January 12th, 2013  (1)
A Woman’s Take on HBO Girls: Episode 10 Revisited
Posted by Khiem in: Articles, Product Reviews

Who’s excited for HBO Girls Season 2 starting this Sunday?

I am!

And in preparation of watching the new season, it’s time to publish Thuy’s take on last season’s finale.


I know that Khiem hated this episode the most.  As a writer though, I totally relished in that jaw-dropping, shocker twist.  I know it seems totally implausible that they’d wind up together, especially after I watched the attempted “threesome” scene again.

As an audience, I did feel cheated in that I didn’t see the emotional turn in Jessa.  But I guess that IS the magic of Hollywood to create that dramatic opener.

Drama is the theme of Jessa’s life.  I don’t agree with Evan’s mom in that Jessa chose the successful guy to maintain her bohemian lifestyle.  What I do agree with is that it all started with her talk with the “mom”.

Jessa creates the drama in her life as a way of compensating for the void in her life.  The excitement is replacing the lack of happiness she feels.  She had always jumped from guy to guy – being unpredictable, feeling the thrill of the conquest, and experiencing the extreme highs and lows.

However, she never really slowed down to create a true emotional connection with another human being.  What she felt in the past was akin to being under the influence of drugs.  She never felt a real, natural high.  She never felt real love because she was manipulating everything.

The talk with the “mom” gave her insight into herself and she finally saw the light.  For her to finally experience happiness, she let go of having power over someone for the first time.  She let go of her judgments.  She let go of allowing drama in her life.  She probably thought it was a grown up thing to finally commit to something and a safe bet to be with the successful guy.

But with her motivations half-misguided, we can only foreshadow that she may have just created more drama for herself.

Look into your life.  See where your actions are motivated from.  Are you just creating excitement to fill emptiness in your life?

Everything does seem flipped in this episode – from Shoshanna and Ray’s quirky exchange to Marnie’s hot kiss with the little fat boy.


I do get why Shoshanna asked:

Are you punking me?

Ray wasn’t just forward.  What he gave her was a backhanded compliment when he told her she was the strangest girl he ever met.

Should she have felt flattered?

I have never had a guy say that to me before… but I do wonder how it works on a girl.  It does put a girl on her toes.  It’s not a typical compliment like “You have beautiful eyes” or “You’re so sexy” (which at times are actually pretty generic and boring, when said too often or ingenuinely).

Please don’t misunderstand me though.  I would never tell guys to stop giving those compliments altogether.  When you are in a relationship, girls love to hear that you still feel they are attractive.  However, when you just meet them for the first time, compliments given too fast or too early just sound like cheap pick-up lines.

What is great about Ray is that he is not putting Shoshanna on a pedestal.  He’s pointing out what could be seen as a flaw but he’s actually completely mesmerized by it!  With that intention, his backhanded compliment takes a different meaning… which is what women love:  to know that someone recognizes what is truly unique and real about her.

I had a guy once give me a compliment about my freckles.  Had I been red- headed, that would have been a typical compliment… but I’m Asian!  Asians usually get:  “You have such nice, smooth, porcelain skin.”

That was the first time anyone had ever mentioned my freckles.  I was so flattered.  It showed me he really paid attention to the little details, to who I was… and that he noticed in me something that others hadn’t.

Marnie taking a soft spot for the little fat boy seemed like a man’s fantasy that Hollywood has portrayed far too often.  When is it going to be time for the hot dude to fall for the little fat girl?!!!

Protest aside, unlike Khiem and Evan, I can see it happening just for the same reason we sometimes see a hot chick walking down the street arm in arm with a geeky guy while wondering what does she see in him.  As unbelievable as it may sound, some attractive women like Marnie go for less attractive guys because:

  1. They are afraid hot guys will cheat on them.  Hot guys get constant attention and distraction from other hot girls. It gives the girlfriend a lot of reasons to be leery, jealous, and insecure.
  2. To a certain degree (I say this because even I have a limit to how much of a blind eye I’ll give to a man’s looks), women put less weight on sheer physical beauty than men do and more weight on the emotional connection.
  3. If she dates a guy who is not as attractive as she is, he will treat her better.  He is more likely to be faithful and more willing to keep her happy.  Research has very much shown that. Read this article:  Dating Down: Why Less Attractive Men Make Better Mates.

