jenna lyons girls

This week’s Girls seemed to be the most action-packed of season three so far, meaning that events besides extended navel gazing actually occurred and the plot moved forward, albeit haltingly. While I was practically fist pumping to see the crew leave their apartments to do things, the real highlight of the episode had to be the cameo by J. Crew executive creative director Jenna Lyons. Girls is being handily saved by its guest stars (the amazing Gaby Hoffmann carried the first three episodes), and Lyons easily picks up where Hoffmann left off.

Here’s how the Girls’ lives played out this week, in order of least featured to most prominent:

Jessa (why is she even still on the show any more?) was on screen for about a minute total, working in a baby store and listening to Shoshannah ranting on about Ray. Shosh seems to have developed an obsession with Ray and his success, and decides that it’s time for her to stop her sexual walkabout and instead settle down into a grown up relationship. She decides on one of her flings, but after some very communicative sex, realizes they won’t work out on a relationship level. Ray, for his part, is being a really great friend to Marnie, and in admitting that they’re both lonely, might be the start of an excellent buddy comedy. And finally, Hannah started a new job writing sponsored posts for GQ, and ends up having a crisis when she realizes that everyone else she works with inevitably had to sell out on their writing dreams in order to pay rent.

Enter Jenna Lyons, playing Janice, Hannah’s boss and all around kickass career woman. She was all the strong, decisive, supportive boss that Lyons actually is in real lifeand she wore her typical oversized glasses. While she liked Hannah’s ideas and encouraged her in their first meeting, she also had no problem responding to Hannah’s selling out crisis with a swift “There’s a lot of other people who would love to have your job.” After two and a half seasons of watching Hannah drift around bemoaning her inability to have her dream job right out of college, watching Girls grow up a bit was gratifying.

This might be one of my favorite choices that the writing staff on Girls has made–it seems like showing a powerful, successful woman like Lyons using Girls‘ platform is an excellent choice. Lyons will apparently appear in two more episodes, and I really can’t wait to see how that will play out.

We talk a lot about representation on Girls–that it’s supposed to represent this generation, and should be relatable to urban, educated, white 20-somethings. While I don’t find the show particularly relatable, I’m still not sure how compelling I would find it to watch myself on TV on Sunday nights. I’m a living, breathing, urban educated white 20-something, and it’s not particularly interesting. But a powerful woman who’s in charge and respected in her field, who proves that such a thing exists by the very nature of that fact that she’s played by her real life inspiration? That’s worth watching.

Photo: Girls, HBO