Lessons in the ‘Girls’ Lexicon: “Cohabitation”


Cohabitation (n.): The state or condition of living under the same roof as your significant other, whether either you had a discussion about it beforehand, or, as is the case with many college couples, happened upon it accidentally.

How it’s used in the show: At Hannah’s dinner party, discussion of Ray’s current living situation / status as a homeless person brings Shoshanna to the realization that he has unknowingly moved in with her: “Oh my god, do you live with me?!”

It starts with a simple, courteous act: “You can stay over, I guess… if you want.” Upon hooking up with a new guy/girl, it’s typically a nice thing to ask them to spend the night (assuming you both had a good time), regardless of how uncomfortably hot you get sleeping next to another person. Girls’ Hannah would refer to this as “inviting [someone] as a gesture.” Continue Reading

Lessons in the ‘Girls’ Lexicon: “Wednesday night”

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Wednesday night (n.)A weeknight when Hannah does something out of her comfort zone to make a clean break from the tedium of her otherwise boring life.

How it’s used in the show: “[i]t’s a Wednesday night, baby, and I’m alive!” declares Girls’s leading lady Hannah Horvath, smacking her yellow-mesh-clad chest, post-coke bender.

It’s a sentiment not unfamiliar to many Brown students. While Hannah’s crazy Wednesday night out was intended for (semi-questionable) writing inspiration, Brown students have historically been using this day of the week as a way to blow off some steam. There are few better ways to give the finger to your studies and responsibilities than by getting a little drunk and/or dance-y at your bar of choice. It seems the majority of Brown students flock to South Water Street’s “Whiskey Republic,” affectionately referred to as “Whisko” in memoriam of the beloved previous tenant, “FishCo.” As far as we’re concerned, Thursday morning classes don’t exist.

We’re not advising you to get drunk every Wednesday (or to participate in drug-related debauchery, Hannah Horvath style) so much as we’re suggesting that you take a little break and do something for yourself. This can be as simple as cooking dinner with some friends, going to an extra-long yoga class, or catching up on your favorite TV series. Continue Reading

Lessons in the ‘Girls’ Lexicon: “Republican”

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This author has chosen to remain anonymous. This individual does not want you to accuse him/her of not reading your work because he/she is too busy reading Republican Quarterly.”

Republican (n.): A gun-loving, rights-hating individual who is ultimately undateable.

How it’s used in the show: Hannah dates a Republican named Sandy, and later breaks up with him because their “political beliefs are just a little too different.”

We assume (correctly) that the main characters on Girls are left-leaning individuals. Maybe it’s because they live in Brooklyn and graduated from Oberlin (well, most of them did). Most likely, however, it’s because we’ve come to believe that millennials, by default, all adhere to a certain set of liberal beliefs.

As college students at Brown, we tend to take these beliefs for granted. It’s not that we don’t appreciate them— but they’ve become commonplace, and are therefore accepted as the norm. The same goes for the characters on Girls: the ease with which they talk about sex and sexuality reflects their left-leaning political preferences, and whom they vote for. This openness is why many find the show appealing. However, up until this episode, there has been no contesting force that challenges the characters’ values, nor any person or idea that deviates from their widely accepted political norms. Once it’s discovered that a Republican (gasp) lives among the show’s liberal cast members, they are forced to articulate their stances on certain issues and underscore just how different they are from their right-leaning antithesis. Continue Reading

Lessons in the ‘Girls’ Lexicon: “Main hang”

Main hangWe love HBO’s Girls, and we know you do too. Instead of doing a traditional recap of each episode every week, we will be taking a term that is used in each episode, and applying it to Brown’s own unique culture.

Main hang (n.): A person who inhabits the role of a significant other without taking on the responsibilities and legitimate (read: daunting) title of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”

How it’s used in the show: Hannah attempts to discuss her relationship with Adam, reminding him that they’re not together anymore, to which Adam replies: “I don’t really care about labels. You’re here all the time. You’re my main hang.”

To use the term “main hang” is to acknowledge that there is some sort of relationship present without the weightiness and definite-ness that comes with using the term boyfriend/girlfriend. However, main hang is still, in a sense, a label, despite the fact that Adam doesn’t “care about” them. So what makes it any less daunting than it’s traditional predecessor? Maybe we college kids are scared off by what the titles of boyfriend and girlfriend have come to mean. We’re shown that in most cases, without a breakup (which seems to almost always suck), boyfriends and girlfriends move on to become fiancees, and eventually spouses. In our collegiate bubble that places a premium on individuality and independence, it’s normal for us to feel trapped by the seemingly inevitable chain of events that comes with boyfriend/girlfriend labels, regardless of how much you currently like being with your significant other. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend also means having to deal with a potential breakup. There are the awkward condolences from friends (and even acquaintances!), and the uncertainty of how long is appropriate for mourning and rebounding moving on.   Continue Reading