Monthly Archives: March 2015

‘Girls’ S4E10 Review: “Home Birth” Show Us Toning Down the Crazy Doesn’t Mean Selling Out

A mature fourth season brings us a deceptively simple finale that doesn’t try to wow us with anything too crazy (I mean we all should’ve expected Caroline’s delivery to be a little bumpy), but instead underscore the main characters’ growth over the course of the season. In season one Shosh does crack, in season two Hannah has sex with Jessa’s teenage step brother but the season four finale is the result of a two season long cool down where consequences and realizations are catching up with the girls and guys we know so well. Certain television tropes stick out in this episode where moments get tied up too neatly with a set up we have seen before, yet elements of the show’s disjointed style remain to ensure this episode doesn’t feel too sugarcoated. This week’s “Home Birth” shows a marked change from last season’s finale with botched assisted suicides and the beginning of the Marnie/Desi affair but as Hannah has shown us this season change doesn’t always have to mean selling out.

Sitcoms and dramas alike often use births as ‘coming together’ episodes because they illustrate how a show’s various characters react to an array of emotions from surprise, fear, stress all the way to joy. It is rarely about the actual mother and father who often remain pretty focused on the actual birthing process, but rather the surrounding characters and that remains true for this episode. Gaby Hoffmann really delivers on Caroline’s paranoid fear of the “birth industrial complex” that she thinks will drug up her and the baby as does Jon Glaser as the cowardly Laird who refuses to overcome his fear and convince Caroline to see a doctor for her premature breech birth. Still Caroline and Laird mainly set the stage for Adam, Hannah and Jessa who all respond rather characteristically to this impending disaster.

I have loved watching Jessa’s progression this season most of all and the finale did justice to the character we have probably seen change the most over the course of Girls. Unlike Adam and Hannah who scream and whine, respectively, during labor Jessa keeps calm, sticks her head in Caroline’s bathtub to look at her uterus and finally orders everyone else to contribute to the situation instead of panic. Jessa’s normal detachment and lack of responsiveness to others’ emotions works as a boon here, resulting in the crew carrying a wriggling Caroline through Manhattan to the hospital. When Jessa ultimately decides she wants to be a psychologist at the end of the episode one could certainly read that as abrupt with no previous mention of a career idea much less one requiring 8 years of college, but here Jessa’s impulsiveness fits completely within her character as someone who completely commits to what she wants as soon – as she figures it out.

Adam and Hannah more or less keep it together while Caroline is in labor, but Adam’s longing for Hannah at the end of the previous episode has grown stronger after Mimi Rose out of the blue dumped him for Ace! There is a wonderfully directed scene where Adam reaches his hand over baby Jessa-Hannah’s incubator telling her all the things the break up-er tells the break up-ee when the break up-er discovers his mistake. To Adam’s string of apologies and please, Hannah responds with sage advice on getting over Mimi Rose clearly drawn from her tough recovery post-Adam but she does not grab Adam’s hand despite how easy it would be. Season one Hannah would’ve run back to him in a second, but season four Hannah has more considerate fish to fry namely Fran who has inexplicably gotten over his belief in Hannah’s penchant for drama. The episode begins with Hannah recovering from a not-quite panic attack with Fran comforting her, and one fatal flaw of this episode is not hinting at how Fran reversed his opinion on Hannah after the art show or the Cleo debacle for a relationship going strong in a six month time jump at the end of the episode.

Meanwhile Shosh, Ray and Marnie operate in a pseudo-love triangle where no one loves Ray but he still plays an important role in both their trajectories. Ray gives Desi the lowdown on all the reasons he is folksy trash prompting him to skip a show Desi and Marnie have for a big-time record exec and some bloggers. Marnie’s one-liner driven self-empowerment felt off to me, but still her decision at Ray’s behest to sing solo feels satisfying even if the lead up is kind of hokey. Shosh gets offered a job at Abigail, an orderly international clothing store (I think), bedecked in pink and perfect for her – except it’s located in Japan her Madame Tinsley’s soup guy boyfriend promises he will probably love her soon in hopes she will stay. She isn’t even worthy of Ray’s attention as he is preoccupied with Marnie, but Shosh finally stands up for herself and her needs and chooses to take the job. As perhaps the least fleshed out of the girls, her story arc this season has been streamlined, simplified and rushed including this episode, but she still seems to have changed over the course of this season approaching her Abigail interview sooo much differently than the Madame Tinsley’s or Ann Taylor Loft interviews of yore.

