Netflix has released the first official trailer for their new series “Girlboss,” set to premiere Apr. 21. Inspired by the New York Times best-selling book of the same title by Sophia Amoruso, founder of the fashion brand Nasty Gal, the series follows Amoruso’s rise to early internet glory, going from selling vintage clothes on eBay to founding her multi-million dollar brand.
Created by “Pitch Perfect” writer Kay Cannon and produced by Charlize Theron and Sophia Amaruso herself (among others), the idea for “Girlboss” probably seemed like a slam dunk back when it was first pitched: Girl power themes of the”No F*cks Given” variety abound in the trailer, as it arcs out Amaruso’s rags-to-riches story: Begging, bartering, and stealing her way to success in mid-2000’s San Francisco.
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But as high energy as it seems, we can’t help but wonder: Does the fact that the actual Nasty Gal brand just filed for bankruptcy IRL (and is now owned by British retail giant Boohoo) taint the show before it even gets out of the gate? Granted, there’s more to the story than just the rise of a business: Hints at relationship struggles, family rebellion, wavering self confidence, and rampant HPV (Hi RuPaul!) abound — and as a dramatic future season, it couldn’t be better… But the fact remains that what’s being presented to us as an aspirational tale of gig-economy success has now become a cautionary one instead.
As quick backstory to the real Nasty Gal’s troubles: According to the LA Times, Nasty Gal saw swift success after it launched, reaching $100 million in sales by 2012. But as the company continued its rapid growth, Amaruso’s celebrity began to rise as well, turning her attention to other projects such as two books and said Netflix series. With that split in focus, cracks began to show — and some rookie mistakes may have been made: Moving into an expensive HQ in downtown LA, not paying enough attention to logistics, etc. are all classic growing pains, but here they have a double meaning.
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In 2015 Amaruo stepped down as Chief Executive, and a series of high profile replacements came and went. All this sent an unstable message to investors, which were beginning to loose faith that Nasty Gal could expand beyond its younger, “LA Cool” aesthetic and grow with changing consumers.
Obviously none of this will be in the premiere season — but does having this modern baggage create an uphill battle for a new show? Knowing it eventually fails, will audiences connect with the successes the characters works so hard for?
We’re still going to give it a shot, but let us know what you think:
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All 13 episodes of “Girlboss” premiere April 21 on Netflix.