Girlboss (“Motherfuckin’ Bar Graphs”)

Season 1, Episode 9
Date of release: April 21, 2017 (Netflix)

This might have been the most feminist episode of the show so far, and I’m commenting on it, because as I was watching the show, I read a few reviews of it, and those reviews were asking whether GIRLBOSS is a feminist show. I didn’t quite see that throughout the first eight episodes, but now that Sophia is about to move her business into larger halls, with prospected winnings coming up very soon, it’s evident that the story becomes more about a woman running a business, and being stumbled to the ground by egoistic men who don’t trust a woman running a business, and the woman having to learn the hard lesson that she must work twice as hard to be accepted in the business world. To compare it with a real-life story, Hillary Clinton was never taken seriously as a presidential candidate (except for everyone who was wronged by egoistic people, who had to climb over stepping stones their whole life, and those kind of people are a rarity in the world), so of course she was seen as the problematic candidate, even after winning all three debates, even after getting three million more votes — she probably would have been seen as an illegitimate president, if she had won the election by a little less than double the votes Orange Hitler Donald Trump would have gotten, because like Annie said at the end of this episode, women have to work twice as hard to be seen as a leader of a business. Like black people had to work twice as hard to get to a field of work that was dominated by white people before. It was a plot in the third season of ER, when Peter Benton and Dennis Gant had an argument about it. It’s everywhere. It’s not just a story about feminism. And it was part of the narrative in GIRLBOSS, having Sophia face the hardships, making it both a story about feminism, as well as a story about a business newcomer not being trusted with a new business, because the business is run by business-savvy people. It’s like Hollywood hiring an established director for a big-budgeted movie, because nobody trusts a new director who hasn’t worked yet to helm such a project.

There’s a lot of expensive room for Sophia’s work.

This was a pretty good episode. The cold open was funny as hell, although I was a bit surprised that the wine on the blue dress didn’t seem to have an outcome on Sophia’s business for the rest of the episode, as she kind of ruined the sell of one of her dresses, and that could usually mean bad reviews for Sophia, which means Nasty Gal is seeing less revenue for the next few days. It turns out the cold open was just a simple cold open and a joke, and all it did was prepare the viewers to have Sophia move out of her tiny four walls an into bigger space, because by now it’s time to transform Nasty Gal from a sorta hobby to an actual business. One that fills Sophia’s pockets with cash, so she can have sex with Shane on a bed with a bunch of money on it. Every freaking night of her life. After eight episodes, two of them being filler half-hours (one flashback episode, one relationship-heavy episode) when it comes to Nasty Gal, it was about time that the next step was being partaken, and that Sophia would grow from the woman she was in the previous episode to the woman she will be in the next. Hopefully.

I loved that she had to step through the minefield and talk to her father about co-signing a lease, returning Sophia’s story to the daddy issues that have somewhat defined her over the course of the show. I also loved that both sides were given attention in this particular story, with Sophia trying to persuade her father to co-sign the lease, while Jay continues to not trust Sophia and getting into business with her his way. At first, Sophia won the fight, and I loved how she exited the restaurant, screaming “motherfuckin’ bar graphs,” the “motherfucking” part of her delivery teased that Jay said “No” to her business plan, but the “bar graphs” part of the delivery changed the narrative into a positive. But at the end, she lost the battle. In the beginning, she hoped to actually get in business with her father, learning to trust him and see him as part of her life, while also hoping that he learns how to trust her. Then Jay had to disappoint Sophia once more, because there can’t be a show about daddy issues without the kid continuing to have daddy issues over the entire run of the show, and not just half of the season.

Men are taking over Sophia’s life, and she ain’t happy.

Best part of the episode: There was some sense of realism in Sophia trying to get office space. Show this episode to anyone in the middle of starting up their very first business at the age of 20 or something, and maybe something will come out of it. There is more than a morale of the story behind this half hour, it’s almost an educational lesson of how to start a business.
Worst part of the episode: Sophia’s potential landlord looked and sounded like a dick. It’s all cool that he was looking for a co-sign, which means he was real and didn’t want to take Sophia for the money she was waving around, but damn, way to show that San Francisco has weird landlords.
Weirdest part of the episode: Sophia took the chance to introduce her business to Jay by also dragging Shane along and making this a “boyfriend meets parent” episode in her life. Sophia was pulling double duty during the restaurant scene, and I am surprised the story was not modified to also be partly a “boyfriend meets parent” story.
Player of the episode: “I bet I can throw a rock farther than you.” And then she threw one inside the building that was now rented by Sophia, and she didn’t throw it far at all. That was super hilarious and a golden moment of comedy timing. Models can be funny. Who knew?