It turns out ratings dropped from this finale to the last and I think it’s because Girls is in no uncertain terms taking a turn for maturity and consistency rather than the frantic desperation of these girls trying to figure out their twenties. The episode surely was sedate but I am chalking that up to a more sedate season on the whole, though only next season will prove if the show is capable of carrying on a tonally transformed show without feeling quite so sedate. I don’t want season four to be the beginning of the end so instead I will consider this the end of the beginning, or the end of their elongated childhood as self-centered girls, hopefully paving the way for the beginning of their adulthood.

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‘Tank Girl’ Review: To Camp or Not to Camp?

In absolute terms Tank Girl is not a good movie. In fact I think it would be very hard to translate the absurdist, nonlinear British comic into a big budget film catered to a mainstream audience. The 1995 adaptation could, however, be considered a good camp movie. Camp for the uninitiated encompasses a wide array of films and meanings, but simply put it’s a genre with a consistently exaggerated tone in acting, writing, music or anything else you see in the movie. Rocky Horror Picture Show might be the prototypical camp film and for our purposes will serve as one end of our de-luxe movie spectrum.

Rachel Talalay’s Tank Girl certainly registers as camp on the movie spectrum by including an exotic dance club madam forced to sing Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It” and so-bad-they’re-good zingers like “Look, it’s been swell, but the swelling’s gone down.” Still heavy studio interference impeded a full commitment to camp. The comic creator’s Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett (also of Gorillaz fame) complained that their voices were unceremoniously silenced in an effort to develop a film deemed more palatable for the general American audience. As a result Tank Girl spews references to topical cultural phenomena like Baywatch that are halfbaked in execution and hardly make sense in 2033. If either poles had won out over the other, i.e. a confidently surrealist and explicit cinematic translation of the comic or a straightened out, highly-produced big budget film, I think Tank Girl could have been the exemplar adaption movie for more complex source material than Superman. As it is the film shuffles all over the spectrum resulting in a film unsatisfying from all sides.

Even summarizing Tank Girl’s plot is difficult because a linear storyline has been grafted onto the nonlinear source material, ultimately falling into a pit of cliches. The main character, Rebecca Buck or Tank Girl, starts out the film dropping us some exposition by quickly outlining the three factions in a post-apocalyptic, water starved world: the Water and Power corporation that hoards water with an iron fist, Tank Girl’s commune that illegally siphons off water and the mysterious and dangerous marauding Rippers.

The ensuing narrative about W&P capturing the defiant Tank Girl and her young friend Sam is hardly the point, having overall lost much of its luster in the Hollywood whitewashing process, more compelling rather are the film’s moments. The Tank Girl comics are well known for their strong visual aesthetic seen here in Tank Girl’s many androgynous outfits and the overall rendering of a post-apocalyptic Australia. As one of Tank Girl’s 18 costume changes, her missile shaped bra highlights the striking aesthetic that all too often got papered over in this film. Vivid scenes grace the film such as Tank Girl’s cutting of her stockings in the mode of a strip tease set to one of the delightful 90’s alt rock songs curated by Hole frontwoman Courtney Love. Almost incongruous scenes like this do nothing to progress the awkward plot forward, but Talalay’s smart directorial decision to focus on Lori Petty’s pitch perfect acting are when the movie and the audience has the most fun.


missile bra

A mismatch occurs from the humor and tone of the original British comic set in Australia to the ambiguous locale in the film that houses mostly Americans along with a few unexplained Brits like Naomi Watts’ character Jet Girl and the evil leader of W&P Malcolm McDowell’s Kesslee. Threats of rape on Jet Girl in prison and Tank Girl twice before she even makes it to prison are mined for laughs, but often violent retaliation by spurned men connotes a confusingly vicious edge. The comics contain plenty of violence and far more lewd sex, but the tonal variance make the same kind of themes and plot points overly dark and uncomfortable in the film adaptation. Without Lori Petty playing Tank Girl to irreverent perfection, this film would be an unmitigated disaster, but she manages to stabilize scenes that would have floundered without her comedic timing.

By the end of the film, despite certain humorous highlights, the wavering between almost acknowledged camp and Hollywood drivel makes the film feel overwhelmingly disjointed. This comic probably shouldn’t have been made into a live action movie with its science fiction adaptations of the comic, like the mutant kangaroos and a hologram head, coming across as far more silly than cool. Luckily interspersed animated sequences done by Steve Evangelatos although irregularly incorporated in the film fit much more in line with the edgy comic’s intent. Adapted films rarely capture the essence of its source material, especially when its source material is as nuanced and complex as the Tank Girl comics, so my advice is if you’re interested in Tank Girl read the comics and skip the movie.

