You Should Be Watching!: Good Girls

A Trio of Modern 9-To-5’ers Find A New Way To Make A Living

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I’m not in love with over-the-air and premium dramas. I feel emotionally manipulated by This Is Us. Rise makes me feel very, very uncomfortable. When the days become longer I plan to embolden myself and finish American Crime Story, but for now…I’m too scared. And after that opening scene in Atlanta‘s premiere? Maybe later.

But I want smart dramas, and I want them now, and thankfully, there’s Good Girls, NBC’s latest drama. Created by Janna Barns (The Family), and starring Retta, Christina Hendricks, and Mae Whitman, the tense drama follows three well-behaved women who take financial matters into their own hands when today’s near-recession nears a breaking point.

Hendricks plays Beth, a mother of four with a no good, lyin’, stinkin’, cheatin’ husband (Matthew Lillard, with none of the gravitas he brought to The Bridge) who owns a used car lot (of course he does!) Beth is shocked to learn that her husband, middle-aged, is pulling in Sarah Paxton while she’s given up twenty years of her life to run their family. And naturally, he’s run their lives into the ground with bad decisions. Beth needs money so she doesn’t lose their house. Girl, you need to get your own bank account.

Beth’s sister, Annie, works retail at a grocery store with a gross, lecherous boss (I’m not sorry he was kidnapped) and is in danger of losing custody of her sweet kid, Sadie. (Sadie is possibly gender-ambiguous, and the thought of Annie’s kid going to her father, who seems out-of-touch with his own child, breaks my heart. It also hurts to see Zach Sarancen so mean to Annie, when Whitman was such a big fan of FNL.)

Ruby’s daughter needs an expensive kidney medication to live, but Obamacare, far from what #44 had planned for us, doesn’t get her the good doctors–its gets people overworked, underpaid, and ill-equipped to pay attention.

Ruby needs the money the most, and frankly, she’s the most deserving. Beth is imperfect, snobby, and a little out of touch. Annie is young, and kind of a mess (though I feel defensive of her, as both a younger sister and someone who is maybe a mess-on-the-verge). All of the women are tired of working hard for better and getting nowhere (#America!) but are able to successfully follow their motivation enough to rob a grocery store, cross international borders to repay a debt, and go head-to-head against an organized crime syndicate.

But, because they really are good people, no one—not even Annie—is adept enough to cover their tracks. Audiences found that alluring in Breaking Bad, a drama purported to be about a Good Man Gone Bad. I hope audiences find Good Girls alluring too. These women need more than a reputation preserved, and unlike Walter White, they may have been good women all along.

RIYL: The Last Man On EarthWeeds

Good Girls airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC. You can catch up now on Hulu.

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