The only caveat to this idyllic fantasy is that Marnie once again has found a boy who might put her on a pedestal… just like Charlie!

Now, the biggest flip in this episode is Hannah and Adam.  Typically, it’s the girl who pressures the guy to move in and the guy gets cold feet about it.  Here, the roles are reversed.

I’ve had similar experiences on both spectrums, strangely with the same guy.  After about five months of dating, my then boyfriend said that we should start thinking about moving in the direction of marriage.  I was surprised!  We hadn’t even said our “I love you’s” yet!

I gave him some of the same excuses that Hannah did, like I had so many bills to pay off and I had to focus on my career.  Although I thought his talk of marriage was premature, I did admire how much faith he had in our relationship at that moment.

Adam had that pure faith but Hannah did not believe in herself.  She was afraid that she was going to screw things up.  When I gave my boyfriend the career excuse, he gave me the same response as Adam did:

That’s why we have each other to support.

I didn’t buy it.  I grew up underprivileged.  I didn’t want to start a marriage in financial strife and to have my children lacking what they need.  In retrospect though, he did have a point.  Wouldn’t you want someone to be there for you as your cheerleader through your struggles?  If they have stuck with you through the challenging times in your life, then wasn’t the relationship more likely to last in the long run?

If you wait for things to line up perfectly before you take that plunge, it may never happen.

I realize now that it is sometimes prudent to take things slow and not move a relationship too fast.  Yet you have to ask yourself what is holding you back?


Procrastination is rooted in fear and Hannah was paralyzed with fear.  She didn’t say it out loud but I’m sure she was jumping ahead into the thought of what living together could lead to – responsibility, marriage, and family – all the things that she wasn’t ready to have, all the things that meant she was going to be accountable to someone.

You don’t necessarily have to think that far ahead when you make the decision to move in with someone. (I know I’m going to get girls hating on me for saying that.)  Years ago, I went to Belgium to visit my great uncle.  His son just started dating a girl.  She moved in to live with him and his family just a couple weeks after they had started dating!  It sounds totally radical to us Americans but it turns out it is commonplace to do in Europe.  It’s their way of figuring out if they are compatible with each other.

What a novel idea?!  Why spend such an expanse of time meeting just a couple times a week over a period of a couple years when you can just cut through the chase and figure it out in a couple months?  Making that next step in a relationship may be a scary thing but you will waste less time in figuring out if he or she is the right one for you.

Speaking of the right guy, in every podcast Khiem and Evan complain about how there are no strong men in this show.

Admittedly, I would like to see a male version of Jessa.  Ray is probably the closest character to Jessa but he doesn’t draw in the women like how Jessa does men.  The only time that I can foresee a strong man appearing in the show is if he is a guest character who plays the “straight shooting man” that calls out on these girls or that briefly acts as a romantic mentor to one of them.

Otherwise, how can there be a strong man in the show when there are no strong women?  Each one of the women on the show is so flawed. They’re still figuring themselves out.  None of them have a clear direction of where they are going or who they are.  The fact of the matter is you attract people who are in the same place as you are in your life.

… I can’t wait for next season to see what other guys the Girls will attract!

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    July 10th, 2012  (0)
HBO Girls Season 1 Finale (Episode 10) Review
Posted by Khiem in: Advice, Podcast

I have a treat for you today!  Here’s the long overdue guy commentary to the incredible HBO Girls’ season finale!!!

Every week, I keep telling myself that I need to keep the podcast short, but with so much content in each episode, I just can’t seem to do so, especially with this one!  As expected, we were treated to some real surprises in episode 10, aptly entitled “She Did.”  Today, I spend close to an hour going over everything that drove me crazy in the episode and also everything that you can learn about embodying better, more confident behaviors.