‘Girls’ S4E8 “Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz” Expands Out of the Normal Privileged Angst

My friend mistakenly watched the especially sex-filled first few episodes of Girls with her parents and her dad said, “Is this how all young women live? If so, I don’t want any part of it.” Yeah he’s a formal guy, but this week’s “Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz” finally parallels the often insular stories of its younger main cast with those of an older generation, specifically Hannah’s parents, to widen what my friend’s dad considers to be a pretty narrow scope. Being Hannah, most of her interactions with her parents are one-way interactions that further her narrative arc so the audience has yet to delve into Loreen and Tad as actual, feeling people. This week, however, Loreen’s emotional arc echoes Hannah’s when both are found to be painfully prone to drama. Similarly Hannah’s decision to become a teacher seemed completely out of left field when it was introduced two episode ago, but her motivation comes into stark focus this episode, and simultaneously adds a third generation to the fold – Hannah feels like a washed up hag at 24 and in an attempt to grasp at youth befriends a high school student.

After being established as the cool sub last week, Hannah progresses that narrative further when she seamlessly transitions from ‘teaching’ to talking about boys with her student, Cleo. The tone of Hannah and Cleo’s conversation becomes creepy almost immediately as Hannah admits to having scoured the school for “cute boys,” which if she were a man would seem downright predatory for 14-18 year old students. Cleo admits she doesn’t like anyone in her grade, but has a crush on the 28-year old Shia Laboeuf while Hannah responds to a creepy maintenance worker catcalling the duo with “we’re children.” Cleo wants to be older, while Hannah desperately wants to cling to the days when she was passionate about her writing dream and supremely confident she could achieve it.

Cleo even convinces Hannah to skip class and get a piercing, which might be headstrong at 15 but is seriously irresponsible as an employed 24 year old. The most gripping scene this episode was also the hardest to watch. Hannah and Cleo settle on a frenulum piercing (“the webbing under your tongue”) and we watch Cleo go first, screaming and ultimately crying in a manner eerily similar to a baby, reminding Hannah of the unequivocal age difference between them. Hannah commits a serious party foul by not going through on the “friendulum” piercing, showing she can still play the mature adult card when it suits her. As a result of Hannah’s taboo relationship with Cleo, and of course the Adam snafu last episode, Fran continues his role as the most reasonable character on the show and calls out Hannah as a drama factory. Hannah tries to convince him she’s just edgy and fun, but Fran rightly asserts that while Cleo might agree with Hannah, to fellow adults Hannah’s provoking behavior reads as self-involved and overly dramatic.

I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Hannah’s mom’s behavior this week mirrors Hannah’s because when Loreen finds out that Tad is gay on the day of her tenure party she freaks out, thus turning Tad’s emotional unrest into something all about her. Tad dropped a breadcrumb a few episodes ago when he was discussing leaving Iowa with Hannah when he mentioned that Loreen had attempted a novel years ago, only to realize it was not for her and move on to the tenured track. Whenever Hannah interacts with her parents she has a (dramatic) tendency to make the conversation all about her, so we don’t often get to see Tad and Loreen and living, feeling people. Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari handle their newly increased screen time with aplomb. Becky Ann Baker particularly cycles through all stages of grief with a visceral anger heretofore unseen that at her tenure party results in an escalation when Loreen’s coworker Avi admits his love for her. 

Shoshanna’s subplot is weaker by comparison, basically having Shosh play through the Girls version of pretend-to-be-something-that-you’re-not-to-please-a-boy that generates a few laughs at her ham-handed attempt at sexual innuendo but little substance. Marnie’s subplot, however, finally escalates the Desi relationship after having mostly hit the same notes every episode since they formally got together. After a fight over German guitar peddles, Desi delivers a lame apology rehashing insincere tropes about his “old man” and being ashamed at his behavior while Marnie shows true transparency by relaying her real issues with money that apparently broke her parents up. Then Desi tells her to shut up and proposes. That scene echoes almost every interaction the two have had where Marnie expresses her feelings and Desi talks over her with some sort of platitude and kisses her tenderly to make everything better. Desi is a terrible partner and Marnie knows that, but after fighting for him for so long it’s going to take something really serious to get her to back off now.

