The “Girls” Emotional-Age Recap: “Boys”

As fans of Girls know, Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna, and Jessa are big on mouthiness but low on maturity. So each week, blogger Chris J. Kelly is grading the four main characters’ emotional ages based on their words and actions.

Chris took a semester of psychology so he’s, like, totally qualified.


s2e6 hannah

Emotional Age:  13

Assigned the extremely difficult task of writing a book in a month, Hannah flames out in epic fashion. Her time at the computer generates a total of zero complete sentences, not including the texts she sends.

Though she’s only been at it for a day and has nothing to show for her efforts, Hannah’s nonetheless comfortable speaking authoritatively (and at length) about the writing process. And since Marnie seems so together, Hannah puts on a brave face to hide that she’s bombing, using words like “inspiration” as if they apply.

So, to review: she can’t finish her homework because she’s on the phone, she thinks she knows everything, and she lies to her best friend in order to appear superior. Welcome to seventh grade, Hannah.


s2e6 marnie

Emotional Age: 35

Once again, Marnie stands out for her complete honesty. I’ll admit that her first moments are a little weak. Being in bed with Booth Jonathan is, by definition terrible. But encouraging him to continue badgering his personal assistant is over the line.

Marnie pulls through, though, with her breakdown in the wine cellar. Confronted with the fact that she is not BJ’s girlfriend, she admits not only that she is infatuated with him, but also that she feels stupid and might be with him for the wrong reasons. The ability to identify and express your emotions is a clear indicator of adulthood—and that you should be somewhere else doing something better with your life.

Also, judge all you want, but you would’ve hidden Hannah’s ratbag coat, too.


s2e6 shoshanna

Emotional Age: 13

This show needs more Shosh. She’s underused. We learn two things about her this week: she thinks Donald Trump’s seminars must contain the secrets to success, and she’s comfortable using Twilight as a metaphor for her life. She and Hannah are probably in the same homeroom.


s2e6 jessa

Emotional Age: Unknowable

I have come to view Jessa as a Lovecraftian horror: The threat of her appearance is ever present, filling Greenpoint’s residents with dread. She is unpredictable, destructive, remorseless and imbued with a wrath that is bottomless. Hearing the sinister crash of shattering glass that announces the monster’s awakening, Hannah calls her name like a cursed acolyte, summoning evil from its lair.




* So, we went 30 minutes without Hannah taking her clothes off, which might be a first. On the other hand, she still lives the life of a Disney princess with a fairy godmother, because how in the world did she land a meeting with one of her idols during which he showers her with praise and offers her a job?

* And speaking of jobs, remember when she quit hers last week and then disappeared for two and a half days? Ray must be the laziest person alive, because hiring someone more dependable than Hannah pretty much means hiring the next person to drop off an application.

* There’s a bizarre yet satisfying symmetry to the conversation between Booth Jonathan and Soo Jin in that he’s completely naked and exposed while she’s presenting some fairly explicit camel toe.

* Adam’s mental illness gets more pronounced every time he shows up. What began as a collection of quirks has become a legitimately worrisome set of symptoms. His current freedom can only be read as Lena Dunham’s damning assessment of New York’s law enforcement and mental health care systems.

* Though the circumstances that thrust Ray and Adam together are completely implausible, I’m glad they got the chance to talk. They’re both sad and broken, but they’re also unguarded and insightful in ways that the main characters probably never could be. Is this connection I feel toward them what women always feel when they watch this show?