Let the second-guessing begin!

Today's TWoP News: Thursday, January 24, 2013

by Rachel Stein January 24, 2013 4:19 pm
Today's TWoP News: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Girls! Girls! Girls!

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