At first glance, Girlboss appears to be another quirky comedy about a girl taking on the real world, but the show is far deeper and more interesting than that. With talented acting, clever writing, and a great plot, there’s really no good reason not to binge-watch the only season of Girlboss on Netflix, even though the critics hate the main character’s hustle.
Girlboss is loosely based on the Nasty Gal founder, Sophia Amoruso’s life. Nasty Gal is a clothing retail website that was named the “fastest growing retailer” in 2012 by Inc. Magazine, before filing for bankruptcy in 2016.
What follows is loose retelling of true events…
In the series, Sophia (Britt Robertson) is a 23 year old working as the campus safety host at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, while trying to figure out exactly what her dreams are and how she can achieve them in a world where conformity is king – a relatable plight for many millennials.
After purchasing a $600 vintage jacket for $10 and reselling it on eBay, she realizes she has stumbled into her passion and immediately sets about establishing her brand on the website. Despite dropping out of college after she realized everything they teach you is available for free on the internet, Sophia has a preternatural instinct for running an online fashion business.
Why It Doesn’t Suck
The show was adapted from Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography #Girlboss, by Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect), and she did an amazing job. Sophia’s sharp wit and Britt Robertson’s expert delivery make for a lethally funny combo. The situational comedy is very well done, and the supporting cast delivers on all fronts. I especially love Sophia’s vulgarity and take-no-prisoners attitude, it’s highly refreshing.
While often funny, Girlboss is far deeper than your average comedy, delving into issues faced by all young people when facing the real world for the first time. From navigating her first trip to the free clinic, to getting fired from her first job, the show is infinitely relatable. The series was canned by Netflix after one season because it did not garner enough views and was lambasted by most critics.
Why The Critics Got This One Wrong
Basically, the main complaint by most critics is that this series tries to force the inherently unlikable down viewers’ throats.
Vanity Fair had this to say:
“Nasty as the fictional Sophia is, the show wants us to shrug off her trespasses because she’s cute, and because she’s good at what she does. The problem, though, is that you can’t exactly be an asshole genius if you’re not a genius to begin with.”
Pretty fucking harsh words for someone who built an independent clothing brand with an eBay account and a MySpace profile, but hey critics are known to be critical of flaws. I fundamentally disagree that she is unlikeable because she is a jerk. I think she’s a fucking badass, who sees the world for what it is, and isn’t afraid to let the sheep around her know.
Yes, she has flaws, but so does everyone else, including all the douchebag CEO’s the critics typically fawn over, like Steve Jobs. Her grind is unstoppable, and anyone who operates like that will crush some people along the way. Should she have to apologize for that? Donald Trump sure wouldn’t.
Perhaps my favorite review was by the Guardian, who labelled the show a “a tone-deaf rallying cry to millennial narcissists.” Apparently, not wanting to conform with societal expectations is considered self-indulgent. Apparently, not wanting to work every day at a terrible job that kills your soul is considered egocentric. Fuck off, Guardian.
I will say it’s annoying that she won’t take advice from anyone else, but that’s hardly the show’s fault. Additionally, the music is great, enough to bump this comedy up a few points.