Girlboss (“The Trip”)

Season 1, Episode 8
Date of release: April 21, 2017 (Netflix)

A road trip episode that wasn’t, because all this episode had to do was flash a few Los Angeles markers between the beginning of the drive and the end of the drive, and within seconds the road trip is finished, and the characters have arrived at their destination. But then again, if this episode would have been a road trip, the writing 101 cliche of inverting a good weekend/bad weekend could not have been used. It was a solid episode, but it sort of showed that GIRLBOSS wasn’t even interested in telling a new kind of story, or try to do more than flip the good weekend/bad weekend premise. At the end of the day GIRLBOSS is just a simple show about a few characters in their twenties living life, which is both an easy and a hard thing to do.

Annie and Dax were supposed to have their bad and complicated weekend, after the two were shitting on each other over architecture and acid, but it was the coupling of Sophia and Shane who were having their first real fight, because those two have been the main focus of the show, if the writers weren’t interested in getting too deep into Sophia’s eBay store business. Yes, it’s good writing, and I started to ship the hell out of Annie and Dax with this episode, but it doesn’t make the episode particularly interesting or special. Now I can understand why GIRLBOSS found an early ending: Maybe the viewers were forgetting all about the show while they were watching it, since barely anything happened, and because GIRLBOSS is a half-hour show, the writers weren’t quite able to create meaningful character arcs, which might have kept some viewers with the show during its short run. I don’t mind this kind of show, and the pure focus on Sophia as a twentysomething narcissistic business woman, but for GIRLBOSS to be more than the show it is right now, something more unique and interesting would have been great. Maybe GIRLBOSS could have been a mumblecore-type show, considering there isn’t a lot happening in the characters’ lives, besides listening to Sophia having one of her crazy moments. Sometimes there is a party, sometimes there is live music, and sometimes they date — it’s like real life, but in 13 parts.

Keeping the nudity moment as casual as possible.

I could also understand why people probably gave up on the show after realizing that Sophia is a narcissistic nightmare of a human being. When she talked about her fashion business with Shane on a lunch date, I started to roll my eyes, and when she started to talk down on Shane and his job, even I couldn’t handle it with Sophia, and I was not surprised that Shane, the calm guy he continued to be during this argument that Sophia cooked out of the pot, would simply walk away and be unable to deal with her bullshit. I don’t know how close Britt Robertson’s portrayal comes to the real-life Sophia, but if it did come very close, I already know I would have never been able to be friends with that woman, as I would have never been able to handle her narcissism. It’s still an interesting character piece though, because I don’t know whether Sophia will change into a more appropriate character throughout the rest of the show, or if Shane can do absolutely nothing to teach her to be less self-absorbed, or to generally make Sophia a better person with him at her side. Maybe Sophia can teach him some things as well, like not immediately showering with your girlfriend after you haven’t seen her for months. Seeing Shane wash and clean Sophia’s tits was awkward as hell. Which I assume was intended.

It’s the perfect vision of a perfect house.

Meanwhile, Annie and Dax had a connection, and all of a sudden the writers also cared about those two characters. Yes, Dax was a bit of a nerdy butthead, forcing Annie to look at architecture with him (that might have been a sign of love, as he wanted her to be part of his journey?), but I did love that he was ready to go through the acid trip with her, and she was ready to go through the trip with him. And since the two had the exact same trip, maybe Annie was right when she thought of Dax being her soulmate. And then the writers levelled up those two characters, by having them talk about meeting the parents. Of course social commentary can’t be missed in a show that has a white person date a black person. Apparently that was a problem even in the San Francisco of 2006 or 2007.

Best part of the episode: It’s the way Shane stayed calm during the hotel room argument. I came to realize I would probably react the same way, when a woman is suddenly yelling at me — if shit gets ridiculous I just say “This is crazy” and walk out the door. It also makes Shane a good boyfriend, because he doesn’t like fighting.
Worst part of the episode: Dax and Annie’s acid trip through the galaxy was super cheap, and you could see the reflection of the blue screen on Dax, before he removed the Milky Way and revealed the self-building house.
Weirdest part of the episode: The boyfriend rewrote a song for the girlfriend in the audience. I would feel embarrassed by it.
Player of the episode: Annie and Dax both deserve the award here, as they were a cool couple at the end. Although maybe don’t learn a lesson out of this episode: Acid doesn’t make your relationship healthier — that only works in scripted programming.

