In general, Girls straddles the line between comedy and drama. It’s a space that’s been occupied by half-hour premium cable programs for a while now, and when it’s done right, as on the most successfulGirls, it can be very powerful, making the comedy funnier and the drama more compelling. It is, however, also a tricky balance beam to walk, and sometimes, like in “Bad Friend,” the tones get all jumbled up, and things come out uneven and lumpy in places.
Let’s start with the not-so-lumpy, which is Hannah’s side of things. The episode starts with a pitch-perfect parody of internet magazine sites; jazzhate, all-lowercase, seems like a mash-up of Vice and Thought Catalog, what with the drug-use essays and the arrogant youthful voice they seem to be looking for. The editor’s insistence on the meaningfulness of her inane wall hanging was great, too, and the whole thing led to an incredibly fun club sequence. It was all very silly, of course, but Andrew Rannells and Lena Dunham gave it a really fun energy, and the sight gag of Hannah, bra-less, in amesh shirt only got better as the episode went on and moved into weirder territory. The introduction of Laird, too, was done fairly well, although they breezed past some of the darker shades of his story, like the fact that he had bought heroin again. That’s all possibly excusable by the fact that we are, as viewers, following Hannah and Elijah in their coke-addled experience, and so sadness isn’t really permissible from that point of view.