There once was a time where Canadians had a right to complain about the lack of titles available to them on Netflix. Although we haven’t hit the quality of the US library there definitely isn’t an issue finding something to watch on the platform anymore. In fact, the Netflix originals are coming down the pipe so quickly now that it is really hard to keep up. I usually like to stick to shows that I’ve heard about or have been recommended to me, but I took a chance on Girlboss this weekend and I’m so glad that I did.
This story takes place in the not so distant past and really captures the essence of what it was like to be a twentysomething in 2007. Our lead character Sophia is quirky, hot-headed and always speaking her mind. Sophia is flawed, self-absorbed to a detriment at times. Despite all that the story is written in such a way that you really want to see her break free of all that and succeed. However, I feel the shining star in this show comes in the form of Sophia’s (fictitious) lifelong friend Annie. Both of these ladies deliver killer performances and are just the type of women that I would want to be friends with.
The cinematography had a more raw feel to it, making the whole thing seem a little more gritty and real. I love how it doesn’t have that Hollywood polish we’re so used to in North America. This vibe was also reflected in wardrobe and location choices. The way they chose to represent the digital space was fresh, original and often times hilarious. Oh and that soundtrack… so good! I want all these songs, right now.
Sophia’s story of struggle mirrors a feeling that so many of my generation are having. The world is in such a state of transition, it’s really hard for us to decide where we fit in. Do we walk the old path, or cut something new? Do we join the cultural revolution, or fall in line? Sophia chooses to take hold of her passion. Something more and more people are doing these days.
In preparing for this piece I learned that the fate of the real Nasty Gal wasn’t as optimistic as it is portrayed in the show, but should we let the real-life fate of Nasty Gal sully the message of this story? My instinct is to say no. Television rarely emulates real life. Our reality isn’t broken down into convenient little segments. This series is a copy of a copy. So, of course, it’s going to have its own spin. We should also consider that the eventual bankruptcy of Nasty Gal happened after shooting was wrapped. It wasn’t like anyone on that production team had a crystal ball that could have predicted the final outcome that Sophia Amoruso left behind when she stepped out of the CEO hot seat. What I see here is a story that so many women of my generation can relate to. Not feeling like a “conventional adult”, being faced with doubt (internal and external) when we try to carve out or own path. The shattering of our personal identity after we leave the school system. So many things… and she did it. She made it work. What happened to the company in recent years does not detract from the inspirational story that the early days of Nasty Gal has to tell. If anything the fate of her empire can be worked into the series – rebuilding after a fall from grace is a great story arc to tell. There is just as much to learn from failure as there is from success.
Season one of Girlboss is currently streaming on Netflix.
For those that want to dig a little deeper into Sophia’s story check out the memoir from which the series was born:
Title image courtesy of wackystuff