Good Girls on NBC: First Impressions

Good Girls aired its second episode last night, slightly dipping in the ratings since it’s premiere last week at the end of February, but still managing to outpace NBC’s The Brave, which is in its second season. Still too early to tell how the show will fare, although it is barely holding onto it’s “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a 61%.

(Mild spoilers ahead)

Good Girls is described by Vogue as, “Somewhere between Big Little Lies and Breaking Bad,” a quote already being toted about by NBC in Good Girlsmarketing. While definitely reminiscent of the drama of subscription-television, to put it right in the middle of the two aforementioned shows is misleading. Of course, when you consider that this show airs on a broadcast network, you understand that it’s not going to match the grittiness of HBO’s content. Instead, I would modify Vogue’s soundbite and put this show somewhere between Big Little Lies and Parks and Rec.

The show centers around three women, all struggling financially to maintain their family units, who decide to rob a grocery store. All subsequent drama stems from this first storyline in the pilot episode.

Christina Hendricks remarked, “I was worried about being on network television… I was like ‘You have to promise me that you aren’t going to back down from this and this is what it’s going to be… They have. They’ve maintained [the tone] the whole time.”

I would agree with her statement to an extent. Good Girls does a great job of keeping the pressure high and making the viewer feel tense, especially in the first episode. But by the second, the audience starts to feel like it isn’t so high stakes anymore. With an armed robbery, attempted rape, and what appears to be a dead body all in the first episode, this show would seem extremely out of place on NBC. But then in the second episode, we find out that the body in question was never really dead, or even badly injured. The attempted rape seems to hardly have an effect on any of the characters emotionally.

The tension is wonderfully built in Good Girls but is too easily resolved by the next episode. Even when a main character was held at gunpoint, I never felt like the show was going to go there (which it didn’t by the way). However, this isn’t really a demerit in my opinion. This is network television, of course!

What the show lacks in consistent tension, it makes up for in laughs. The show features seasoned comedians such as Retta who many know as Donna Meagle from Parks and Rec, Mae Whitman, known for her work on Arrested Development, and Matthew Lillard and David Hornsby. The comedy in the show helps you suspend your disbelief just a bit longer when a situation doesn’t go as dark as it might in real life.

If you’re absolutely craving a dark, gritty drama to match Game of Thrones or West World, this probably isn’t the show for you. But if you’re like me and have been poisoned by this golden-age of television we’re in and need something light-hearted but can’t quite shake the need for dramatic plot lines, this is perfect.

I’m not a huge fan of numbered ratings but if I had to I would give Good Girls a 7.5/10. A really fun watch with some engaging storylines. Definitely recommend!

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