Emmy Episode Analysis: Will a ‘Girls’ beach vacation be a winner for Lena Dunham?

For the third straight year, Lena Dunham competes at the Emmys as Best Comedy Actress for “Girls.” In this HBO hit that she also produces, writes, and directs, Dunham plays aspiring writer Hannah Horvath. Let’s take a closer look at her Emmy chances in this category that she has yet to win by delving into her episode submission to the judges, “Beach House.” 

SYNOPSIS: We first see Hannah get off a bus for a weekend at the beach with her friends. She seems a little upset about the sleeping arrangement. We then see the girls playing in the pool and on the beach, where Hannah complains about the sand being too hot on her feet. She then decides to go into town in her swim suit without shoes because it’s a beach town, but she is not allowed to shop in the store.

While waiting outside, she bumps into her former friend Elijah (Andrew Rannells). After he apologizes for his past bad behavior, Hannah says she misses him and invites him and his friends to their beach house. With Marnie (Allison Williams) upset about this, Hannah argues that having them there will lighten the mood. She then has another drink before joining in a dance lesson with the girls and Elijah’s friends.

Hannah and Marnie then talk about relationship issues. She confesses she was dreading the weekend but that she loves Marnie. In the pool, Hannah tells Elijah he should talk with his boyfriend before arguing with Marnie about whether the boys can stay for dinner. We then see all the girls perform the dance they were rehearsing earlier.

Marnie says there was a problem with Hannah’s dancing and the dinner. Hannah says she doesn’t feel like being honest. After being criticized the girls, Hannah gets angry and defensive, which descends into an argument amongst all the four girls.

Hannah wakes up and cleans the kitchen in silence with the girls. The episode ends with them all sitting waiting for the bus.

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PROS:

Dunham has racked up eight nominations across several categories, showing clear support for her among voters.

She wrote this episode, which voters will cleary see in the credits role. Being the series creator and a regualar director could boost her appeal.

The fight at the end of the episode shows off her acting chops. 

CONS:

“Girls” was snubbed for Best Comedy Series this year. And, for the first time, it did not score a writing or directing nomination. 

This episode is full of selfishness and anger, which may hurt with voters looking for laughs. 

Dunham plays less of a leading role than in other episodes.

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According to our Gold Derby predictions center, Dunham sits in sixth place with odds of 100/1.

Do you think she has a shot at winning? Make your predictions below.

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