Having already been allowed access to the first four episodes of Netflix’s newest comedy show Girlboss, the days were being counted down until this particular writer could gain access to continue the journey of young Sophia Amoruso (Britt Robertson) as she looks to build her empire of turning vintage clothes into a mammoth selling opportunity in company Nasty Gal.
Very much a show about the trials and tribulations of building up a company from scratch and the challenges life throws at you from every direction, Girlboss is very much a mixed bag of sharp-witted comedy, real-life drama and poignancy, and how technology has slowly edged its way into the very fabric of everyday life.
As one would expect, a show created by Kay Cannon – of Pitch Perfect writing fame – features its fair share of hilariously witty characters and dialogue. From Britt Robertson’s superb turn as Sophia, as she waltz through an unforgiving young life cursing to people left, right and centre and driving her ultimate ambition, to the likes of best friend Annie (Ellie Reed) whose sexual drive matches her ditziness, and band manager boyfriend Shane (Johnny Simmons), the show has all the typical individuals we would come to expect. Throw in the gay neighbour and additional flamboyant artsy homosexual friend and you’ve somewhat got a familiar formula of characters to follow on this journey.
For the most part, this gang of young, funny and loud straight-shooters are the key component that essentially drive this ‘loose’ real-life story but often there are times where we experience personality overdrive. Robertson is on top form, no doubt, but her blitz of rebellious cursing followed by emotional drama can feel a tad jarring and Reed’s Annie soon becomes one-note as the series draws on to its conclusion. As for other cast members, Dean Norris and Jim Rash are criminally underused and Simmons feels all too boring for us to even care about his relationship unfolding with Sophia.
That being said, the journey itself for Sophia is one that remains engaging and satisfying from beginning to the final episode. It’s a rocky road for sure, with other warring online sellers budging in – including a great turn from Melanie Lynskey as prim-and-proper seller Gail – and eBay laws coming into force. It’s a fascinating insight into the online world of fashion and just how the world of retail is changing, and the way in which Robertson carries the events is admirable.
Where the show tends to lack definition and poise is its various side stories surrounding Sophia and her friendships/relationships. Her relationship with her parents is explored at arms length, meaning we can never quite garner that strong emotional connection to really feel sorry for her situation involving them, while her love for Shane never reaches a point to which we care. Instead, we’re more concerned with Sophia maintaining her best friend status with Annie more than anything, with their chemistry a high point of the show.
Girlboss starts off rather promising with its care-free attitude, much like its focus character, but as the show finds its feet it does slowly begin to turn into an often frustrating experience. Britt Robertson is certainly at her A-game, bringing a certain feistiness and never-say-die attitude to her character that we’ve never quite seen before, but all those around her feel rather cookie-cutter in comparison. Certainly carrying more promise going forward, Girlboss is undoubtedly entertaining, funny and often obnoxiously engaging, but it could be so much more with that extra hint of zest. An easy binge watch but one that unfortunately falls short of being regarded as an ‘essential’ one on your Netflix list.
Girlboss is available to stream on Netflix now.