Girls Today Can Be Anything, Including Criminal Masterminds

In a case of Super Bowl advertising gone exactly as planned, I’ve been very excited for the premier of NBC’s Good Girls. A comedic crime spree by three desperate moms, two of which are Mae Whitman and Retta? Absolutely. In fact, it wasn’t until I actually sat down to watch the show that I learned it’s actually an hour-long drama, not a sitcom. That may end up being a problem later. We’ll see!

~spoiler zone starts here~

Good Girls has been touted as “Breaking Bad but women,” but the tone is much more Fun With Dick and Jane. The show is hilarious, and not just during the robbery scene, although that does include toy guns colored with sharpie to hide the fake orange tips and Beth (Christina Hendricks) trying to act tough while also asking a little girl about Doc McStuffins. The dialogue is also great, from Ruby’s (Retta) relatable lack of lip-reading skills and U.S. cabinet member knowledge, to Annie’s (Mae Whitman) just whole disaster-younger-sister sarcasm. There’s also some good visual humor, such as when Annie reveals that they didn’t steal $30,000, but rather $500,000, by just pouring stacks and stacks of money onto a dining room table.

Though the comedy of the show is what excites me, I’m worried about its groove going forward. The Breaking Bad comparisons don’t only come because of the good-girls-gone-bad-but-for-their-families premise. The ladies aren’t completely successful in their robbery, and Annie is discovered by her rape-y extortionist boss. And, like any character in a tv show who learns a secret they’re not supposed to, he has to die. Not only do we end the show with Annie and Beth left with a dead body, apparently the grocery store they robbed has some sort of gang ties? Well, that gang wants their money back, so the women will definitely have to keep robbing somebody, and I doubt it will be as light-hearted as this first robbery.

Which is what worries me; I’m concerned about the tonal balance between comedy and drama. For the rest of the series, it seems like they’ll have to lean more into the drama, which really would be a shame. No, Good Girls isn’t the funniest show on television, but it does have some well-written humor, something that I hope still get the spotlight in the future.

The show also has a bit of a character problem, by which I mean they didn’t quite establish any of them very strongly. We get a lot of the reasoning behind why these women want to commit a robbery, but not really much of them as people. I’m not too worried about this now, as this is just the pilot episode. For now, the performances from Retta, Whitman, and Hendricks are definitely enough to keep me at bay on this front for now.

Boiling it all down, Good Girls is a show that made me laugh a lot, and that’s an important part of a show to me. Hopefully, it gains/at least keeps this momentum going forward. Because I still don’t know how to effectively critique comedy/end essays, I’m gonna leave you with some of my favorite lines:

  • “Maybe it’s your anniversary present?” “He already gave me 100 coupons to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.”

  • “You’re cutting chicken fingers into stars! They’re already fingers!”

  • re: Doc McStuffins “Yeah, we uh…we used to watch it in the Big House.”

  • From a clear gang member: “I look like some kind of grocery store manager to you? Like Rotary Club or somethin’?”

  • “Gee Officer, we didn’t mean to piss off the gang, we just wanted to rob the grocery store!”

  • “We’ve accomplished way harder than this! I once made 300 damn cupcakes in one night, and they both were nut- and gluten-free!” “Kid still had an allergy attack…”

  • “I’m gonna take a shower. I smell like booze and crime.”

Good Girls airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.