Girlboss (“Thank You, San Francisco”)

Season 1, Episode 3
Date of release: April 21, 2017 (Netflix)

A day in the life of two San Franciscans with absolutely nothing to do but waste time and think about their lives. That’s pretty much what the entire episode was about, in addition to visiting a few spots in San Francisco you might want to remember the next time you’re in town and want to be the most stealth tourist ever. I will probably never visit San Francisco, because I don’t have the money to travel, but this episode certainly gave me a bit of a look at how this city looks like when you don’t do the first and second thing that comes to mind when visiting that town: go to Alcatraz and have a look at the Golden Gate Bridge. Because who cares about those two sightseeing elements? I kinda like the idea of two people on a sorta-date walking around, spending the day together and talking with and about each other. In a way, this episode could be described as the 20-minute version of BEFORE SUNRISE or its first sequel, only a little more annoying, because Sophia and Shane were speeding through San Francisco like it was a race, and they were kind of in the middle of disrespecting each other, because he thinks she is too weird to hang around and potentially date, and she never even thought of this day as a date, because she only had one thing in mind: find a name for her eBay store. There was no room for a guy inside that mind of Sophia’s.

You can use a belt for anything, when you have someone who has knowledge of fashion.

Still, it was a great episode, in which the characters developed, introduced themselves to each other, and became more likable in the process. Especially in Sophia’s case this episode worked wonders – even though she was still an asshole at times, she forgot about her troubles for a few hot minutes and actually had a fun and enjoyable day with the guy who might land in her pants in the near future. And it even made Shane a little more likable, considering he has gotten some depth at this point, and I can actually understand why he might find Sophia so interesting to go after her all this time. Then again, after three episodes, he is just the guy at Sophia’s side to give GIRLBOSS the romance plot it might need, or otherwise the show is becoming one big business plan with an annoying character front and center. GIRLBOSS can’t just be about Sophia’s adventures, at one point it does need another character, and who to take than the guy she might be interested in? And that kind of makes Shane a plot device for the show and Sophia as a character – but the one plot in this show to ground the story and make it more approachable to a general audience (which obviously didn’t help, because Netflix cancelled the show after the first season, which is a rarity for the streamer). I don’t mind it, but Shane needs to be more than that after a while. The guy needs his own story, and since his ex-girlfriend got a name in this episode, chances are that she might appear and give Shane the troubles, simply because. But will there be room for that in this show?

Sophia looking for a name for her eBay store was a nice little episodic story though, and now I definitely know that GIRLBOSS is anything but a 13-episode-long movie. Each episode seems to have a plot that begins and ends in its episode (Sophia’s daddy, her hernia leading to her needing to find a job, and now the name of the store), and that’s especially helpful, because it helps distinguish all the moments in Sophia’s life that will lead to whatever she will be doing in a few episodes from now. Also, it’s generally helpful that shows are not that serialized (or look like a chapterized movie, which seems to be the case on a regular basis with Netflix offerings) and still have stories that have a beginning, a middle and an end, and which you can experience in a short amount of time, instead of sitting through a ten-hour-long movie. Rubik’s Vintage was actually a nice idea, and for a second I’ve been wondering if that name exists somewhere (if not, it does now), but Sophia was right when she said that it wasn’t special enough. Although Nasty Gal isn’t really special either, because it doesn’t really tell me anything about the person behind the store, it does tend to show the feminine aspect of the entire narrative. Besides, Ten years after Sophia came up with the name, it became a code word for the feminist movement after Orange Hitler Donald Trump used the word “nasty” on stage to describe his political opponent.

A mini Rubik’s cube for the annoying, but charming, lady.

Best part of the episode: This half hour reminded me that I am totally in love with the mumblecore genre of two people walking around the city and spending time while learning stuff about each other, all while the nature of the film is realistic, improvised, natural. There should be a show about it, and since no one would watch it, it has to be a Netflix show. Hell, let it be a reality TV show, by having two strangers meet and spend the day with each other. I really wanna see that shit, especially when you get to meet the city they’re in as well.
Worst part of the episode: White privilege in full display, as Sophia and Shane walk around town and do whatever they want, without repercussions. So you want to steal some wine? Go right ahead, Mister and Miss.
Weirdest part of the episode: Krusty, for sure. If San Francisco is filled with those caricatures of human beings, maybe it’s good that I don’t have the finances to travel.
Player of the episode: Whoever that woman was who wanted to show her ID, but wasn’t paid attention to, because Sophia and Norm MacDonald’s Rick were talking and didn’t give a shit about what was happening around them. She could have been a troublemaker. She should have smuggled some stolen wine through, because the two gatekeepers weren’t interested in doing their job at all.

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