Review: ‘Girls’ – ‘Ask Me My Name’: I’m a substitute for another guy

Senior Television Writer
03.01.15 55 Comments

HBO

A quick review of tonight's “Girls” coming up just as soon as my shirt suggests I've killed my kids…

I'd like to spend more time on “Ask Me My Name,” if only because it's such a weird episode and our biggest exposure to Mimi-Rose yet, but various areas of the Sepinwall house have been turned into flu quarantine areas, so I have to be brief.

If “Girls” were a more conventional sitcom, I might look on an episode like “Ask Me My Name” as a backdoor pilot for a spin-off that would star Gillian Jacobs as the mercurial Mimi-Rose and Zachary Quinto(*) as her once and future lover Ace. As it was, the episode felt like Hannah, Adam and Jessa had temporarily wandered into someone else's show, with its own tone and sense of reality, and while that was disorienting at times, it also did a good job of suggesting what it would feel like for Hannah to actually spend time with Adam's new girlfriend.

(*) As a result of his involvement, “Ace Hole” would likely have to film in Pittsburgh, even if it was set in Brooklyn.

Within the realm of the show that “Girls” usually is, “Ask Me My Name” was interesting for giving us Hannah at her most frustrating and at her most self-aware in the space of the same episode. At first, she seems to be doing very well in her substitute teacher job (where one of her students is played by Judd Apatow's daughter Maude), and seems to have moved on to an interesting romantic prospect in Fran (played by Jake Lacy in a role evoking his part in “Obvious Child”), but then she completely torpedoes the date with Fran so she can crash Mimi-Rose's event and make a big show to Adam, and takes enormous pleasure in seeing Adam squirm in the presence of Ace. It's not at all a flattering side of her. (From my notes, when Adam winds up in a cab with Ace: “Hannah is loving this, because she is terrible.”) Yet in her conversation with Mimi-Rose, she's ultimately able to admit something – that she quit Iowa because she realized she wasn't talented enough, and is now doomed to a boring normal life – she likely would never say to Marnie or anyone else. And that epiphany in turn encourages her to be decent to Adam at the end of the night, offering him best wishes and bailing before she can mess up his night any further.

It's a weird one, but ultimately one I enjoyed a lot.

What did everybody else think?

Around The Web