Neither the best episode nor the worst episode so far this season, but its focus on Hannah’s parents’ strife for once adds a certain extra dimension to the dynamics of the show this week. Loreen bluntly tells Hannah her dad is gay, temporarily losing sight of the maternal tenderness necessary to adjust Hannah to this shocking news. With only two episodes left hopefully they work like an alley oop with the finale building off the penultimate, but all in all the season has stretched itself into new directions suggesting Girls will remain relevant in years to come.

Oneohtrix Point Never’s ‘Memory Vague’ Brings the Media Periphery Centerstage

Following my review of Orson Welles’ F for Fake last week, which has only managed about 96,000 views on Youtube, I want to cover another underviewed film – that’s even less conventional. Daniel Lopatin’s 2010 album film Memory Vague is a seminal work in the contemporary aesthetic and sound movement called Vaporwave made. Lopatin goes by the stage name Oneohtrix Point Never and his 2010 album Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1 gave shape to a style that has slowly gained followers with a fairly active Reddit community hosting a bevy of new material in the genre.

Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1
Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1

Lopatin describes his style as “flowing electronics […], ambient drones and excursions into noise, and forays into adventurous sampling.” I’ve heard vaporwave described as post-elevator music for a more concrete idea on the music side of things, but the visuals seen in Memory Vague are slightly harder to situate. Vaporwave aesthetics overall shares a focus on 80’s trash television especially of Japan, overt consumerism in naming conventions and from the use of commercials as well as a glitchy editing conventions that normally suggest inexperience being are here used with notable skill. Within music videos by prominent vaporwave artists like Saint Pepsi and Internet Club a more unified aesthetic has emerged, especially in the digital art accompanying the music that often includes Renaissance sculptures along with 90’s computer graphics. Lopatin’s Memory Vague, however, does not sit squarely within the established vaporwave conventions, which makes it an interesting work to analyze.

Somewhat like Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555 as a visual manifestation of their 2000 album Discovery, Lopatin’s Memory Vague is a visual manifestation, albeit lacking a narrative or $4 million production values, of his album of the same name. The overarching focus, it seems to me, is dragging content from the media periphery, like infomercials and screensavers, to the forefront and thus elevating them to the status of ‘art’. The lines between highbrow and lowbrow have been all but erased with ballets set to Johnny Cash music and mass-market, thrift store kitsch selling exorbitantly at places like Urban Outfitters.

Certain lines have yet to be crossed, however, as few spend their time poring over screen savers despite their ubiquity, but as Lopatin illustrates interesting things can happen when we analyze the sorts of media experiences we always take for granted. We don’t know the names of the creators of this material likely because we question the artistic intent or merit behind them in the first place, but maybe our focus has been to much on the conscious intent evident in film and television, instead of the lowbrow media as representative of the mass commodification of art for consumerist use that swirls around our heads so many times a day.

Vaporwave, like much of life, has largely positioned itself around capitalism, specifically by updating relics of the “greed is good” zeitgeist of the 80’s using modern indie electronic trends to illustrate both the hollowness of Muzzak, smooth jazz, and 8-bit video game soundtracks by repeating their most vacuous lines and chords incessantly and, perhaps more importantly, how using new techniques on older material can show how relevant mass consumerism still is today.

For example, Lopatin’s video for his song “Angel,” which incorporates a slowed down sample of the Fleetwood Mac song of the same name, basically Angel Squareencapsulates the essence of the television melodrama in a few seconds. A woman carrying a boombox walks down a hill and Lopatin edits the footage so that the woman repeatedly turns her head in earnest to look off screen, then she transitions to smile and slowly raise her hand in a coy wave – only to cut away to the next song. There is no resolution because every episode of Dawson’s Creek or rather Knot’s Landing if we want to keep with the 80’s theme, can be paralleled to this short scene with an overly simplistic series of initial obstacles that always ultimately makes way for a cute courtship. Those primetime soaps are an amalgam of repetitive shots and emotions, often featuring the hot new commodity with not-so-subtle product placement, in this case a boombox.

MV Hand Washing

Likewise the repetitive focus on an insert of a woman washing her hands later scored with his distorted ambient sounds entrances us, but you can’t help but think that this insert was never supposed to on screen for this long. We would rarely consider an insert from a soap or lotion commercial for more than the fleeting moment its on television buffering the three minutes between Scandal, but I contend that the vacuity contained in those hands inefficiently washing themselves over and over is mirrored by Lopatin’s faraway digital tunes and thus makes us reconsider its role in the media landscape.

