1. Last night’s episode of Girls was yet another round in what has become a competition to see who can be the show’s most sociopathically unlikable character, as the girls in Lena Dunham’s HBO dramedy grappled with the untimely passing of Hannah’s editor.

    Hannah, in predictable fashion, uses the death as an opportunity to get attention, while admitting the only real remorse she feels is for the unclear future of her e-book. Jessa and Shoshana share stories about their own experiences with death, with Shosh conceding that it was ultimately a good thing for her high school clique, and Jessa getting so involved in her own story that she forgot Shoshana’s altogether. Marnie continues in her tireless efforts to become the kind of girl “fancy people want to work with,” and then Hannah, Laird, and Caroline cart-wheel through a cemetery.

    In other words, it was the usual display of self-involved delusion and tragically poor communication that has become a hallmark of the series. After each episode since the conclusion of the brilliant first season, I’ve asked myself: Why do I continue watching this show? Is it because the whole series has become such a spectacle? Am I challenging myself to white-knuckle through one uncomfortable scene after the next? Is it because as a twenty-something writer living in New York I’d feel totally irrelevant not watching it?

    No, I realized, it’s because of the boys.

    — Monica Nickelsburg, in Why I only watch Girls for the guys

     

  2. Ray is quickly becoming one of our favorite characters on Girls. Scott Meslow sat down with Alex Karpovsky, the man who plays Ray: 

    • How much do you want people to read the “real you” into the character?

      I want people to be engaged by the character. If that means they have to apply a lot of similarities between him and me, so be it — I don’t care, I’m not offended. He’s not a necessarily a likable person, and it’s okay if you don’t think I’m a likable person, as long as you are engaged by the character. 

    • This isn’t the first time you’ve played a character named after yourself — you also wrote and starred in a film about “Alex Karpovsky” called The Hole Story in 2005, and your character on HBO’s Girls was originally named “Karpovsky.”

      Right. Lena [Dunham] wrote the pilot and asked me to be in it. When she sent it to me, and it said “Karpovsky,” the only note I had was, “Can we change the name?”

    • Why do you think you end up playing “yourself” so often?

      Different directors would have different reasons, each of which you could probably analyze, [but] I think oftentimes stories need a character to agitate, or stir things up — unsubtle things, just to keep the story going forward. And for whatever reason, people think sometimes, in certain contexts, I can do that with a comedic wit. Maybe that’s why they cast me. But I don’tknow why. Maybe they have their own reasons. It’s not to be the romantic lead. Not to have a pretty face. [laughs]

    Read the full interview