Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Girlfriends’ Guide should just quit throwing parties

Illustration for article titled Girlfriends’ Guide should just quit throwing parties

Honestly, now I’m wondering why the Girlfriends ever have parties? They fight every time! Especially this season: Delia’s engagement party, Phoebe’s prom, now this bachelorette fiasco. You don’t have to spend all that money to scream at each other, you know? You could just stay home.

I was so curious about this show that I went back and rewatched the first two episodes (all of season one is available on Netflix). It had been awhile since I’d seen the show in its early stages: Phoebe is the only other girlfriend left from episode one, but Delia shows up earlier than I remembered, in episode two. She’s this shark lawyer who predicts, rightly, that Jake and Abby will soon disintegrate from mediation into painful legal attacks.

(The Janeane Garofalo character is so curious. Apparently, Lisa Edelstein said that Garofalo really didn’t like being on the show, that “It just wasn’t a good fit for her. She wasn’t happy.” I wonder if it had something to do with whoever the stylist was giving her the worst-ever hairstyles. Maybe she rebelled. But least she went on to the awesome Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp series.)

So in the first few episodes, if you’ll remember, Phoebe and Abby make out, Jake and Abby are still screaming at each other, and Delia is take-no-prisoners in charge. Which makes her upcoming wedding this season even more dumbfounding. As a divorce lawyer, she knows better than anyone how painful divorce can be, and the show really isn’t making clear what’s in it for her.

At least we get a little more insight through her fight with Abby. For all of Abby’s bizarre behavior (what was with that weird stripper musical overlay to “Stitches”?), she makes some really good points. (And why are these women always up in arms over, “This was supposed to be my night!” Children.) Gordon basically manipulated Delia into this upcoming marriage, and she may like feeling all princess-like and pampered, but she won’t treasure it forever. And from Albert’s extreme reaction at the end of the episode, he appears to be just as controlling. Abby gets it, but Delia doesn’t: Is it just that much easier to be smart about other people but dumb about your own life?

Maybe that’s why Abby is so acute about Delia’s troubles and so oblivious about her own. Even her 15-year-old daughter can figure it out. Her mom’s not eating, and now I think the baby was not just a tie to Jake but a reminder when things were more hectic but simpler, when her whole family was together (Why else would Abby cling so tightly to Lamby?).


What’s nice about Girlfriends’ is that, as in life, things rarely wrap up within a 50-minute episode. Abby’s stress has been creeping up all season, ever since she and Jake split for good. Actually, another comparison to the first season is how much Paul Adelstein’s Jake brought to the series. He was never the out-and-out villain, even with his twentysomething girlfriend. He and Abby always had a lot to work out and tackle in their relationship and being parents to their kids. It made for a very interesting dynamic.

And one that Abby is missing, but having seen her with Jake, we know why she’s missing it. Thank God she got rid of Harris, who was, as Jo put it, “like a line-drawing of a person” (You guys, I think I might like Jo now!), realizing that she was just leap-frogging onto another relationship for supposed survival. Really alone for the first time, and having blown up her original brand, it’s no surprise that Abby would have one hell of a case of writer’s block and freak out about her book cover. But it’s also maddening when you want someone to take care of themselves and they refuse: what do you do? I like how Lily stepped up and knew the real reason why her mother was throwing up, and that despite all of her protests, Abby really wasn’t okay in the end.


Which leaves us with Jo and Phoebe. Jo and Scott both appear to be in denial over how much their hookup meant to them, which is why he would flirt right in front of her. Still hope those two can work it out. It was also positive to see Phoebe finally stumble into something she would be good at (artwork consulting), even if it may cause problems with her tightly wound boyfriend, and the badass gallery owner was fun. But again, it’s helpful to have Phoebe stand up for herself and realize that if J.D. can’t talk to her like a goddamn grownup, their relationship isn’t going to work. And, just like Abby after punting Harris, both girlfriends were okay with that for the moment, although Phoebe and J.D. now appear to be improbably close.

Maybe the baby, like Harris, was a distraction for Abby, something for her to focus on instead of her looming deadline and that terrifying blank screen (I know it well), as well as the end of her life with Jake. It’s interesting that after her public breakdown in the very first episode of Girlfriends’ Guide, to almost the end of the second season, Abby is still working it out. More than that, it’s downright realistic.


Stray observations

  • Another good Jo line: “Who knew Jake was black?”
  • And another: “It was either this or the Minions.”
  • Wow, remember whippets?
  • “The real shocker was that the baby wasn’t ours.” It was Taye Diggs’ baby!
  • Outfits this week: were meh. Way too many blazers. The best one, being worn by the only person who seemed to be having decent fun at that party (although she seemed way too familiar with that strip club) was Barbara.
  • Power rankings:
  1. Barbara: For reasons stated above.
  2. Phoebe: Ready to walk about from J.D. when he pulled some bullshit; on the verge of new career finally.
  3. Jo: Threw pastry box at Scott for putting his “funky love cruffin” inside her “pastry box” and wound up with hr ex on her couch.
  4. Delia: At least she threw Albert out of her house.
  5. Abby: Oh, Abby. Abby, Abby, Abby.