We’ve been doing a lot of Lena Dunham’ing around these parts lately, from celebrating the many think pieces she’s inspired to praising her as a badass (do yourself a favor and don’t read the comments). But as much as we love Girls—you can read last week’s review by Tyler Kane here feel that there’s not enough attention being paid to Shoshanna, the high-pitched, well-coifed character played by Zosia Mamet.
Now, granted, Shoshanna is a paper-thin lead on a show that treats everybody else—even the minor characters—with great depth. She seems to lack any kind of soul, and her motivations are, at best, vague, which makes it hard to care about her. There are times when she seems to covet money or love, but mostly, she’s just annoying. In season four, the writers appear to be slowly shutting her out, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she has a fatal offscreen accident later this season. Because while Jessa, Hannah, and Marnie grow more fascinating by the episode, Shoshanna flattens into a grating caricature, and it must be annoying to everyone involved that they have to waste even two minutes on her.
So there’s that. HOWEVER, if there’s one thing Zosia Mamet can pull off, it’s an expressive look. It may be the only thing we have left with Shoshanna. For that reason, we’ll celebrate those expressions each week, starting now. In the third episode of the fourth season, she actually got less than two minutes of screen time, the entirety of which was taken up by an interview for a job she got, but didn’t really want. The premise was funny, and the execution wasn’t terrible, especially since it gave us more than a few close-ups. Here now, for your viewing pleasure, are the ten best Shoshanna facial expressions of the week:
1. Poised Contentment
This is Shoshanna at her professional best, displaying confidence in a way that makes you think she read first read about the emotion in a manual.
2. “This Interview Was Super Informative”
So happy, so surprised! The seduction of the interviewer is in full swing.
3. “No, It was Totally Fun!”
There’s almost a sense of desperation here, as she assures her counterpart that yes, they’re in this thing together. They are like minds!
4. “Like we were Best Friends, and we were Talking About Boys”
The height of enthusiasm, from which there’s only one way to go.
5. “Um, Actually…I Don’t Think You Will”
Oh boy. The let-down. The revelation that actually, Shoshanna is kind of a sociopath who is about to make you feel bad about yourself.
6. “If I Can be Totally Honest With You…”
“You’re totally not going to think I’m a bad person,” she seems to say, “because that would violate the crisp image I’m projecting, and there can be no deviation! NONE!”
7. “In My Heart of Hearts, I Knew this was Just a Trial Interview”
She’s really sticking the knife in here.
8. “The Workability of these Heels…”
These lines are all at least kinda funny, so why do they make me feel like I’ve just stared into the face of the devil?
9. “For a Job I was Deeply Passionate About, You Know?”
Man, poor Ann Taylor Loft lady. She’s being diminished right before Shoshanna’s cold, dark eyes.
10. “I Think it’s Really Important to be Honest, Even When it’s Difficult.”
Shoshanna ends by praising herself, completely numb to how the interviewer feels. This is why she seems highly unlikely to “grow up” compared to Jessa, Hannah, and Marnie. But man, those expressions! Until the writers disappear her for good, we will remain enthralled.