January 29, 2023

On the subject of highschool, significantly senior 12 months, the stakes of each alternative really feel like life or dying. Between getting paired with a reliable lab associate to securing the most popular promenade date, nothing is low-key — significantly when it is senior 12 months, and also you solely get one probability to depart a long-lasting legacy. However what in case your closing days as a highschool senior really had been life or dying? In Netflix’s Boo, Bitch, starring Lana Condor and Zoe Margaret Colletti, a highschool senior, who’s lived a really low-key life safely beneath the radar, decides to lastly take cost of her story and say sure to the epic life she’s been lacking out on solely to get up the subsequent morning as a motherf*%king ghost. Now, she’s racing towards the clock to type out her unfinished enterprise earlier than she will get trapped within the mortal realm ceaselessly. What sort of legacy would you permit beneath that form of stress?


Harking back to Disney Channel’s ’90s basic Susie Q meets Booksmart meets Imply Women, Boo, Bitch is a pleasant restricted collection exploring younger love, frenemy rivalry, and true friendship. Erika Vu (Condor) and her finest pal Gia (Colletti) have spent their complete highschool profession main as much as the pilot episode staying very a lot within the shadows. Ever since Erika by accident injured imply woman Riley (Aparna Brielle) at freshman orientation and Riley branded Erika with the nickname Helen Who — a moniker that has haunted Erika for the previous 4 years — Erika has made a concerted effort to remain out of the highlight. However when the yearbook mockup lists Erika’s identify as Helen Who, Erika lastly realizes she’s let this one fleeting second of bullying outline her complete highschool profession. She realizes that she will be able to’t go away highschool with out taking management of her narrative and reclaiming her personal identification. She and Gia, her prom-loving BFF, make a pact to lastly take part in the highschool experiences they’ve every desperately sought to keep away from all this time, and that is the place the actual enjoyable begins.

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Their lowered inhibitions ultimately result in utter disaster. Erika wakes from their one and solely evening of debauchery to comprehend that she’s now a ghost. Immediately, questions cascade out. What sort of ghost is she? Does she have powers? Why can folks see her? Why is she nonetheless right here? Does she have unfinished enterprise? If that’s the case, what’s it? Erika and Gia work collectively to try to work out the thriller of what is going on on and finally uncover how they may help Erika ascend. What’s at stake if they do not is her getting trapped within the purgatory of being a ghost who has by no means settled their unfinished enterprise and is cursed to stroll the mortal realm unseen for eternity. As Erika steps additional and additional into the brand new, extra assured persona she thinks is the reply to her ascension out of this mortal airplane, an epic rift cracks extensive open between her and Gia that turns into a heartbreakingly poignant allegory for loss.

The place Boo, Bitch actually excels is in balancing its foolish, irreverent tone with the shifting message underlaying all of its wild antics. Except for the affecting scenes between Erika and Gia coming to phrases with the truth that their time collectively is successfully operating out, the secondary characters surrounding these finest pals additionally work by legit motivations. Imply woman Riley begins the collection as that quintessential Regina George-esque queen bee. But, as episodes progress, exhausting acquainted tropes of the imply woman’s boyfriend leaving her for the woman subsequent door, we’re left with moments of actual discomfort and agony as Riley wrestles with vulnerability and incrementally inches her means out of her unhealthy bullying patterning.

Even the love story between Erika and Jake C. (Mason Versaw) reads as extra nuanced than the standard teen romance. Jake C. is actually launched as that well-worn handsome, delicate standard child archetype trapped in a really unhealthy cool-kid-coupling. He meets Erika, and he or she’s a breath of contemporary air. However, taking a word from Imply Women and operating with it, as Erika strays additional and farther from the identification that first intrigued Jake C., he questions what it actually was that he preferred about her anyway. As a result of this can be a restricted collection and never a film, we get to spend extra time lingering in these uncomfortable, damage, questioning moments with Jake C. than we in any other case may, actually feeling the results of the impressionability of youth. Feeling how painful it may be to have such sturdy emotions for somebody who weeks later has developed their persona a lot that they are not recognizable. Can romance survive between two characters traversing dueling identification crises?

Whereas the present does develop these shifting moments and provides these major relationships alternatives to veer and bloom in sudden methods, the characters on the outskirts learn as much less efficient. Jake C.’s arc together with his pals specifically, whereas clearly supposed to have an antagonistic really feel, strikes into uncomfortable territory. Moments like after they aggressively and repeatedly stress Jake C. to remain in his dysfunctional relationship with Riley for such superficial causes distract from the present’s extra nuanced, progressive storylines. These scenes give these characters a caricaturish really feel. Moreover, the magic membership that Erika and Gia flip to for solutions additionally strays far into the campy realm, pulling focus in an ungrounded means. Although these moments do match with the established tone of the present — that quirky, irreverent air — they finally detract from the present’s stronger, extra emotionally affecting parts.

Inside the context of the teenage comedy style, Boo, Bitch is a enjoyable, darkish, quirky, poignant thriller. It is a present about loss. Lack of life, lack of love, lack of friendship, lack of identification. And amidst all that loss comes the message that whereas circumstances could also be ever-changing, our commitments to honoring the folks we love and to honoring ourselves by taking dangers and residing out loud are what matter most. Bookended by its strongest moments — these between finest pals Erika Vu and Gia — this collection sees Condor actually shine. Her big selection as an actress is on full show, gifting audiences moments of delightfully bizarre desperation combined with deep, grounded grief. The friendship chemistry between Condor and Colletti can have you scrambling to the telephone to meet up with your long-lost highschool bestie. Boo, Bitch is a campy restricted collection with a little bit little bit of all the pieces that is completely price a watch.

Score: A-

Boo, Bitch premieres on Netflix on July 8.