Wow. Who else was stunned by Chris O’Dowd‘s utter reversal on last night’s Girls? When I saw that he would be guest-starring on the show, I figured he’d be playing a similarly doofy and sweet older guy, like his Bridesmaids character Officer Rhodes. But in the space of one scene that went from awkward to sexy to disturbing, he reamed Jessa and Marnie for being entitled teases and showed that he has no trouble playing a creep.
Even though the episode title “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too” most likely describes Adam and Hannah‘s weird little honeymoon period, it could also be applied to Chris, who plays yet another dorky older guy besotted with these young beauties. Jessa takes Marnie out to a bar so she can vent about Charlie, and the two end up actually bonding over what age they lost their virginities and complimenting certain qualities in each other. Enter Chris’ character John, a venture capitalist who fails to impress Jessa but has Marnie hooked.
But once he takes them back to his apartment — one of those painfully shiny new high-rises in Williamsburg — and tries to impress them with his mash-ups of “Steal My Sunshine” and kids giggling, it’s clear that this night is not gonna go how he wants. He tries to butter up the girls by comparing them to Brooke Shields and Julie Christie, but Jessa isn’t having any of it. However, when she tries to leave, Marnie grabs her and kisses her.
That deserves its own “wow”—it’s not like we’re going to see a lesbian love affair develop on the show now, but more that we recognize that for how different they are, Jessa and Marnie are both game for new experiences. Poor John tries to get in on the action, but as other recappers have pointed out, he’s got no game. Still, even the possibility of him watching the girls make out is broken when Marnie accidentally kicks the wine glass, spilling it on the rug, and John freaks the fuck out (somewhat paraphrased):
Marnie: “I’m sorry!”
John: “If you’re really sorry, you better be willing to make this an extra special night.”
I actually shuddered at that line; it was just a shade threatening. But in the next breath, he revealed himself to be just a sad old guy trying to be cool:
John: “No more excluding me, Mary Poppins! It’s not fair! I want to be part of the group.”
Jessa: “That will never happen.”
His dig on Jessa was pretty funny, too:
“All these Daddy’s girls in their fucking bowler hats. What are you doing in a bowler hat? It’s so fucking stupid.”
We’ve witnessed adults comment on the girls before, from Hannah’s mom (“I want my lake house!”) to her boss she tried to seduce and then sue (“There’s no suing app on your iPhone”). But John’s rant was downright ugly, deriding Marnie and Jessa for the “type” of girls they are. He screeches about how beautiful and entitled these girls are, and yet here he is scolding them for spilling wine on his $10,000 rug. It wasn’t until Jessa and Marnie scampered out of his apartment that I could finally breathe a sigh of relief; I really thought he might try and force them into something sexual against their will.
I think this John character might be the tipping point for the show’s depiction of older male characters: Jessa realized last week that she can’t keep leading on her boss (James LeGros), and now Marnie has learned that even though a cute guy in a gray suit “looks like a boss,” it doesn’t mean he’s not a creep. This mutual attraction is fueled by fantasies—the men worshipping these fit, beautiful young women, and the women thinking they need a partner as emotionally mature as they see themselves. But then no one gets what they want.
Can Jorma Taccone come back as the wunderkind artist who told Marnie, “The first time I fuck you, I’m gonna scare you a little, because I’m a real man and I know what I’m doing”? Because that was hot, and he wouldn’t freak out over a rug.