Many feelings might race through your head while watching the new trailer for Girlboss, which dropped today. Excitement, maybe, at the prospect of having a new show to binge-watch starting April 21. (That’s 18 days from now, for those of you who needed the math.) Glee, perhaps, because we can never have enough powerful and bristly women in leading roles (see also: Love, Girls, Fleabag.) Or, if you’re into that kind of thing, you might feel some hatred. That’s cool too.
The commenters on YouTube are full of hate. Lots called out Girlboss creator Sophia Amoruso and the fact that she filed for bankruptcy as proof that she decidedly doesn’t deserve a Netflix series. “I find it hilarious that Sophia Amoruso, the person this is based on, Filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection last year,” one wrote. “Since when did failures get their own TV shows?” another posted. A third kept it short and super sweet: “Well that was aggressively obnoxious.”
OK, fine, fine. Valid points, all. But here’s the thing. Everyone hates on Anna Wintour, but did that make The Devil Wears Prada any less enjoyable to watch? Hell, no. Amoruso is a similar figure in some ways — she definitely invites scathing critiques, and reports about the toxic work environment that was Nasty Gal are rampant. That all sounds horrible, and we’re not trying to take away from the fact that there were obviously some serious issues going on over there.
But drama makes for good TV. Thinx, the latest woman-helmed millennial company to run afoul, is very likely a difficult place to work. But would their “She-E-O,” Miki Agrawal, be a good character on a show? Probably, yes.
If you can get past the issues like everyone who saw The Devil Wears Prada did with ease, this new show looks like some very solid TV. In the two-and-a-half minute trailer, Amoruso’s character, played by Britt Robertson, games the system and rises through the ranks, all on her own terms. The drama kicks off when she finds an “original 1970s East-West calfskin motorcycle jacket in perfect condition,” talks the shopkeeper down from $12 to $9, and then schools him at his loss. “You just got played,” she says.
It’s easy to see how Amoruso’s abrasiveness might translate badly. But like Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Love’s Gillian Jacobs who went before her, Robertson seems to be pulling it off. In the early stages, showrunner Kay Cannon was apparently approached with the book version of Girlboss — the show is based on Amoruso’s book of the same name — and jumped at the opportunity to make a show about a woman instead of wading through the endless scripts about men. “It felt like every story was about a flawed man, which is totally fine,” she said. “But I was really starving to create a story about a woman.”
A flawed woman, to be sure. But that certainly didn’t bother Charlize Theron, who is an exec producer of Girlboss. “I built a whole career on flawed and fucked up characters,” Theron said. “I have a love affair with that stuff.”
Same. We reserve the right to pass judgment on the show once we actually see it; until then, we’re not about to write it off just yet.