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Put some respect on Girls star Allison Williams’ name for her iconic turn as Marnie Michaels

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I regrets a lot about the premiere of HBO’s flagship comedy series Girls, who, as of this week, is 10 years old. I regret the short-sighted conversations around the show’s lack of diversity. I regret that some critics have misinterpreted the narcissism of the characters. I regret that fatphobic viewers criticize Lena Dunham’s choice to be often naked in the series. I regret that Dunham volunteered to be a poster boy for white feminism. I regret that a fairly innocuous, ultimately beautiful show about female relationships will forever go down in history as “polarizing” and “controversial.” I regret not knowing all the details of Dunham and Christopher Abbott’s alleged beef that led to him leaving the show after season 2.

Surprisingly, the thing I regret the most throughout Girls The hullabaloo – one thing that really keeps me awake at night – is the fact that Allison Williams has never received an Emmy Award or even an Emmy Award nomination for her singular work as Marnie Michaels, the best elusive, neurotic friend of Dunham’s neurotic Hannah Horvath.

Lately the internet seems to agree with my assessment of Williams as a comedic genius regarding his contributions on Girls. A clip of the actress performing a goofy acoustic cover of Kanye West’s “Stronger” in the penultimate episode of Season 2 has gone viral on Twitter over the past year. And a screenshot of Williams smiling aggressively with a microphone in hand has become its own meme. I also think there’s a creative line to draw between the brilliance of this scene and Amanda Seyfried’s grumpy rendition of Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” on Hulu. The stall it’s also gone viral lately.

In the episode titled “On All Fours”, Marnie decides to soft-launch her music career at her ex-boyfriend Charlie’s (Abbott) work event, which she sincerely frames as a gift for him. It’s an experience that’s just as fun and sickening as listening to her sing West’s bars with her high-pitched Disney princess voice and watching her sway up and down to an eerie drum beat. She even changes one of the lyrics to “you can be my white Kate Moss tonight,” as if she’s decided the word “Black” would be inappropriate on the way and doesn’t care about the obvious redundancy. All in all, it’s an effective snapshot of all the chaos bubbling beneath the surface of this seemingly put-together, professional-looking woman.

Describing the essence of Marnie with a few adjectives is difficult. She’s the kind of woman you’ve met a million times or luckily never met. And if so, you know her simply as That Girl. She’s that girl who lets a man destroy her life every few months, but wants you to be on your own in your relationship. It’s that girl who needs a boyfriend or a man who yearns for her at all times. She’s that girl who uses every social gathering as an opportunity to flaunt her singing skills. It’s that girl who assumes she’s a socialite because she has a liberal arts education. She’s that girl who considers herself a good friend to throw you nice birthday parties but is going to fuck your ex-boyfriend. It’s that girl wearing an Ann Taylor dress to a warehouse party.

Maybe it’s not as much of an instantly recognizable archetype as I make it out to be. But it speaks to Williams’ portrayal of Marnie that her polished presentation, self-sabotaging demeanors, and occasional maturity felt cohesive, readable, and easily categorized without being broad. You never got to experience a narrative boost watching her week in and week out, like when you watch literally any character arc on Euphoria. She was a mixture of contradictions that made perfect sense, as are most human beings (at least the most interesting ones).

She was a mixture of contradictions that made perfect sense, as are most human beings (at least the most interesting ones).

One of the most feminist aspects of Girls is that the writers never spent too much time explaining why women were as frustrating as they were in their approaches to relationships, work, and day-to-day decision-making. With Hannah, for example, we had some brief dark and funny revelations about her childhood and her experiences with OCD. But Dunham and the show’s writers were never interested in painting these elaborately traumatic backgrounds to make sense of her mess or demand immediate empathy when she got too unlovable. In Marnie’s case, there are a few nods to her abandonment issues from her father. And her mother, played superbly by Rita Wilson, is a certified madwoman who we can only assume passed on some of her traits. But for the majority of her arc, viewers are just forced to buckle in and hope that Marnie will eventually get to a sane place.

Marnie’s six-season journey through dysfunction is difficult, at times infuriating, and deeply entertaining. Throughout the series, we see Marnie run into the exes of several friends, enter into a destructive marriage with her musical partner Desi, drift away from her core group of friends until she desperately needs her again. of their company and display occasional and frequent acts of narcissism – ultimately coercing Hannah into co-parenting her child. And Williams brings a specificity to each of these storylines that keeps her from being a one-dimensional little bad girl.

In addition to the hilarious “Stronger” cover, I think a highlight of Williams’ performance on the show is an iconic Season 3 episode titled “Beach House” where she hosts a weekend getaway. for herself, Hannah, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) who gets hijacked by Hannah’s gay ex-boyfriend Elijah (Andrew Rannells) and his group of friends, culminating in a fight epic between women. Much of his performance in this episode is indebted to the writing and vice versa. Marnie’s tone and her quick, exasperated looks at the women as she instructs them through the activities and forces them to have fun immediately make you realize the superficiality of this “bonding” trip. Despite the generally affable way Marnie presented herself, Williams always found an amusing distinction between when her character performed the friendship and actually being a good friend. Comparatively, she was good at expressing how fragile and insecure Marnie was, whether she was going through huge heartache or a few small annoyances, like in an episode where she and Desi perform at brunch. in a restaurant and a whining child in the corner shakes her completely. .

Suffice it to say, the lack of awards loves Williams and the other supporting actresses of Girls received has intrigued me since the show’s 2017 finale. While I think Adam Driver deserved the three Emmys he was nominated for in the Supporting Actor category, the highlight of his performance, while Williams, Mamet and Kirke were also doing a great job and being ignored, put a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed voters were giving her some credit for being part of a women-centric project. Likewise, the titular girls’ careers haven’t quite gone quite the same way as Driver’s, who has been nominated for two Oscars since the series ended and is officially one of Hollywood’s leading men. Williams got to experience Oscar buzz (not particularly for her performance) when she co-starred in get out in 2017, but the film’s success did not turn her into a movie star.

Ultimately, my hammer and sickle side knows that these industry awards don’t matter and should be abolished in their current form. It’s more about recognition and appreciation at the heart of it. Likewise, in this economy, it’s probably better to have a performance commemorated on Twitter than a televised ceremony that no one apparently watches anymore. Williams may not have quit Girls with all the trophies, but at least she’ll still have proof of her comedic genius (and singing chops) floating around the internet.