NBC’s new show Good Girls is far more Weeds and Breaking Bad than the comedy I expected, but it provides an interesting glimpse into the workplace through a trio of moms resorting to desperate measures to make ends meet. Our three anti-heroines are:
Annie, a single mom earning minimum wage working at a grocery store for a Weinstein-esque boss (Boomer) and hoping to raise the funds to retain custody of her child; Annie’s sister, Beth, the seemingly perfect wife and mother with a scoundrel husband who spends his days philandering and squandering their money; and their close friend, Ruby, a hard-working server trying to earn enough at the diner to pay for her daughter’s experimental medical treatment.
Annie’s fantasy of robbing her employer and getting revenge on her slimy boss becomes a reality after the three women find themselves in need of cash fast. After a rather amusing robbery scene involving kids’ toy pistols and a reference to Doc McStuffins, things quickly take a dark turn. Boomer recognizes Annie’s back tattoo during the robbery, and our anti-heroines realize they have inadvertently stolen half a million dollars from a local gang using the grocery store for a money-laundering front.
While the gang members are certainly intimidating, the most frightening scenes in the pilot episode involve Boomer’s attempts to blackmail Annie into submitting to his unwanted sexual advances. This show does not shy away from tackling a scary #metoo situation in which Boomer attempts to force himself upon his employee. Christina Hendricks steals the scene in her portrayal of Beth, a woman who has had enough and arrives just in time to rescue Annie.
While most Weinstein-esque bosses do not have the blackmail material that Boomer does, the show does provide a jarring look at the dangers of unchecked supervisory authority and an employer that has failed to take any appropriate steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. In short, the Boomer/Annie scenes highlight the importance of strong anti-harassment policies, established reporting procedures, and maintaining a workplace culture promoting respect and professionalism.
Unfortunately, that was not the case for Annie at the Fine & Frugal, as her employers were far too busy laundering cash to worry about employee safety or Title VII. With angry gang members and an unconscious Boomer to deal with, I suspect our titular Good Girls have some tough choices ahead of them that do not involve Human Resources or a police report.