Girlboss (“Long-Ass Pants”)

Season 1, Episode 7
Date of release: April 21, 2017 (Netflix)

This was an entertaining episode. I loved how focused the show is when it comes to the stories, but how unimportant the show is, when it comes to all the other things. In a way, GIRLBOSS is the perfect show to watch when you’re bored — it has its qualities, the cast is great, and sometimes it is actually laugh-out-loud funny. Sometimes though, absolutely nothing happens in this show, and all you watch is two people touring San Francisco on a non-date date, or two women talk about their lives, and what they see when they see a vintage dress while window-shopping. But now I can understand why Netflix cancelled the show after its first season, and why I never saw anything special about the show on my social media feeds. At the end of the day, GIRLBOSS is not a unique show and instead serves as something that can be considered fast-food television, so you could easily decide to skip it and forget all about it, but when you do east that fast-food in the restaurant and decide to take time and enjoy the meal, you actually get to see the beauty behind it and maybe even figure out the recipe. The last time I felt about a TV show like that was during the first season of UGLY BETTY. I liked watching the show, but it wasn’t impressive enough for me to consider watching more – I saw it as fast food. GIRLBOSS on the other hand finds itself being watched in the restaurant, although I do get the sense of it turning into UGLY BETTY at times, because the only reason I want to watch the next episode is because of Britt Robertson. There is no other reason that her to even consider watching GIRLBOSS.

Sophia’s first big meal in a while consists of bad reviews.

Gail might have been the cliched weird character in the hipster comedy drama television show, but I nonetheless liked her. I loved how she came strolling into Sophia’s apartment with a harsh agenda, but became a friend and close confidante of Sophia’s, and not turn into the competition trying to teach the newcomer a lesson (or figure out a plan to destroy the newcomer). I was also impressed that Sophia even cared enough about Gail to show her who her clients are (and should be), and have a dancing drink with her in the club, let alone have the clothing store opened for her, just so Gail can buy a dress. But I saw it coming that Gail would be back to her roots by the end of the episode, disappointed by Sophia not having learned a single lesson (although what was Gail expecting would happen?). You couldn’t expect that Gail would change her way of looking at fashion, just because she spent a night with Sophia and sort of learned that fashion is something else than just part of the collector’s idem craze. You couldn’t expect that Gail would be impressed by what Sophia did with the dress, although maybe, just for the sake of happiness and acceptance, Gail could have not said anything and instead just looked at that dress in a shocked way. Nevertheless, I laughed at the “You fucking bitch” bit. Now I’m wondering if Sophia gets bombarded by the vintage fashion sellers, because apparently there can’t be a good-running business, when you don’t have fierce competition. And considering how great and awesome Sophia’s life must have been in the beginning of the episode, facing fierce competition is only the next best step in her business adventure.

Flashing back to a time where that homecoming dress would have looked great on her.

Meanwhile, Mobias made sure that he will never have a woman in bed ever again. Oh boy, Gail was politely asking if he was available for some quick “butt stuff,” but he had to say no, which even shocked me. Granted, I thought that Mobias was gay, but you don’t say no to someone like Melanie Lynskey, even when she looked like she was on her way to become a single mother in her forties, trying to battle a midlife crisis after her ex-husband left her for another woman who might be the sexy secretary, or a much older woman than she is. The joke scenes with the dogs were a bit ridiculous though. Gail went all in and creeped me out just a little bit (I’m surprised the dog owner wasn’t saying anything, let alone run away), and Sophia tried hard to be as awkward as possible to the tiny dog at the end of the episode. What those scene made me ask though: Do dog owners in San Francisco let their dogs really be petted like this by strangers? What kind of awesome city is this San Francisco? Should I move there and cure my depression this way, because maybe it’s not such a bad idea to just constantly walk through town and pet dogs at every street corner?

Best part of the episode: The story of the homecoming dress all neatly packed into a black-and-white short film was pretty cool. Even more so when Sophia’s version of that story had the young woman burn her bedroom. That’s one of those unpredictable laugh-out-loud moments of GIRLBOSS that make the show more enjoyable than it has any right to be.
Worst part of the episode: Dog owners should really not let random strangers pet their dogs. Those dog owners did not care at all about their dogs.
Weirdest part of the episode: Seriously, did Gail not think that Sophia would turn the dress into something more modern, when she decided to leave the dress for Sophia? I ask again: What did she expect would happen?
Player of the episode: Mobias wins points for explaining his sexuality and being open about self-pleasure, which might mean he is too shy or anxious around women. That would make Mobias like me. I also sometimes like the touch of a woman, but do prefer my own touch.