Even more challenging than footage from 80’s commercials, are the video segments with pixelated graphics that appear almost like errors stemming from leaving a VHS tape on the shelf for too long. A swirling vortex of grainy white noise floats above a neon pink and blue ground against the night sky. None of that adheres to traditional cinematic conventions of proper perspective with properly focused shots, yet from the dregs of media comes a beautifully mesmerizing composition.

MV Swirling Vortex

Lopatin incorporates a purposeful disruption of our viewing experience by stopping in the middle of a song or visual sequence and then transitioning with a white flash, that serves to underscore the awkwardness of the film transition instead of using the cross dissolve or match on action to hide the artificiality. Levying criticism on Memory Vague is difficult because the uneven nature of the segments comes across as more like an artistic choice than a mistake with the complete lack of cohesion between the footage as a whole intentionally preventing us from extracting a narrative. If Lopatin consistently errs on the side of complex disjuncture yet we find his material visually stimulating, albeit slightly uncomfortable, does that mean we are comfortable with the hollowness of capitalism permeating our daily lives or rather that the film’s honesty about the role of capitalism is a refreshing reprieve from the oft-ignored advertisement-ridden viewing experience we are used to? That’s the beauty of vaporwave, and of this film in particular, because there are no right answers, just a method of attempting to make the invisible visible.

MV Spheres

The interplay of context among the various visual sequences gives us morsels along the way to hang onto like Fleetwood Mac’s “Angel”, but even high art like Piet Mondrian’s geometric shapes, once emblematic of the avant garde, has been commodified in order to sell a cassette player. Another segment where a series of crudely pixelated spheres order themselves in rows and descend backwards into space in a never-ending loop is a dead ringer for a Windows 95 screensaver, but it’s impossible to determine the level of artistic authorship. All of these recognizable images are on parade, but the removal of context by slowing down the speed or using foreign languages and cultures like Japanese or Russian as source material prevents us from reading into the content in a traditional manner. Does it matter the extent to which Lopatin created each music video or is the intent all that makes a difference?

MV Mondrian Cassette

The questions brought up by this short film are on par with any conventional work of a contemporary art and at the same time the dazzling media dreamscape contained in Memory Vague’s 33 minutes never feels like a chore in the way some discursive experimental films often do. Lopatin’s modern capitalist critique incorporates the signs of Reagan-era American excess with music that can at times be mistaken for a SNES video game score, but understanding that context isn’t necessary to appreciate the piece. Lopatin’s adept editing in the style and through the use of low-quality media detritus in repetitive, trancelike sequences can be the point in and of itself.

Memory Vague’s final video simply features a terraced, neon rainbow-colored pyramid undulating backwards and forwards for a few minutes. I’d say that encapsulates my daily experience on Twitter in its alternating display of high-octane outrage, excitement, joy and snark that just restarts with the new announcement, buzzword or media sensation. For every MCA exhibit or art house film, we get 100 Mac loading rainbow wheels and Buzzfeed top 22 list of gifs. Rigid distinctions between high and low art or meaningful and meaningless are harder and harder to distinguish, but Memory Vague and vaporwave are here to show that maybe we don’t have to choose.

Lopatin’s Memory Vague has free streaming (and download) on Vimeo.

Girls-Ask-Me-My-Name-Season-4-Episode-7-04

‘Girls’ S4E7 “Ask Me My Name” Gives Us the Messy Opposite of Last Week’s Episode – And It’s Great

For last week’s “Close Up” I called for a the return of the “muddy shitstorm” done best in episodes like “Beach House” and it’s like the writers preemptively read my mind, or rather this episode and the last episode were written by the same person Murray Miller who probably set the arc up this way on purpose. All the false simplicity and order of characters addressing their wants and needs in an artificially linear fashion like the average sitcom with three act breaks gets thrown out the window for an episode that is like a case study on manipulation with little guidance on how to pick out the sincerity. By a turn of fate Hannah and Mimi-Rose get some one-on-one time while Adam gets cornered by Mimi-Rose’s ex, Ace, who is played to outlandish perfection by Zachary Quinto. More than just a gauge on how the whole love triangle is working out, “Ask Me My Name” also delves into Hannah’s sense of self after trading in her life as a writer for a more conventional career as a substitute teacher. The key difference between this and last week is that Hannah’s character development and the narrative progress organically rather than with measured planning, allowing the show to really flex its storytelling muscles.

