New York City’s venture capitalists may be familiar characters to the readers of Betabeat, but the rest of the world may not have any idea of what the men (and very few women) who bestow cargo-loads of cash on young businesses (and particularly tech startups) are like. After this week, however, you can bet a few of them now do, as Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s ‘Girls’ prominently featured a VC—and all of his material accouterments—trying to close on a night out on the town.
Marnie: “No, I think he’s hot. And what he does is so interesting.”
Jessa: “What is a venture capitalist? It sounds like some sort of explorer but that can’t be the case.”
A few things in the shows portrayal of the VC are of note:
For example, the fact that ‘Girls’ creator Lena Dunham has stated in interviews that many a character and story-line have been inspired by and drawn from personal experiences, either of her own or her friends’.
Another is that the show does archtypes—especially those pertaining to Brooklyn—particularly well.
For example, if you can’t say you don’t know anybody with money in the tech community who lives in Williamsburg, who buys ostensibly interesting modernist furniture (that’s really just whatever’s at the front of the closest CB2), who fancies themselves somewhat creative with creative hobbies to go with said self-designation, you may not be paying close enough attention. Also, are you surprised that the first VC character to have a significant plotline on a buzzed-over show is a man? You shouldn’t be.
Either way, the character was part of a brilliant setup for one of the funniest moments in the show’s run so far. Even better was the small attention to detail, especially where the show’s writers’ ideas about how a VC would act in this situation are concerned.
We’ve annotated and transcribed some of the scenes for your viewing and reading pleasure, up above. How right are they about this type of person? And even more:
Is it anybody in particular that they’re right about?
We’ll let you be the judge.*
[*Unless, of course, you know anybody who may reflect this character. In which case, shout.]
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The Drinks Are Sent
Sitting at a bar, Marnie (Allison Williams) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) are sent drinks by this gentleman.
[He comes over to talk to them.]
VC: "I just feel like I travel so much right now, I'm lag-proof."
VC: "Like I'm resistant to jetlag."
Marnie: "That's inspiring. I took the most amazing Middle-Eastern studies class when I was in college..."
VC: "Love the Middle East."
Marnie: "...and I almost became an International Relations major. Almost."
VC: "This has been great, hasn't it? Sharing an unexpected beverage with Jenna and Marnie."
VC: "Great names."
Jessa: "Well, thanks for handling the check."
Trying to Close
VC: "Hey, I have a suggestion. I just moved, like, a block away. I just moved to Brooklyn last week, I don't know anybody, and I have been saving the most beautiful bottle of red wine for a rainy day."
Marnie: "Or a rainy night."
VC: "Or a rainy night."
Jessa: "The weather's fine."
Marnie: "Well, first of all, we should welcome you to our borough.."
VC: "Thank you."
Marnie: "And I don't know about you, but I would love to do something [makes air-quote sign] 'uncool.'
Jessa: "I'd rather do something cool."
VC: "She's a firecracker, this one."
[The VC excuses himself to the "little boys room" and then they will "mosey."]
Marnie: "He's cute."
Jessa: "Is he, though? His face is sort of...very cereal-boxy. It's a perfect square."
Marnie: "No, I think he's hot. And what he does is so interesting."
Jessa: "What is a venture capitalist? It sounds like some sort of explorer but that can't be the case."
Marnie: "I like him. And I like this drink. And I like [pokes Jessa's nose] you, Jessa."
Note the VC's building, which is supposed to be a Williamsburg high-rise. Naturally. Know any VCs who live in luxe apartments in Williamsburg?
The VC's Apartment, Interior, Part 1
Please note the Foosball table and the fact that it's a two-story, lofted apartment.
The VC's Apartment, Part 2
The rug and the lamp look as thought they were purchased from the same store (think CB2 or The Future Perfect). A skyline view, but of course.
So He....Started Spinning...
Note the fireplace.
[Len's "Steal My Sunshine" plays in the background. Marnie emerges from the bathroom.]
VC: "I've just been doing it like three or four months. Saw it on an episode of Entourage. Isn't it cool? I call this one 'Field Nights.' Like 'Field Mice.' You know, happy?"
