Someone should be able to determine in a matter of minutes whether or not “Boo, Bitch” is appropriate for them. The most recent young adult series released by Netflix makes no secret of the fact that it is declaring itself.
High school students in the show speak in dialogue that appears to be written in ALL CAPS and use hashtags and acronyms that are impossible to pronounce. Those who are interested in seeing what actress Lana Condor is up to after her role as Lara Jean in the trilogy “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” will be pleased to learn that the show’s hyperactive tone provides her with the opportunity to play a character who is quite dissimilar to Lara Jean.
The fact that Condor’s most recent high school character, Erika Vu from “Boo, Bitch,” ends up being a lot more focused version of Lara Jean in ways that both testify to Condor’s versatility as an actor and disclose the holes in the show’s complex idea reveals that the show’s premise is flawed.
From the minds of co-creators Erin Ehrlich and Lauren Iungerich, “Boo, Bitch” stars Lana Condor as a restless young woman who spends the majority of her time attempting to avoid the “epic fail” of going viral in a negative way. Condor is also an executive producer on the show.
A month before the senior prom, Erika and her best friend Gia (Zoe Colletti) make a pact to make the most of their remaining days of senior year. However, this agreement becomes significantly more complicated when, while under the influence of alcohol, they discover what appears to be Erika’s decomposing body in the woods.
It is sinister material, but in the hands of Iungerich, it comes out as more of a Scooby Doo cliffhanger than a threatening Riverdale turn of events.
The remaining eight episodes of the short-lived series follow Erika as she tries to make the most of her time as an “embodied” ghost. This review will not contain any major spoilers.
Erika’s “best life” consists primarily of making out with her long-time crush Jake C. (Mason Versaw) and fending off Riley’s advances (Aparna Brielle). Once she gets her first taste of the fame and fortune that comes with being a #influencer, Erika’s life takes a dramatic turn into a life of nihilistic joy.
“Boo, Bitch” is thrown off course by Erika’s sudden transformation into a Regina George monster in the last act. A more emotional finale is all that is left at the end. Condor’s full-throated embracing of Erika’s selfish side is so jarringly different from the persona she carved out in “To All the Boys…” that it’s often perversely alluring.
Because of how abruptly and totally she transforms throughout the story, no one who cares about Erika will be able to understand why she becomes such a horrible person in the end. As for Gia, Colletti’s portrayal of her as a sincere, raw nerve makes seeing the new Erika be so irresponsible with her heart a real sorrow.
In the end, the stories of “Boo, Bitch” come to light, and Erika herself admits that she probably doesn’t deserve a bow. In order to maintain the show’s primary character consistent enough to make sense, as well as Colletti’s Gia, the show may have needed an additional episode.
It’s either that or “Boo, Bitch” doesn’t quite live up to its potential, despite the best efforts of its game stars to fill in the holes.