Good Girls

Good Girls

2021 - United States

Review by Jennifer AJ

Three down-on-their-luck women devise a plan to rob a grocery store but get more than what they bargained for in this crime comedy series from NBC.  

Beth Boland (Christina Hendricks), her younger sister Annie Marks (Mae Whitman), and their friend Retta (Ruby Hill) are having money troubles. Beth’s husband is in a lot of debt on top of having an affair with his co-worker. Single mother Annie is being sued for child custody by her ex-husband. Meanwhile, Retta has a young daughter with kidney disease who needs expensive treatment. Left with no other choice, Annie proposes they rob the grocery store where she works. An extreme solution indeed, but desperate times, right? Unluckily for them, things quickly go awry when they realize that the money they stole off the store actually belongs to the mobs. With gangsters on their trails, the women get embroiled in a series of increasingly catastrophic (yet hilarious) scenarios.

Best described as a comedy of errors, Good Girls follows the classic formula of snowballing hijinks that keep going from bad to worse as its core trio attempt to make things right. Think The Hangover or a Mr. Bean episode. This time, with more feminine energy. 

Strong feminist spirit courses through the show. The show highlights real issues faced by wives and mothers in modern times. The three women are trapped in relatable problems - deadbeat husband, unpaid mortgages, sick child, custody battle, sexism at work - but refuse to give up. This makes it easy for audiences to sympathize with (or even root for) their criminal acts.

The show is anchored by three sympathetic leads. Hendricks as Beth acts as the emotional centre of the story. Having practically disappeared after Mad Men, it’s good to see Hendricks back with her dramatic chop as sharp as ever. As Beth, she completely transforms from an elegant career woman in the AMC series into a vulnerable housewife about to rediscover her worth. At times, she feels almost too good for the silliness happening around her.

Good Girls

Beth is joined by her firecracker little sister Annie, the source of their catastrophe. As Annie, Whitman once again plays the same loudmouthed, reckless character she’s always played since she was a teenage actress. Needless to say, she’s good at it, although Annie’s characterization often veers into the overkill with the sassiness. Rounding out the trio is Retta, the sisters’ best friend who’s dragged into worse and worse situations with them. Hill comfortably shifts between tender and fierce with her role. Retta’s side plot with her little family actually feels the most genuine out of the three’s storylines. 

Unfortunately, the writing never quite makes sense how the sisters end up being such good friends with her - just one of the many problems with it. Mind you, they’re great individually. The friendship just never feels organic within the context of the story, as if someone in the writing room just decides to diversify their characters for the sake of it. Thankfully, it is saved by the witty dialogues and occasional fun camaraderie between the three. Indeed, the aspect of the story that focuses on their everyday hurdles work. That’s not the case with the comedic part. It’s like there is a disconnect when the show tries to put together the comedic with the dramatic. When they do, it often ends up undercutting each other. The plot developments grasp at straws to keep things going, leading to bizarre decisions that anyone with five seconds to ponder could easily point out as dumb. 

All in all, the show is decent enough as a light watch with some naughty sense of humour and strong acting performances. But with the rather tired plots, don’t count on it to steal your interest for long.

Published on February 26th, 2024. Written by Jennifer Ariesta for Television Heaven.

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