Small-screen sound-off: “Girlboss”
There isn’t anything I love more than a show with a kickass, strong, female lead. Finding one is rare and and so, when I stumbled upon “Girlboss,” released on Netflix the weekend of April 21, I watched the entire season in two days.
The show takes place in the early 2000s, loosely retelling the story of former Nasty Gal CEO, Sophia Amoruso and her rise from a down-and-out woman in her 20s who was desperately avoiding adulthood, to a powerful business owner. Amoruso is one of the show’s producers.
The show begins depicting Sophia, played by Britt Robertson, as a headstrong, occasionally selfish and irresponsible 23-year-old struggling to pay rent. She seems to have no filter and acts as she pleases, which results in her getting fired from her job at a shoe store. She storms out of the shop in a fit of rage, racing into a vintage shop and spontaneously purchasing a colorful leather jacket. While scrolling through pages of unappealing posts on Ebay, Sophia determines she can do it better. After posting a picture of herself wearing the jacket, she realizes she can become her own boss and starts her own Ebay shop, Nasty Gal Vintage.
One review of the show describes Sophia’s character as someone only a narcissistic millennial could identify with. I would argue, however, that while Sophia is definitely stubborn and looks out for herself, she is tenacious and resourceful. The traits that Sophia possesses are not often found in a female lead and therefore, I appreciated the character that much more.
Though there is a love interest for Sophia in the show, her relationship clearly takes a backseat to her business venture. Her boyfriend, as she eventually concedes to call him, Shane, sometimes feels neglected by her focus on the business and wary of her impulsive decision-making. Sophia oftens makes snap judgments and decisions without discussing them with others. Once she has made up her mind, there seems to be no way of changing it.
The show also follows Sophia’s relationship with her father. With her mother’s absence, Sophia clearly desires her father’s approval and wants him to be proud of the fact that she started a business from nothing. Knowing her past history with unemployment and impulsivity however, her father is wary to give his stamp of approval and by the end of the show, there is no real resolution between them despite Nasty Gal’s success. Though this seems like a part of the story line left unfinished, the situation seems more realistic this way. In the end, Sophia is able to make Nasty Gal a success without her father’s help or approval, which only further confirms her sense of individuality.
Throughout the show, Sophia runs into conflicts with almost all of the other characters, including her best friend who appears in all of the episodes, Annie. Her stubborn attitude and belief that she can do everything on her own often causes her to end up eating bow tie pasta alone in her apartment. Annie consistently supports Sophia, even in the face of her occasionally intense outbursts of anger. The show focuses not only on the rise of Nasty Gal, but Sophia’s journey in learning how to admit when she needs help.
The show runs for 13 episodes and is completely worth watching in my opinion. There is absolutely nothing better than mixing a strong female lead, incredible fashion and the ability to stream it all on Netflix.