And it’s (very loosely) based on a true story. Perhaps if David Fincher had gotten his hands on Kay Cannon’s script, he could have turned Girlboss into a femme answer to The Social Network. Through the series’ 13 episodes she steals a rug, eats her boss’s sandwich, launches an eBay store, dates a drummer, goes on a worse version of the San Francisco tour from The Princess Diaries, and eventually reaches the early days of Nasty Gal.
Sophia (played by Britt Robertson) is a sharp 23-year-old with a streak of anarchy and a lack of direction.
“If you believe in something enough and you have enough passion for it, that drive should be able to make those things happen for yourself and Sophia’s a ideal example of that because she did make it happen for herself”. But almost every breezy installment, all of which begin streaming Friday, keeps trying to convince us that, despite her flaws, she’s so charming that you have to root for her. Dammit, you have to.
And yet, the truly excellent performances raise the overall profile enough to totally hook viewers in and make you want to watch more. She also has an understanding father (Dean Norris), who just wishes she’d figure out a way of growing up (and probably doesn’t care about whether or not she’s also a boring adult). Before becoming a successful businesswoman, Amoruso got her start by reselling clothes on eBay. This is Sophia’s superhero origin story moment.
He asks, “Sophia, you’re smart, pretty. what’s the problem?” She’s the Bobby Kennedy of millennial resale retail. Like Sophia looking at that vintage leather jacket and thinking, “Hey this could be worth something!”, I understand why Theron, Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect 1&2, 30 Rock), Lavern McKinnon of Denver & Delilah, and Christan Ditter (How to Be Single) all sat down together and decide this could be a treasure trove, however, the show is not something I’m buying. The only way for the comedy to not be lame in Girlboss is by resorting to profanity (not that we are complaining). Later episodes include black-and-white vignettes telling the stories of different articles of clothing and an episode built around fun black box theater depictions of online communication circa 2006 – forum chatrooms, IM, etc. She has a strained relationship with her parents, leading to trust issues and her overwhelming fear of failure.
The same is true of the show’s approach to its recent-but-still-period setting. While talking on the phone with her best friend, Annie (Ellie Reed), about what just transpired, she has a sudden moment of regret. Every once in a while, though, Girlboss wholly dives into the nostalgic muck and wallows with abandon that I appreciated. She tells me about a Girlboss rally she attended with the real Sophia, and describes the diversity of women, all there fighting for the same thing. In the title role we find the brilliant Britt Robertson that you have already seen in The Secret Circle or Under the Dome.
As for what she learned from being on set of Girlboss, Robertson explained that she’s more fluent in the art of fashion now.
Of course, from the outside it seems like the real life Sophia Amoruso has certainly made her share of mistakes.