Loosely based on the tale of real life entrepreneur Sophia Amaruso, Kay Cannon’s Netflix series stars Britt Robertson as Sophia Marlowe, a brash, anarchic, rebellious young woman who, with only a few dollars to her name, builds up an online vintage clothing business. As the business grows, she soon has to learn how to be a responsible adult and how to properly treat those around her.
First and foremost, Britt Robertson is amazing in this. After having “discovered” her in The Space Between Us, recognising that she was a likeable, charismatic presence in an otherwise lacklustre project, she was my main motivation for diving into this series as I was curious to see whether she would impress me yet again. Well she definitely didn’t disappoint as throughout the series, she nailed every scene that she was in like a (girl)boss and in the title role, she is inherently likable, energetic and rattles off the zingers with charisma and passion. Using those huge blue eyes of hers, her facial expressions are often funny and endearing; whether it’s watching her lash out at the world or dancing around her apartment, she is a wonderful screen presence and the biggest asset to the series.
While her character definitely has her flaws, given her tendency to often be selfish, brash, inconsiderate and mindless of other people’s feelings, Robertson is never insufferable and we are still able to support her even when she acts in a less than positive way. It is possible that with a different person in the main role, the series may not have worked but Robertson never becomes obnoxious and is a constant ray of sunshine throughout.
Girlboss also has many great supporting characters and they are brought to life well by a fine group of actors. As Sophia’s best friend Annie, Ellie Reed is fun, charming and she and Robertson play off each other brilliantly, delivering a bright friendship that we can easily get behind and smile at. Distinctively-voiced Norm MacDonald is also a nice addition as Sophia’s museum boss, RuPaul Charles injects a welcome dose of energy and fun as neighbour Lionel and Dean Norris is reliable and authoritative, as always, as Sophia’s dad. All in all, the series has a great supporting cast.
The series writing is consistent and the episodes penned solely by Kay Cannon are often the best ones. The first two episodes are particularly amazing since the script is full of snappy dialogue and one-liners that come to life brilliantly on screen, especially since Britt Robertson is there to bring Cannon’s words to life like a pro – true symbiosis there! Those first two episodes, as well as plenty of later ones, actually had me laughing – something that few TV shows/films are able to do, so massive praise needs to go to Kay Cannon there! A later episode brings internet message forums to life brilliantly and although Girlboss does tend to lose its way when focusing on plot threads outside the main narrative, when it lays on the “touchy feely” scenes and strays into teen drama territory, the characters remain interesting and the overall plot is still engaging and worth our time.
The series is also beautiful to look at; watching the scenery of San Francisco in high definition is incredible and, as the series revolves around fashion, the clothes look great too – Britt Robertson knows how to rock a kick-ass pair of boots!