Monday, March 13, 2017

American Bitch

So this weekend, I watched the episode of Girls entitled "American Bitch."  It hurt to watch this episode. It physically hurt to watch this episode.

Note:  From this point on, there will be spoilers galore.  If you normally watch Girls but haven't seen American Bitch, stop now and go watch it.  Come back and we'll kibbitz.  If you don't watch Girls and don't plan to watch Girls?  Go ahead and read.  What the fuck ... why not.

Right after we watched this episode, Stoney read a review aloud from a writer he admires.  The writer references the clever "twist" at the end.

[Insert sound of record scratch.]

Hello?  There is no twist at the end of American Bitch.  Not if you're a woman.  If you're a woman, every moment of that episode screamed "Danger Will Robinson."  And the longer it went on, the louder that alarm sounded.  By the point Chuck Palmer, played brilliantly by Matthew Rhys, lays on the bed and invites Hanna "just" to lay next to him, my stomach was literally in knots.  Ask Stoney ... I'm neither lying nor exaggerating when I say I yelled out, "HANNAH NO!"

There are men ... (Maybe there are women too?  I don't know ... I don't swing that way.  But let's be fair ...)

There are people around us every single day who are sexual predators.  Conquest is a game to them and they are playing the shit out of that game.  They are lions at the water hole ... sniffing every move the gazelle makes.  Is the mark timid?  They adjust to the left.  Forceful?  Adjust to the right.  They know what to say and when to say to make you feel important.  To make you feel special.

If you laid on their bed naked and said, "Come at me," they'd fuck you.  Probably.  But that's not where the fun is.  The fun is in the pursuit.

I could tell you a dozen different "tells" in that episode.  From the moment he "patted" the door frame as he walking out to get coffee ... to him sitting in the middle of the couch so that when Hannah sat down,  she would be closer to him ... to him showing her books in his bedroom (his bedroom for Christ's sweet sake) ... every single move was another step closer. 
It was brilliantly written.  And when that doorbell rang, Matthew Rhyes gave the best evil villain smile since the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Here's the honest to God truth.  I assume that most women, like me, who watch Girls regularly don't want to be Hannah.  Hannah is narcissistic ... self-absorbed ... down right clueless at times.  But watching American Bitch ... I'll admit it.  I've been Hannah.  I have a teacher story.  Don't most of us with ovaries have a teacher story?  I've been in situations where that inner voice said, "You should really get out of here right now ..."  Sometimes I listened to that voice ... sometimes I didn't.

It was painful to watch.  But it's important to watch.  That parade of women walking up to Chuck Palmer's apartment as the episode faded out was a striking visual ... a visual that tells us we weren't the first and we won't be the last.  

American Bitch isn't just painful.  It's true ... and it's fucking depressing.

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

Meredith Brooks - Bitch

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