Jessa: "John didn't want you to get self-conscious while you were in the bathroom. So he...started spinning."
VC: "I know how self-conscious you gals get when you're taking a tinkle. Took care of it."
Jessa: "He's working on a matchups album."
VC: [Shouting over music.] "MASH-UP!"
Jessa: "He's mixed 'Steal My Sunshine' by LEN..."
[The VC furiously works the 1's and 2's.]
Jessa: "...and field recordings of children playing."
VC: "Um...it's...children playing in a field."
Jessa: "It's awesome."
VC: "I mean, I, It's a hobby. I'm not claiming I'm the best, but I'm fucking enjoying myself. You know?"
The VC Wit
Jessa: "I'm gonna have some more wine."
VC: "[In British accent.] Please sir? Can I have some more?"
Jessa: [Sarcasm.] "That's fucking hilarious."
VC: "It's Oliver Twist. You ever heard of that? It's English. Oh...this is my new one...[Monkey noises come from computer.] This is actually just two tunes playing simultaneously in two different iTunes windows, so I don't have to...Has anyone ever told you you look like a young Brooke Shields?"
Marnie: "Thank you."
VC: "And you...Julie Christie?"
Jessa: "Good reference."
A Take on VC Game.
The VC lays down next to them on the rug, and starts reaching across them.
VC: "Fuck, it's just so rare to find two...[reaches accross them]...different...But at the same time equal...beauties..."
Jessa attempts to leave. Marnie decides to make out with Jessa. This is the look on the VC's face when she does.
Trying to Get Involved
VC: "Yes...just follow your instincts, Brooke."
The VC attempts to get in the middle of their kissing. It does not work.
In For The Kill
The VC attempts to grab Marnie's breast. She backs off, and kicks over her glass of wine. It spills on the rug.
And then LAUGH ABOUT IT.
Marnie: "Oh no!"
VC: "Are you fucking serious?"
Marnie: "Do you have a paper tow—"
VC: "Are you fucking SERIOUS?"
Marnie: "Or some seltzer water?"
VC: "ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? This is...This is a $10,000 rug. This is a very fucking expensive rug. If you're gonna spill on it you GOTTA LOOK MORE SORRY THAN THAT."
Marnie and Jessa: "I'm so sorry."/"She's sorry."
VC: You know what? If you're really sorry you better plan on making this a VERY SPECIAL NIGHT. For ALL OF US. Not just you and Missy Malloo, here. ALL OF US. And not just me watching you girls go at it for a little bit, and getting a little bit turned on, I want to be BALLS DEEP IN...something. AND I DON'T EVEN CARE WHAT IT IS. And [points to Jessa, who is British] no more excluding me, Mary Poppins. [Quivering.] I want to be part of the group.
Jessa: "Oh, that...will never happen."
VC: "This isn't right. This..this can't be the way that this goes. Do you even know what it's like to work hard? I've been under a lot of pressure. My whole life. To...succeed. Daddy didn't buy me this rug! Or this apartment! OR THIS NOSE! That's not your nose. There's no way that's your fucking nose! There's no cartilage in the world that exquisite! So it kind of ticks me off when I come to Williamsburg, after working hard, all fuckin' day, in the REAL WORLD, and I see all these stupid little Daddy's Girls, with their FUCKIN' BOWLER HATS—what are you doing wearing a fucking bowler's hat?! Stupid...—and then you come over, and you FLIRT and FLIRT and FLIRT and KISS and KISS and listen to my amazing tunes, and drink my amazing wine, and then SPILL ALL OVER MY AMAZING RUG. And then laugh about it."
Jessa: "Yeah, well, we're not laughing at your rug, trust me."
Marnie: "We're not laughing. Don't hurt us." [The girls get up to leave.]
Jessa: "We're laughing at your mashings."
Jessa: "Oh, and just so you know, I'm going to go eat her cunt on the sidewalk right now."
VC: [Still at rug, cleaning it, sotto voce.] "Mash-ups."
New York City VCs finally get their own character on an HBO show. But is it the one they deserve?