Good Girls Netflix Series - A Slow Burning Dramedy
The Good Girls Netflix series is if Desperate Housewives was crossed with the 2008 movie Mad Money and added to it, a dash of Heisenberg's madness in Breaking Bad. This dramedy revolves around three housewives who get entangled with the underworld after their financial desperation forces them to knock off a local grocery store. Yes, it IS as complicated as it sounds, the snowball effect that their crime causes leads to most of the comedy.
At no moment should you mistake this series for something that is just light-hearted fun. It is slow-burning, dark, and at times straight-up depressing. But there are also laughs, feel-good moments, and their version of redemption I guess.
The first season springs for the shock factor with the women robbing their local grocery store. There's Beth Boland (Christina Hendricks) the typical suburban housewife whose life has boiled down to taking care of her kids and keeping her man happy. Beth's screw-up sister Annie Marks (Mae Whitman) bordering on white trash, has a son and struggles with responsibility and relationships. Ruby Hill (Retta from Parks and Recreation) is the working class mother who pulls double shifts as a waitress to support her family.
[For some reason, the women cast in the lead roles seem to be well-endowed - don't know whether it is a conscious choice or if it is purely coincidental in the casting process.]
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Beth is the dark brooding one, who seems to be practically cynical, Ruby is the resigned one who laughs at the difficulties at hand and carries on. The heavy-lifting when it comes to comedy falls upon the capable shoulders of Annie who does not disappoint.
There is too much "reality" packed into season 2. People watch TV to escape reality or get a brief reprieve from the troubles that ail them daily. When you shove that everyday crap in the face of your viewers, you are bound to lose that viewer to something less likely to suck all the happiness out of their life.
A peak into the minds of sociopaths, perverts, philanderers and murderers along with family discord, unpaid bills and mortgages is a bit much to digest on an idle Sunday afternoon. This is especially applicable in case you are planning to binge the series on any day. TV is not entertainment when it has a good chance of traumatizing you by stitching together a collage of what can go wrong in an average person's life.
Also, did I miss the memo on infidelity? when did it become fashionable to cheat on your partner? The Good Girls series is one of the many shows and movies to glorify adultery and the spring it puts into one's step. I understand that people go through tough times, but that doesn't license them to cheat on their spouse on a whim.
And anyone who lives in the real world should know gangsters don't run self-help programs where a housewife can get her groove back with a dash of organized crime. This casual take on the mob is also seen in Netflix's I Care a Lot where Rosamund Pike tangos with a Ukranian mobster and lives to tell the tale (at least for a while). Certain elements of season 2's plot device, while good exposition, are not pragmatic or even mildly relatable.
The crossover of the Cloud 9 SuperStore from the "Superstore" series is a particularly fun addition to this series, as NBC owns the rights to this series as well. You keep expecting the original cast from the series to pop-up and I guess you have to watch the series to see if that happens!
Season 3 sees the characters finally coming into their own and getting comfortable with one another. It is a lot funnier with the leads hitting their character arcs. Mae Whitman is really funny in this season along with Retta, making this the best one of the lot. The jokes are as unexpected in this season as the twists makes the whole season worth watching.
Should You Watch It? - Yes
If you need instant gratification, there are a ton of other series that you can watch like Kim's Convenience, Workin' Moms and even Atypical. If you are looking to put in the time for something that delves into dark humor and redemptive character arc then go ahead with this series.
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