Girlboss (“Five Percent”)

Season 1, Episode 6
Date of release: April 21, 2017 (Netflix)

Another very solid episode, and I’m starting to get a little sad that Netflix never renewed GIRLBOSS for another season. The episodic nature of this character comedy drama is very appealing to me, especially since it only focuses on Sophia from the first to the last second, and all the other characters are just parts of her complex, yet easy life, even if her character happened to have a complex personality, difficult to understand. Complex, because of all the emotional issues she has with each character (especially her father), and easy, because she only has one goal, she is focused on doing just one thing, and it’s what makes the show so fascinating right now.

I did love that the relationship between Sophia and Rick was a great one, and that the premise of her loving him so much as her boss continued, even though I was a bit weirded out by the fact that he had a huge crush on her. But hey, Sophia didn’t mind, and Rick was nice enough not to be a creep, although I was wondering how great he can be as a boss, if he has such an easy no-care attitude with his employees. Yes, being the security manager at an arts college must be an “easy money” position, but still… It’s a shame that this was Norm McDonald’s last episode (well, most likely at least), because I loved his teenage weirdness in an adult body, and I actually would have been interested to see where a probable relationship between Sophia and Rick would have gone, even if it was just on a friendship basis. Rick, the college security manager, and Sophia, who should be in college herself — there is definitely a dynamic here. But oh well, the job at the arts college was just a chapter in Sophia’s life, and now that she decided to focus on her business, future episodes could get into the fashion side of things. And that’s about time, even if I still don’t care about fashion.

Having sex on money is the whitest thing rich people can do.

Sophia’s hernia is history as well, making this a longer chapter than Rick was. When she broke down after punching the wall, I knew it was because of the hernia, but I wasn’t expecting the moment of puke shooting out of her mouth, making the situation a little more serious than it might have been. Her trip to and stay in the hospital reminded me of Cynthia Nixon’s stay in an episode of ER, when she was still thinking normally after having had a stroke, and it was kind of hilarious that your mind was up to speed with your thoughts, while your mouth and rest of the brain wasn’t. It also reminded me of the “not that stupid” moment in SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, in which the brain wasn’t quick enough to catch up on Miles’ thoughts either. And while Sophia was in a much easier and less dangerous medical situation, I kinda loved her inner thoughts, and how she really tried her best to not fuck up, but still did at the end. She wanted to take control over the situation, but those drugs, man, they make you do anything you don’t want to do. Sophia making fun of the doctor with the huge eyebrows brought a laugh out of me though, especially when that doctor saw Sophia and quickly walked away again.

The episode went down the emotional character arc rabbit hole by having Jay deliver some exposition. It was touching, and it’s what I meant when I said I adore the episodic nature of the show. Sophia’s daddy issues aren’t in every episode (in fact, this is the second time the daddy issues are explicitly depicted, and the third time they are part of Sophia’s story, and this is just the sixth episode), and by sparingly using Jay in Sophia’s life, the story gets more emotional every time he shows up and sees the life he never wanted for his daughter, or hopes that it can only get better from here on. It will most likely make the change of his heart a little more romantic, since he will get to see how Sophia gets her life around and runs a successful (a question mark might be appropriate here) business, finally living a life, and one at least she definitely wanted. And if Jay never wanted that kind of life for Sophia, those daddy issues could even be evolving.

It’s the story of a red thread.

Best part of the episode: There was this shot of Sophia getting out of bed while Annie was right behind her. Sophia was slowly moving forward, Annie slowly following her, and the background of the set became a little more distant. I don’t know why, but I loved that show, mostly due to the slowness of the camera movement, thanks to Sophia’s slow movement. Is there a name for this cinematic shot or camera movement? It almost had something zombie-like.
Worst part of the episode: I don’t understand why Sophia was hung up on that one dress which wouldn’t sell. She couldn’t have tried selling multiple dresses at once, essentially making the non-sell of that one dress forgettable?
Weirdest part of the episode: The American employer-based healthcare system is kind of weird. You are employed for an amount of time, get health insurance, you immediately quit, but the insurance is still good for three months? If that is in fact how healthcare works in the United States, no wonder it’s messed up.
Player of the episode: Annie, again, for mentioning how much she likes salt and pepper ballsacks. She is obviously horny for aged men, but she is having sexual relations with a black dude her age. Someone please explain.