Although a couple supporting characters make an appearance in this episode, we mostly focus on Hannah being forced to come to terms with her feelings about Mimi-Rose due to a series of strange occurrences. Thankfully cutting out a bunch of silly exposition, we start this episode with Hannah in the middle of teaching a class on Oedipus where much to my surprise she seems to be thriving, albeit as a substitute which she acknowledges doesn’t require all that much effort. We meet a young male teacher named Fran who might be the most normal, accessible person we have seen so far on the show, cracking jokes and asking Hannah out for beers like a regular Joe.

There is a delightful scene before Hannah’s date where she discusses clothing options with Elijah and they joke about how she’s crossing the threshold of maturity, going on dates like “someone who’s 45” which launches them into a bit on the kind of people (adults) who derive fulfillment from commitment and exercising regularly. The not so subtle undercurrent is a sincere fear that if the roommates haven’t quite crossed the threshold where dying alone and finding security are real concerns, that day is certainly on the horizon. Hannah abruptly cuts off the joke, saying she needs to masturbate before the date, but the theme of impending adulthood deftly gets inserted into the plot for later use.

Hannah brings Fran to Mimi-Rose’s art show on their first date, which he soon recognizes as a fairly orchestrated ploy for Adam’s attention causing him to swiftly peace out. Hannah’s use of Fran sets in motion a hard to pin down, but certainly intriguing, cascade of manipulation that only Adam seems to be above. Mimi Rose invites Hannah to her art show after party, which Adam fights tooth and nail engaging Hannah much like the divorced adults Hannah previously mocked. Mimi Rose and Hannah take one taxi while Ace and Adam take another to the same party and here is where the pesky question of “why” starts inserting itself.

Of course, Hannah and Mimi Rose’s taxicab hits an old woman crossing the street and in an appropriate use of comedy, not as a crutch like last week but rather a moment to give dimension to the narrative, the taxi driver tries to blame Hannah for the mishap. As a result Mimi Rose and Hannah wait to give their stories to the police in a nearby convenience store and then a Laundromat, allowing a good chunk of time for Mimi Rose to try and reach out to the recalcitrant Hannah. What’s important is that at the same time Ace, who comes off as the ultimate hipster douchebag, tells Adam that Mimi Rose is a master manipulator – but then takes it back and tells Adam he just wants her back. How much Ace can be trusted is certainly up for discussion, but neither Adam nor the audience gets the comfort of a right answer.

Ace’s comment, however, causes the viewer to read the Mimi Rose and Hannah exchange with a more critical gaze that makes the unfolding of events exciting, and slightly tense, as we wait for the real Mimi Rose to reveal herself. But, of course, there is no “real” Mimi Rose in some sort of Scooby Doo way where she takes off her mask and comes clean about the hijinks. All we have are two people with a lot of complex emotions. As seen last episode Mimi Rose is not one to mince words, even when she probably should which Hannah attributes to Aspergers, though that has yet to be established as anything more than a resentful slight. Mimi Rose ostensibly comes clean about a desire for empathy even when reaching out can be difficult, which does tie back in her relentless need to connect with all the ancillary characters like the cab driver who don’t seem all that interested. At the same time, Mimi Rose offers Adam to Hannah in an eerily well thought out plan to slowly distance herself from him as Hannah edges in.

Hannah doesn’t know what to make of her as Adam’s girlfriend, and frankly neither do I, but professionally Hannah is sure that Mimi Rose captures what it means to be a real artist. Mimi Rose leaves a poem she composes in two minutes in a random person’s washing machine because she’s “always wanted to write a random person a poem” and details the novel she’s writing that took so much time away from her art exhibit. Everywhere they go Mimi Rose spreads her artistic whimsy and to Hannah, whose artistic whimsy seems to have died in Iowa, this compounds the loss of Adam by having his new beau be the funky artist girlfriend that he must have always wanted.

Ultimately Mimi Rose lays out how she feels compelled to produce art because she doesn’t know any other way, but acknowledges her worry that everyone finds her as off-putting as Hannah does. As they mutually share a grass is greener moment, I think Mimi Rose finally gets humanized. Or does she? Is Mimi Rose abruptness due to her true artistic inclinations for complete honesty and self-expression or is she some sort of manipulative mastermind as Ace describes her? The beauty of this episode is that this precarious situation does not get answered this episode and might never fully be answered and that precarious, uncomfortable situation is where we as humans make our home. Not at the end of Scooby Doo.