Good Girls premiere recap: ‘Pilot’


NBC’s new dark comedy suffers from tonal whiplash but “Pilot,” still makes a pretty decent entry into the Good Girls universe.

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Anchored by a fantastic cast across the board, it definitely has the potential to be a massive hit for the network. Similar to Weeds and Breaking Bad, this new show is about regular suburban people who get caught up in the consequences of their crime.

Christina Hendricks is Beth, a stay-at-home mom of four kids and married to a husband who spends all of his time at the office. When her credit card is rejected at a bikini wax appointment, Beth finally takes the initiative to discover where Dean (played by Matthew Lillard) has been spending their money.

Turns out, he’s been sleeping with one of the younger co-workers at his car dealership and has three mortgages on the house that he’s been hiding from his wife. Realizing that she’ll have to take matters into her own hands, “Pilot” sets Beth on the path to rob the local grocery store.

Her sister, Annie (a fantastic Mae Whitman), works a minimum wage job at the store where she fights to make enough money to raise her daughter. Things are a little more complicated since Sadie is still figuring out her own identity which leads to her getting bullied at school constantly.

Annie doesn’t have the money and her ex-boyfriend (Whitman’s Friday Nights Lights costar Zach Gilford), announces he plans to sue her for custody so he can get Sadie therapy. Harassed by her creepy boss who won’t take no for an answer, Annie is actually the one who suggests the group steals from her store in the Good Girls premiere.

Finally, her best friend Ruby (Parks and Recreation’s Retta) has a supportive husband and an independent daughter who is, unfortunately, suffering from a severe illness. The couple is desperate to hire the best doctors and try any treatment possible to help her but simply can’t afford it. Stan and Ruby both work all day to earn enough just to get by and even though the latter is sure that robbery is not the answer she ends up getting dragged into the crime anyways.

Of course, their “perfect crime” doesn’t end up going the way they expected when the three steal about half a million dollars rather than the thirty grand they were looking for. Things get even murkier when it turns out that the money belonged to a gang boss and not just a grocery store. While they scurry to repay the man before getting into any more trouble, another bombshell is dropped: Annie’s boss recognized her tattoo during the robbery.

He ends up blackmailing her into sleeping with him, which Sadie thankfully interrupts, but returns later to attempt to rape her. Here is where Good Girls suffers from the most tonal whiplash while the series tries to decide whether its a drama or a comedy. Beth intervening in the nick of time to stop the assault and threatening to shoot her sister’s assailant is a gripping scene which is then played for laughs when it’s revealed her gun is fake. While the scene is powerful, it’s definitely not funny and it feels very out of place in the generally light-hearted “Pilot.”

Once Good Girls discovers the perfect medium between comedy and drama, this season should be one of the highlights of the spring. “Pilot” has plenty of promise sprinkled throughout and plenty of reasons for viewers to tune in next week. Since Annie’s boss accidentally dies this week and based on the promo with the girls agreeing to smuggle shipments for the gang, it’s safe to assume they’re about to become full-on criminals.

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Considering the show can’t just focus on their one crime, it will be interesting to watch these suburban moms slowly give into their deeper impulses throughout the season.