Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
What’s it about?
Good Girls is the newest dramedy to enter the network TV schedule. It’s described as: Three suburban mothers suddenly find themselves in desperate circumstances and decide to stop playing it safe and risk everything to take their power back. (IMDB)
The description is accurate to a degree; two of the three women feel powerless while the other is seeking revenge. Retta, Mae Whitman, and Christina Hendricks lead this ensemble cast of friends and mothers who have decided that one small robbery could get them what they want. A grocery store wouldn’t miss $30K. Why rob a store? Ruby (Retta) has terrible insurance and a very sick child and this money would help get her daughter the care she needs; Annie’s (Whitman) ex wants full custody of their 12-year old child ,and Beth’s (Hendricks) husband has pissed away all of their savings, their home is in foreclosure, and he is having an affair.
Three women with three very different reasons to take a chance on this “foolproof”plan. The robbery, of course, doesn’t go off without a hitch. The store manager recognizes Annie’s lower-back tattoo and they make off with over ten times more money than they intended. A $30K robbery turned into $500K. The ladies vow not to spend any of the money until they can figure out what to do with it.
They soon find out their ill-gotten gains belong to a local gang that is using small businesses in the area to hide the money. Then, a new problem – they’ve each spent some portion of the money. Scrambling to get their bearings they come up with most of the money. Annie has the best idea; she suggests they rob another store one time to make up the difference. Annies’s former boss, the grocery store manager, promises to keep their little secret if she agrees to have sex with him whenever he wants. Creepy manager stops by for some extortion sex and tries to rape Annie, Beth is there and during a tussle he’s knocked unconscious on Annie’s living room floor.
Ruby. Ruby, and more Ruby. Retta is doing the lion share of the acting here whether it be cheering her daughter on while she tries to set a book on fire during a presentation on feminism, imploring a doctor at the clinic to treat her child with respect, or giving Annie the best WTF face when she reveals the $500K. The relationship between Annie and her gender-non-conforming child Sadie is nice. Annie is the teen mom is who struggling to make ends meet, and Sadie is the responsible only child trying to support their mom. This semi-irresponsible mother trope is getting old, but it was acceptable here.
What’s not so good?
The pilot was.. clunky. It was quite obvious the chemistry between the 3 leads had not gotten up to speed yet. It feels like it was filmed a year ago and they did some re-shoots for the premiere. The trio felt less like a trio and more like mix-and-match sets of two as needed. The premise itself requires a level of suspension of disbelief that I don’t believe was intended. This only works when all the characters are engaging. Ruby would not rob a grocery store to get money to take care of her daughter; she’d take on extra shifts at the diner or her husband would get a second job. Armed robbery isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And Beth and Ruby would never trust Annie to devise the plan. Beth. This character is Gen-X Joan Halloway (Mad Men), which is fine, but not very interesting.
I need two more episodes. The show has the potential to be a fun DVR filler if the creators allowed it to do so.
Watch this if you like:
Weeds, Claws, Desperate Housewives
Don’t watch this if:
You don’t like the above, seriously. This just isn’t for you.
Good Girls Premiere Review Score