Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Being Big in Japan - Girls Season 5, Episode 3

 "I don't even really care about people in America anymore." - Shoshanna, Girls Season 5, Episode 3: 'Japan'.

There's a quote floating about Tumblr or the world or something about how you can be your truest self once you don a mask. The moment you adopt some sort of anonymity or disguise is when you are not hindered by the presence of the outside world's gaze (and judgments) nor your own inner monologue that has dictated who you are, who you should be and how that affects what can and can't go on in your life. You wear a mask and you flirt with the wrong kind of boys because you are no longer you. You keep your Twitter avatar as an egg and troll people on the Internet because you're no longer constricted by the fact that your boss could see it. You move to a different country and engage in sadistic sexual acts because no one (you know) is watching.

That's what I loved about the latest episode of Girls, as well as what made me realise that despite my desire to be a Jessa (minus the being a shit friend thing) (she's just so cool, you know), I'm very much a Shoshanna. From her incredibly fast speech (which she's, like, never been told about before) to her apparent commitment-phobia (God, watching Scott trash his 'Shosh is the Most-sh' sign and flowers broke me), all her outfits (that halter top over a blouse thing was inspiring) and, finally, running away from her problems in America to become her best self in Japan; where no one knows her, no one ties her down, no one has checked boxes of who Shosh has to be.

Which isn't to say that Shoshanna moves to Tokyo (and that rad apartment) and completely transforms in a "New Year, New Me" style -- she is still very much Shosh: spoiled, self-involved and redeemably inconsiderate. But she also appears to be gaining the growth and experience that everyone constantly tells you your 20s is all about, she's making beautiful memories and exploring the world. And at the same time, she's somewhat abandoned her (not so great, IMO) friends in America and her very lovely boyfriend, which while the romantic in me wants to strangle her (SHOSH IS THE MOST-SH, you guys), I completely adore and admire.

Now that I'm, like, totes growing up and adopting my own Tokyo Shoshanna in college, where I'm given the freedom that means I don't really have anyone watching or anyone to answer to, I admire the idea of dedicating your youth/20s to self-service and self-interest. Not so much in the way that would leave me a vacuum of callous narcissism and apathy, but one that would mean that I am the first person I take care of.

At the end of the day, my own well-being and growth and development should be my number one priority. I am the only person I really have in this world, and while some days are very hard, I'm actually beginning to like my Tokyo Shoshanna and I want to make sure she's OK.

I hope Lena Dunham gives us more Japan adventures for Shosh, as well as a lot more screen time for Yoshi (like, omg, so many heart-eye emojis) and less of Marnie's "marriage" or her ridiculously white tourist pronounciation of Ecuador.


Also, while I didn't really care much for the non-Shosh aspects of the episodes, I would like to add that I loved the pseudo-Elementary tie in (more Lucy Liu all the time please), Elijah's general Elijah-ness ("Try ones with a coy smile... like you know a cake is coming later,") and while extremely childish, Hannah's comments when she was deleting Fran's ex's nudes were absolutely hilarious ("Oh, hey, indie nipples,").
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