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An Honest Review Of 'Girlboss' By A Cynic Turned (Semi-) Fan

Just…bear with the first few episodes; it gets better, I promise.
PHOTO: Girlboss/Netflix

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Loosely (as in real loosely) based on American entrepreneur and author Sophia Amoruso's life, Girlboss is like a second coming of age story. Except instead of figuring out what your sexual preferences are (if any at all) and coping with the turbulent journey from teen to young adult, this is the one where you're forced to face the real world in all its ugly glory.

We follow Sophia Amoruso, a selfish, ambitious, 23-year-old with a somewhat charming go-fuck-yourself attitude as she faceplants into adulthood—or as she put it, "the place where dreams go to die"—and learns, albeit unwillingly, how to navigate it.

Forced to get a job to make ends meet, Sophia discovers that: 1) buying and reselling vintage clothes is something she loves doing; 2) she is actually good at it *gasp*; and 3) she can sell the stuff online, while lying in bed in her underwear, specifically. What started as her easy way out became a full-fledged business, one she needed to build from the ground up. And so begins her journey: the birth of the controversial Nasty Gal fashion empire, and her metamorphosis into #Girlboss.

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The Honest Plot

"You know how people flip houses? Well, I flip clothes," said Sophia Amoruso (played by Britt Robertson) in the Netflix trailer below. "Flipping" means buying at a low price and doing some alterations before selling it at a high cost. This, in a nutshell, is what former fashion empire Nasty Gal (at one point—they no longer sell vintage clothes) was all about. And Girlboss is the story of the girl behind it—how she discovers what she's passionate about, and how she learns, finally, to grow up a little.

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The Cast and Where You Last Saw Them

Britt Robertson 

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Playing the #girlboss herself (and impeccably so), Britt Robertson has been acting since the age of 7. You might remember her from A Dog's Purpose, Tomorrowland (opposite George Clooney), and The Longest Ride.

Ellie Reed 

Aside from playing Sophia's bff-enabler-partner-in-crime, Ellie Reed has appeared in 2 Broke Girls, and Chicago P.D.

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Johnny Simmons

Johnny Simmons, who plays Sophia's lovable (debatable) love interest, has appeared in several films, the most popular of which are Evan Almighty, 21 Jump Street, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The To Do List.

Alphonso McAuley (@mcphonz)

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Shane's roommate and Annie's boyfriend, business-major-slash-bartender Dax, is played by actor, director and famous viner, Alphonso McAuley. He was last seen as Cassius Spark's on Fox's Breaking In.

Other members of the supporting cast include Sophia's father, Dean Norris, neighbor Lionel played by famous drag queen, RuPaul, Jim Rash as the vintage-shop owner Mobias, and Amanda Rea as Bettina, Nasty Gal's pansexual model.

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Did You Know?

1. Sophia Amoruso stepped down as the CEO of Nasty Gal in 2015. A year later, the company filed for bankruptcy and she stepped down as Chairwoman. Not to worry, she still lives the life of a #Girlboss, and recently just released her second book Nasty Galaxy, and is now putting up a media company called, you guessed it: Girlboss.

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2. Girlboss is spearheaded by an all girl team, with Charlize Theron and Sophia Amoruso as Executive Producers, and Kay Cannon (writer of the Pitch Perfect franchise) as the creator.

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3. Shane (a fictional character) is rumored to be based on Sophia's ex-husband, Joel Jarek DeGraff, whom she met in 2002 before Nasty Gal came to life. Also, he's a musician. Coincidence?

What I Think:

If I'm going to be perfectly honest, I'd have to say I actually liked Girlboss. Full disclosure: It was a rocky start. Sophia, during the first few episodes, was just tiring to watch. She was a selfish, irresponsible mess who, in one way or another, reminded me a little bit too much of myself (in the younger years). She did what she wanted, got what she wanted, and had z e r o respect for authority. It felt familiar, a girl I knew too well, and so I cringed a little (and laughed a lot) seeing that play out on-screen. And then, four episodes in, it got old. Like the series was going nowhere, except to say, "I'm an asshole, and I'm going to step all over you because that's what #girlbosses do" (yeah, definitely not the image we want to project). The more temper tantrums she threw, the more she pushed the people who love and care about her away, the more Sophia and her fuck-the-world attitude slowly lost their charm. She was no longer spontaneous, she was reckless. She was no longer feisty, she was rude. She cared about no one and nothing except herself. And yes, I did want to give up on the series. If I didn't have to write about it, I wasn't going to see it to the end. But I had to, so I did. And I was pleasantly surprised.

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In retrospect, I realize that this just might be the show's charm. Much like how everyone else saw Sophia, just when you're about to quit or give up on her, she surprises you—a sincere apology in hand. She softens. Actually acknowledges that she needs other people. Shows that she cares about how other humans feel. And knows that deep down, she would not be where she is without everyone's support. Hey, I'm a sucker for great character development! At the very least, this show has a lot of that. 2008 post Nasty Gal launch-Sophia might as well be a different person from the one we started with in 2006 episode 1-Sophia. You actually begin to root and care for this girl! So much so, that at the end of the final episode, when the cameras close up on her and she flashes her Sophia-esque smug grin, you realize you're proud of her. (And damn girl, you did it!)

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Drama, heartache, daddy (and mommy!!) issues all in tow, the series shines when it begins to show a little bit of vulnerability. I just wish they didn't wait until the very last minute to do it. 

Other Thoughts While Watching Girlboss:

"No, Sophia, that is not a small, shitty apartment! You have no idea what you're talking about."

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"OMG, I love that outfit. *googles Nasty Gal, gets lost looking at other clothes* Damn, that's expensive."

"Okay, this series is a lot like The Intern. Except no one's playing Robert de Niro."

"Oh, and that best friendship with Annie—if you and your best friend aren't like that, are you really best friends? "

I'd Recommend It To:

Cynics. Haters. And, well, anyone who has a dream and was told they couldn't make it. Just…bear with the first few episodes; it gets better, I promise.

Follow Lara on Instagram.