Girl­boss off to a medi­ocre start

Youth­fully self-ab­sorbed Girl­boss no match for Veep.

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ou’re young, smart, pretty. What’s the prob­lem?’’ asks Sophia’s dad in Girl­boss (avail­able on Net­flix from April 21). It’s a ques­tion I’d al­ready been ask­ing my­self, swiftly fol­lowed by ‘‘why am I watch­ing this?’’.

This Net­flix orig­i­nal is a ‘‘loose retelling of real events’’ about the rise of Sophia Amoruso and her on­line fash­ion brand Nasty Gal. Amoruso had hum­ble busi­ness be­gin­nings start­ing out sell­ing vin­tage cloth­ing on EBay.

It sounds like a thor­oughly mil­len­nial tale with enough sub­stance on pa­per, and, in­deed, this ‘‘retelling’’ was ap­par­ently in­spired by Amoruso’s bi­og­ra­phy. But the first episode felt more like it was in­spired by a medi­ocre, paint-by-num­bers rom­com.

Here’s our kooky hero­ine in the open­ing scene run­ning out of gas and hav­ing to push her car uphill on a pic­turesque San Fran­cisco street. Ah, she’s clearly a bit dis­or­gan­ised and has money trou­bles. Then, here’s our hero­ine hav­ing fun in a busy city bar with her best friend and spot­ting a hot guy play­ing in the band. Ah, a bit of a love in­ter­est. Fi­nally here’s our hero­ine go­ing to work at her job in a shoe store that doesn’t re­ally do it for her. Ah, she’s got too much get-upand-go to work in a bor­ing old shoe store.

With lots of good-look­ing peo­ple and lo­ca­tions, it gives a light, fluffy por­trayal of a 20-some­thing strug­gling to find her place in the world. But I use the word ‘‘strug­gling’’ in the broad­est sense, be­cause, well, sure, Sophia has a bor­ing job and dump­ster dives for food. But, this seems to be through choice, rather than ne­ces­sity.

She has friends, an apart­ment and a fa­ther who seems nice and con­cerned about her and takes her to din­ner in ex­pen­sive res­tau­rants. And yes, her job is kind of dull, but she turns up late, takes per­sonal calls and surfs the net all day.

Per­son­ally my sym­pa­thies lay with her dad and her boss, be­cause Sophia comes across as 23-go­ing-on-13. She’s all youth­fully self-ab­sorbed ide­al­ism and melo­dra­matic angst.

Oh, look, per­haps I’m be­ing un­fair – we’ve all been youth­ful and an­noy­ing at some stage. Hope­fully, Sophia’s char­ac­ter will grow out of this and be­come more en­gag­ing than ir­ri­tat­ing as this se­ries pro­gresses. Time will tell. I’m just not sure I want to spend my time find­ing out, be­ing en­ter­tained shouldn’t be that hard.

There’s an­other tale of a high­pro­file woman in the sixth se­ries of Veep (Thurs­days, 9pm, SoHo). With ex-Pres­i­dent Selina Meyer now out of pub­lic of­fice, her team have also dis­persed. Slick Dan Egan is a host on CBS Morn­ing; Mike is at home watch­ing Bub­ble Gup­pies and Ben has scored some con­sul­tancy work for Uber, a ‘‘bunch of mil­len­ni­als, too lazy to learn how to drink drive’’.

Mean­while, Selina her­self is ruth­lessly pur­su­ing speak­ing engagements. ‘‘Tell them I’ll stand on a glass podium and wear a short skirt’’.

Yes, like Sophia in Girl­boss, Selina is ut­terly self-ab­sorbed, but there’s no youth­fully ide­al­is­tic coun­ter­bal­ance. And Veep is the bet­ter for it.

With lots of good-look­ing peo­ple and lo­ca­tions, Girl­boss is a light, fluffy por­trayal of a girl strug­gling to find her place in the world.

Veep is still one of the best ex­am­ples of mod­ern US com­edy ..

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