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.

Girlboss (“Ladyshopper99”)

Season 1, Episode 4
Date of release: April 21, 2017 (Netflix)

I am very much liking the episodic nature of the show. Give Sophia a terrible situation to get through in each episode, preferably with a time bomb literally ticking down in the bottom section of the screen, and this could be a show more about a young woman getting ahold of life, instead of a young woman getting rich through her eBay store. I liked that her struggle to get the dress to a customer in time was mirrored with her struggle to find a way to live life that doesn’t suck, and I very much liked that Sophia’s emotional minefield was depicted in this episode, having to fight her way through a hug she so dearly wanted, and probably would have tried to break away from, if it hadn’t come from Nicole Sullivan herself. That reminded me of myself: I never get hugged, and I figured I must have a phobia against hugs now (there is most likely a psychological name for it), but even I know that a hug can be good and relieving and breathtaking every once in a while, especially when they come in unannounced fashion, when you really need them. The only thing is I don’t really like for strangers to touch me in any way, so hugs are pretty much a no for me. The amount of hugs I got over the past four years comes up to a single-digit number.

No art is always art.

Nathan and his mother Teresa were thankfully not that weird in this episode. Okay, they are weird, but they are the good kind of weird. Weird that I would consider making friends with, because every once in a while we need weird around us. Seeing them talk about their BFF behavior might have been a bit too much for my taste though, but it’s nothing unlike the relationship Lorelai and Rory Gilmore had over their years, and I’m also sure relationships like this do exist in real-life, and probably especially in San Francisco. I was pretty happy that Nathan’s appearance was used to give Sophia something to emotionally think about and connect to, to show her that a child and his or her mother can have an unbreakable bond, and that broken bonds can be fixed, when you bring a little effort into it (a morale I maybe should learn myself, because my family bonds are definitely broken like the Avengers logo on the promotional posters for AVENGERS: ENDGAME). All Nathan and Teresa did for Sophia was opening her up as a character a little more and have her feel something about her current life situation, about her daddy issues. She thinks she might have it bad, because she is an asshole in an asshole-ish apartment with a few asshole friends, but then again, she has a job, she has health coverage Republicans don’t want to steal from her in the Senate, she has a hernia, and she just made $1.200 on a wedding dress she had to clean and fix herself. Hot damn, I would like to make that kind of money in such an easy fashion.

Marissa’s death affected San Francisco so much that people were reenacting that fateful scene.

Meanwhile, the episodic nature of the show depicted how Sophia might handle her own business, when she has to get her hands dirty, instead of asking other people to do the work for her. Okay, she had the dress drycleaned by someone else (who of course had to be Asian, because that’s who dryclean business owners are, right?), but she was fixing the pearls by herself, and she even had to deliver the dress all by herself, thanks to her inability to focus the day before and not get drunk. That’s customer service par excellence, and it’s not like Sophia didn’t learn anything during this bit of a disaster. She probably learned what it’s like to run a business all by yourself. But is this something that will be of importance when Sophia buys her million-dollar-heavy brand?

Best part of the episode: All the plus points for taking care of that season three finale of THE O.C. I didn’t watch the show with the Americans back then, so I don’t know what the reception was like when that episode aired, but seeing a reaction to it here was kind of genius. Even more so when Marissa’s death scene was later reenacted, like GIRLBOSS was something of a parody show. It does make me wonder though whether THE O.C. was a thing in Sophia Amoruso’s private life, and if she was as deeply affected by Marissa’s death as her fictional counterpart played by Britt Robertson was. Otherwise I really have no idea why this finale image of that show became such a focal point in this episode.
Worst part of the episode: It’s the way Sophia was led to delivering the dress herself, two seconds before the time ran out for good. Getting drunk, oversleeping and therefore missing the delivery person, her car breaks down, her phobia of bridges (which must also be a real thing Sophia Amoruso must have, since it was mentioned in the previous episode, leading to some great continuity), no one answering her door knocks… All too convenient to have Sophia almost literally run for her life.
Weirdest part of the episode: Nathan and Teresa welcoming Sophia into their home. Damn, those two weirdos were a splitting image of each other, they way they winked her in with a bunch of “come in”s.
Player of the episode: Nathan wins this award, thanks to the fact that he wasn’t just a random kid trying to fuck up Sophia’s work. He was a kid who connected quickly with her, became real friends, and had some minor issues to go through. Please, come again soon.

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.