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July 16, 2018 | by  | in TV |
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Good Girls

Good Girls follows three frustrated American mothers as they “break bad” by robbing a grocery store in order to make ends meet. This robbery is complicated by the store’s connection to a Detroit gang and their money laundering syndicate, leading the women further down lives of crime.
The strength of Good Girls lies in its cast. Christina Hendricks plays a housewife spurred to take charge of the household and clean up her husband’s (Matthew Lillard) mess after he binds them in significant debt and fails to keep his dick in his pants. Mae Whitman plays her broke sister who faces the problem of losing custody of her genderqueer child Sadie. Retta plays a waitress who that she is unable to afford the medication required for her ill daughter. The moments of comedy and banter between the friends as they complain about their coworkers, deal with bullet holes in their mini-van, and find injured gangsters in their children’s beds are genuinely funny and absurd. The cast’s chemistry and power is most apparent in the show’s well developed characters. Most of the characters sympathetic and lovable despite taking very immoral and heinous actions, due to the deftly carried out script.
The show ramps up the stakes as often as it can. The protagonist’s decisions multiply their problems, forcing them to gravitate further away from their “good” suburban selves. The issue with raising the stakes as often and incrementally as the show does is that the narrative slows down and meanders towards the second half of the season. The writers clearly had an ending in mind, however the show does hinder itself by putting the characters in a multiple episode limbo where pressing problems are uncharacteristically swept aside to deal with sub-plot lines. Perhaps the writers prefer to set these problems up for future seasons, but it does come at a cost to the show’s overall pacing.

Good Girls has strong emotional arcs as well as moments of genuine comedy and absurdity. However, it struggles in weaving these differing tones together. While some jokes are well written and situational, many are just witty observations or sarcastic comments. While these comments and observations lend themselves to the characters’ quirky personalities, there are instances where the characters leap to dramatic outbursts and heartfelt interactions only seconds after making jokes about needing more mimosas. This may have been done in the interest of showcasing actual human interactions but it can be jarring when a character set up to be pathetically laughable is suddenly drunk and forcing himself onto one of the women before returning to his weaselly brand of comedy. The show tries to mix these different tones together in ways that shows such as Breaking Bad and Desperate Housewives have done, but struggles because it leans so hard into comedic quips and gags, as opposed to small character-driven moments of comedy which flow into moments of vulnerability.
Despite these slight tonal problems and minor pacing issues, Good Girls was a genuinely enjoyable watch. Available to stream on Netflix right now, if you’re looking for an entertaining show about suburban mothers being badasses and consistently getting themselves stuck in shit-sand, Good Girls is for you.

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