1. First, the title.
The title “Why Girls Like Hannah Horvath Will Never Be Successful” suggests, in itself, that Hannah Horvath is not successful — not now, not before, not ever. Um…what? Hannah already has a book deal, and it’s not even an e-book. She also has a job at GQ, and this is all accomplished mere weeks after turning 25. If this isn’t success then there can’t be much hope for the rest of us.
2. “Inexplicably annoying awkwardness,” states Shali.
K, what? “There’s no room in New York for awkwardness”?? What, then, would you call every successful SNL skit from yesteryear? Chris Kattan’s character Mango was certainly awkward, as was Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher and practically every character Chris Farley ever played. And all of these actors were huge fixtures in the heyday of the classic NYC staple SNL.
There’s room in New York for just about every race and sexual preference, but no room for an awkward girl? No — I’d argue that it’s Hannah’s awkwardness and gracelessness that makes her so endearing, a fact that’s even more true in light of her ability to accept and embrace these “bad” traits.
Call me crazy, but I find being overly self-critical to the point of forcibly “shedding the awkwardness you were born with,” as Shali implores us all to do, would only ensue in more discomfort and awkwardness.
3. Shali says she’s “immature.”
So Hannah has slipped and showed signs of immaturity. Oh, the horror! Except wait; isn’t this normally a mark of a true human being, complete with all of our humanly flaws? What Shali conspicuously disregards here is that these “immature” blunders aren’t an anomaly at all, and especially amongst millennials. What is more, making mistakes on your own, and without anyone else’s influence, is perhaps the most efficient way to learn and grow. I’d much rather grab a drink with someone who makes inappropriately-timed jokes than someone who can’t take a joke at all.
4. Shali argues that Hannah is a “self-hater.”
Hey, Shali? Quick question: have you watched even a shred of this current season? Because I’m starting to think you haven’t.
Shali quotes Hannah from a fight she had with Marnie in what i’m pretty certain is THE FIRST SEASON to prove that Hannah has no self-assurance. The quote is this: “That is because n one can ever hate me as much as I hate myself, okay? So any mean thing anyone can think of to say about me I’ve already said to me, about me, probably in the last half hour.” And Shali’s response is this: “Pathetic. Not only is she using her self-loathing as an advantage to win a petty fight, she also puts her self-doubt out there for her crumbling best friend to deal with, on top of everything else.
Oh, honey. Hannah is many things, but one thing she is certainly NOT is unsure of herself. In fact, that’s what makes her such a fantastic role model — she doesn’t conform to the typical “pretty girl” standard and she loves herself unconditionally.
Hannah’s confidence in her own writing has given me a surge of confidence too. When her editor died, she still pursued her book deal and with full force because she believes in herself.
And finally, while Adam and Hannah do have their issues, they still seem to fit together so seamlessly because both Hannah and Adam are secure in who each of them are. Indeed, this was pretty much confirmed when Hannah’s editor died and she spent very little time mourning. “Are you going to call me self-involved too?” she asks Adam’s sister Caroline. To which Caroline responds, “No. I’m going to call you secure.”
5. Shali thinks Hannah is a “very poor dresser” and that this is a reflection of her overall shittiness.
Shali, listen to yourself girl. “She does have a soft, darling figure — but if how you dress represents who you are…Oh, and I’ve never once seen her wearing the push-up bra that she very much needs.”
Well, lucky for Hannah/Lena, she’s not the push-up bra kind-of-gal, so her lack of push-up bras would seem to denote just that: an indifference to push-up bras. Also, since when did we start equating push-up bras with integrity? Big boobs aren’t even #trending anymore.
If you think that Hannah’s styles doesn’t flatter her body type then I’d suggest not looking. For it really indicates nothing else but someone who is comfortable in her own, natural skin.
Lastly, how can one take issue with the wardrobes on this show and not mention Marnie or Shoshanna? Those girls are the ones dressing poorly; unlike Hannah, they’re trying too hard. And it shows.
6. Shali asserts that awkwardness = immaturity.
Shali continues to argue, in much the same way she argued in points 1 and 2, that awkwardness is a marked sign of immaturity. That part of growing up is shedding this awkward skin. I do agree that being awkward can work against many people, but for those who have learned to take this “flaw” and channel it into comedy — like Kristen Wiig, Lena Dunham, and Carrie Brownstein — well, they’re kind of killing it.