Girlboss (“Top 8”)

Season 1, Episode 5
Date of release: April 21, 2017 (Netflix)

See, not even the writers cared about the real life of Sophia Amoruso, otherwise they wouldn’t have stopped the flow of the story with a flashback episode going into the friendship of Sophia and Annie, delivering their most important moments of friendship in life, culminating into an image of how long their friendship has lasted and how strong it actually is, since Sophia still has the monkey, and Annie is in possession of the baseball. At the end, GIRLBOSS will always be about the character, and not just about the real-life famous person behind the show’s premise, which is kind of refreshing, considering I was actually expecting a comedy drama about a young woman getting rich, and failing during every second or third step. Also, it was a pretty good idea to focus a little bit on Annie after five episodes. She has been a rather forgettable and exchangeable character during the first four episodes that I barely even remembered her name going into this episode. But now that I do remember her name forever and always, and the writers delivered this Best of Annie and Sophia episode, it almost seems like Annie might grow to be a more important character – a character not to be missed from Sophia’s life, because she is not at all irreplaceable. Because really, while this episode was also about Sophia not wanting to be alone, it was also about Annie holding onto Sophia for whatever reason, because if those two women lose each other, maybe they will lose in life. Maybe they found each other at the most opportune moment in life, because they were at a crossroads. Maybe they saved each other. In spite of Sophia still not figuring out what life is supposed to give her even five years into their friendship.

Sophia smelled the inside of a holding cell once, which is what you probably expected after meeting her.

Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of story in this episode. The show being set in 2006, it was obvious that MySpace would be a topic at one point, and that the writers might even attempt to create a few jokes around the mid section of the first decade, when social media wasn’t a thing just yet, and people were finding the internet for more than pictures and videos of naked bottoms. I can’t even remember the Top 8 thing with MySpace, but that’s just because I never really used it myself in my teens. That Annie would make such a fuzz about not being in Sophia’s Top 8 might have been a little too much for me though, but then again, it wouldn’t have lead to the flashback episode, and it wouldn’t have lead to Sophia remembering why she has Annie in her life. So I’m gonna excuse the fact that Annie’s behavior was a little over the top, simply because it was necessary for the narrative. Still, the two women should have known that their friendship isn’t about how it’s being portrayed to some random buttheads on the internet, lurking through profiles, just to update their own profiles, and even Annie should have realized that their friendship wasn’t being defined by what their profile page looks like on a social media website, or whether they were in a Top 8 of friends. I was thankful for the fuzz to only be a fuzz for about two seconds. Annie’s words only brought flashback memories for Sophia, and that was all of it. Besides that, Annie’s “Thank you” at the end was kind of sweet. Crisis averted, but also a moment of deep friendship.

The flashbacks were splendid. Two young women, far away from the usual life Americans should be living midway through 2000s, getting into something that could be called an “adventure”. Getting into a drink ticket fight with Iliza Shlesinger (when does she get her own TV show?), going into the truck cabin of George, who happened to be a pretty chill dude (my mind was dirty, of course, and all I could see was Annie and Sophia, ehm, servicing the trucker during his trip, which is why they might have been kicked out at the gas station), and sleeping beside a pool, while thinking about how terrible life has been for them. At that point, the writers definitely repeated Sophia’s daddy issues, but I did love that their friendship was cemented for eternity here. The two can have trouble with each other, and they will fight constantly over something that can be considered silly, and they will hate each other, and they won’t want to see each other ever again, but at the end of the day, they also need each other to stay sane and focused and on the road of life they have built for each other. If it weren’t for Annie, Sophia might have lost herself, living with her father, essentially running through America as a nomad. And who knows in what kind of trouble Annie would have gotten herself into without anyone to watch over her.

When truckers are awesome and friendly, and just want to chill on the road.

Best part of the episode: Real life in America, as depicted by a random white guy fishing in an attractive woman, who, for some dumb reason, leaves her backpack in his car. GIRLBOSS has had some fantastical elements, even turning into a parody at points, but in this particular case it was a show way too real for its scripted environment. Another refreshingly positive thing about the show.
Worst part of the episode: Those two Giants fan were idiots. I guess you are allowed to be angry at another fan for stealing a ball from a kid, but doing it outside the ballpark, too? Sophia had all the reason in the world to kick them in the snatch.
Weirdest part of the episode: Yeah, how exactly did Annie and Sophia track through America on their way to Coachella and not get seriously fucked up? I would have imagined that far more bad things happened to them, instead of just a backpack getting stolen.
Player of the episode: Hello Annie, nice to finally meet you. Suddenly you have come far more interesting for me, and you could turn out to be my favorite character of the show.

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