Here are some of the topics I cover:

  • How it’s healthier to focus on productive thoughts rather than negative ones like guilt, self doubt, fear, judgment… for you to keep growing personally
  • How having a life philosophy or strong values you stand for can help you create a strong impressions on people.  Are you branding yourself?  Are you creating themes in your life?  What are you saying about yourself to the world?
  • How you can practice spontaneous storytelling by using a word generator
  • Why being overtly sexual only works when you are bold and can follow through with decisively strong intent
  • How to harness your own personal power by meaning the words that you say and by harnessing your edge
  • How keeping your cool ease people into trusting you more, opening up to you and allowing themselves to be led by you
  • How fear is a natural driving force in life and how the way you deal with it defines you
  • How what you say to people reflect how you feel about yourself… and that’s how people will perceive you
  • How to get over fear by taking small steps until you get past the uncomfortable feeling
  • Why you need to be mindful and aware of not only seeing but seizing opportunities when they present themselves

There’s a lot of golden nuggets in here.  Take notes and tell me what else you want to hear.  If you send me an email with questions, I may answer it live on the next podcast!

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    July 12th, 2011  (1)
You Know You’ve Met The Right Woman When…
Posted by Khiem in: Articles

I love my guy friends.  There are things that I can talk to them that I can’t talk with other guys.  They are the types of guys that not only know when to give me a gentle pat on the back when I feel down but who also know when to challenge me when they think I’m not being the best me.

Anyone dating them should feel lucky to be with them.  What I love most about them is that they are extremely self-aware, which makes them great socially and in relationships… but they are go-getters too.  They aren’t afraid of going after what they want… and it reflects in their dating lives too.

All my close guy friends date actively.  When they do date, they don’t have much problem attracting women but what is fascinating to me is what we divulge to each other when we discuss how we know a woman is just for fun… or when she actually means more to us than “just having fun.”

One of my friends and clients got married this past weekend too!  It was a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l wedding.  If there is one thing I learned from that wedding, it’d be this:  Indian people know how to celebrate… and… I now know why they are so good at bargaining lol.

So without much fanfare, here’s my list of how you know when you’ve met the right woman:

  1. She makes you hungry for more.  Because of her, you want to achieve so much more…  You are not only thinking about yourself anymore, you are thinking for two.
  2. You go home tired but seeing your woman relieves the temporary stress you feel.  Just a few  words of encouragement from her are enough to get you ready to fight another day.
  3. You feel unstoppable because she believes in you like no one else before… which sometimes actually scares you a little.
  4. Even though she believes in you, she’s not afraid to challenge you too.  She helps you see the world (or yourself) in ways you sometimes haven’t thought of.  She’s not just your biggest supporter and cheerleader, she’s at all times your most respected and beloved equal.
  5. You realize that ultimately (and just like you), she’s in no way flawless but she’s plenty perfect for you.  There are always other women out there but she’s the one you like and want; she’s the one you want to create something with.  The depth of intimacy and connection you already have with her is something you couldn’t recreate or have with someone else.
  6. As cliche a it sounds, she actually makes you a better man.  Things you wouldn’t tolerate with others, you can tolerate with her.  Things you wouldn’t tolerate in others, you can tolerate in her.
  7. Everything you do with her is fun.  It doesn’t mean that you or her don’t struggle or argue from time to time, but everything you do is easier and more fun because she’s with you.
  8. People actually see you happier.  When you are together, you both kind of glow and radiate together.
  9. You can actually imagine yourself growing with her, not just growing old with her, but growing as a person with her.  You not only like… but want her by your side, every step of the way.
  10. You understand that even if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, you have faith that it will.  But if it was to not work out, be it death or break-up/divorce, you wouldn’t have had it any other way.  You have and had much more to cherish with her than without her.
  11. Every time you look at her, you think to yourself:  “Wow, she’s so hot!”
  12. Aside from you fantasizing of the naughtiest things you could do to her, you’ve actually thought of the kind of Mom she could be to your kids.
  13. You actually feel like you’d want to give her the moon, oh wait… isn’t that called a diamond nowadays? 😛

As you finish reading this list, I invite you to add your own bullet points in the comments section.  How do you know when a woman is right for you?

I’m also very curious about the woman’s perspective too.  I would like to believe that women can this list as their own but I invite them to share their thoughts too.  How do you know when you’ve met the man of your dream?


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