This week’s episode ends with a scene unlike any I’ve seen on television before, or in any form, really. In it, Hannah returns home after a bad day, distraught. She’s been diagnosed with HPV and she’s discovered that her ex-boyfriend is gay. The guy she’s been sleeping with is an idiot and a liar. She’s alone, on her bed. And she does what we all do now: she goes online.
Specifically, she gets on Twitter, where she faces a box designed for a hundred and forty characters. She types: ‘You lose some, you lose some.’ Self-pity. But she doesn’t hit send. She starts over, this time more explicitly: ‘My life has been a lie, my ex-boyfriend dates a guy.’ Again, she deletes; starts over. Finally, she taps out what amounts to a code: ‘All adventurous women do.’
No stranger who reads those words will know quite what they mean. They’re a credo, a pose—it’s a phrase she heard from a friend, who was repeating what another friend said, giving her a sophisticated attitude with which to face HPV. (Even in the offline world, we cut and paste.) And yet that phrase becomes more expansive than any reference to a medical diagnosis, because Hannah’s telling other people—and of course herself—that her worst experiences are not humiliations and stains: they’re adventures. (They’re material.) As she types, the music rises: Robyn’s ‘Dancing On My Own.’
When her roommate Marnie arrives in the doorway, Hannah tells her about her bad night; the women talk and laugh and dance together. There’s no clear transition in this scene between what’s online and what’s off—Hannah doesn’t have to choose, one leads to the other. She’s upset, and she’s saying so in public, but that online blurt is mediated, and it’s edited: a skill she’s learned through practice, because she’s grown up learning to do that. It’s a way of speaking that lies between writing and conversation, intimacy and theatre.
-Emily Nussbaum on Twitter, Technology, and Girls, quoted on the New Yorker blog (via amyrebeccaklein)
I thought it was a very good detail that the music didn’t just “rise,” but switched to the Robyn song from something sad-sounding, because iTunes was on random. I like that everything that happened at the very end was thus also basically random. Who knows if it would have happened if iTunes had gone to something down-tempo and morose?