We’re living in a world where nostalgia, specifically ’90s and early 00s nostalgia, permeates everyday life.
Boo, Bitch is, without a doubt, a limited series geared at Gen Z’ers, but there might be some jokes that almost go way above their heads — unless they’ve seen Mean Girls, that is.
The series, minus the whole dying aspect, is quite literally the plot of the Lindsay Lohan-led rom-com, right down to the “you can’t sit with us” quote. Of course, the Burn Book is swapped for a video time capsule, trending online, and TikTok, the modern-day interests of high school seniors.
At the center of it all is the new
Cady Heron, Erika Vu, played by Lana Condor.
I had high hopes for this series given Condor’s work in the All the Boys I’ve Loved franchise, and, don’t get me wrong, she did not disappoint.
Condor poured her soul into the role. She understood the assignment, took the material, and delivered a compelling, jarring, uncomfortable, and actually quite terrifying performance that showed off her range and versatility as she changed beats and personalities at the snap of a finger. One minute she was, essentially, Lara Jean, and the next, Cady of social media steroids.
What did disappoint, however, was the plot and the uneven pacing that brought us such varying versions of Erika, to begin with. The conclusion lacked a fulfilling end to Erika’s whole “Main Character” transformation.
When the teaser for the series first dropped, I was intrigued, but the fun supernatural concept with a hint of teen spirit quickly fizzles out and the series takes a dark turn that it truly never bounces back from.
There are some unexpected plot twists that are delivered effectively, but it all gets muddled in a series that tried way too hard…. just like Erika Vu.
Erika begins the season as a likable and semi-nerdy character who is so scared of existing that she hasn’t done anything that makes her feel alive. She’s the type of girl next door character that you can find yourself rooting for, even if she made a few missteps along the way and fell into the popularity trap that all too many teen rom-com movies and shows use as a crutch.
Her sidekick is Gia, (Zoe Margarett Colletti), who turns out to be the lifeline of the show. Gia may not be the most popular girl in school, but she remains as constant throughout the entire series, No matter what she endures and no matter the twists that are thrown her way, she never changes. She’s herself to the fullest form; she’s a wacky, lovable, and most importantly, caring and dedicated, friend.
When it’s revealed that *plot twist,” Gia is the one that was hit by a car and subsequently crushed to death by a moose — brutal! — instead of Erika, everything changes. There’s a tonal shift in the series, but it still feels justified at first.
Erika can’t seem to figure out who she is, but since she’s dying, she has nothing to lose so she attempts to go out in a glorious fashion and starts doing all the things that truly scare her, including pursuing a relationship with Jake C. It’s all understandable given her predicament, but then, she takes it too far and then even further, morphing into her own worst enemy, Riley, in front of our very eyes.
Instead of making the best of her final days with the people she cares about and leaving behind a legacy, she picks up the worst characteristics and becomes a walking nightmare. In an attempt to clear her own karma, she somehow misses the point and ensures that she’s the most hated person around.
There are obnoxious Tiktok dances, influencer-type shenanigans, speaking in acronyms, and much more as Erika clings on to any and every bit of “fame” with the zero personality that she has left. Everything that made Erika Vu unique, the part of her that gained Jake C’s attention and mustered up the courage to stand up to Riley, is gone as she becomes a shell of herself. Much like Gia, you quickly regret ever giving this power-hungry monster the chance to evolve.
And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part about Erika is that she feels absolutely no remorse. Even the realization that her best friend is dying doesn’t snap her back into reality; Her spiral into influencer demon only intensifies.
Admittedly, it’s not great to allow your BFF to believe she’s living on borrowed time (it isn’t fetch, okay?), but one can appreciate that Gia made the decision out of love. She didn’t want the only time Erika decided to live to be plagued by the memory of her best friend’s death. She was scared Erika would recoil and undo any progress once she found out the truth, so she kept up the lie in hopes that her best friend would finally live a fulfilled life.
It was a problematic decision, sure, but it was also incredibly selfless. And selfless should be Gia’s middle name because, throughout the whole series, she sacrificed her happiness at every turn for Erika. She knew her days were numbered and yet, she watched Erika prioritize her new relationship while allowing herself to be pushed to the side and treated like a nobody.
Erika’s anger toward Gia would’ve been justified for a day or two, but any person, upon finding out that their best friend is a walking corpse, would realize the bigger picture and forgive them.
Erika didn’t. Instead, she continued to put herself first, waving off Gia at every turn, and even asking her, at her weakest moment when she began glitching, to help with some insignificant and inconsequential request, which, might I add, Gia still delivered. Erika didn’t deserve it, but it’s proof that Gia’s a boss.
When Gia finally flipped out on Erika — a more than warranted reaction — Erika didn’t even seem to understand the problem and brushed it off.
It got to the point where Erika didn’t realize for a full 30 days that her best friend was a literal ghost. People couldn’t see, talk to, or feel Gia, and Erika never picked up on it, which quite frankly, is the most telling thing about Erika.
Now, I know that eventually, Erika does have a come to Jesus moment, but it all just feels a little too late.
Despite Gia finding the light, the series never actually finds the emotional hook again after Erika’s spiral. The end feels so forced and abrupt. When Erika realizes at the last moment what she should’ve known this whole time, the resolution doesn’t feel deserved or justified.
Even in the end as Gia tackles her unfinished business — attending prom with her bestie and a cute guy — and moves on, it doesn’t actually seem like Erika has learned her lesson.
In a moment that Erika also makes all about herself, she gives a heartfelt speech about her BFF. Gia ascends and her photo appears on everyone’s phone for a mere few seconds before they get back to the party as if nothing ever happened.
And that’s it.
Gia’s whole existence, which was already muted so that Erika could shine throughout much of the series, was just over in the blink of an eye. It was reduced to an impromptu apology that weaves in how great she was to a crowd of people who, much like Erika, barely even knew she existed.
The series has so many potential endings and possibilities that could’ve really resonated with audiences and tapped into lessons about life, loss, grief, second chances, and friendship in a comical way that was fitting for the series, and yet, this is what they chose.
And I get it, everyone makes mistakes, especially teens, but in this case, Erika’s never held accountable. She’s basically told that it’s okay to treat people like they are disposable and rack up massive amounts of debt (those poor parents) for the sake of being popular and known.
She barely even shed a tear over her best friend’s death, nor did she seem impacted or altered by the death, which should’ve been profound considering that Gia was her one and only friend and confidant throughout much of high school. A ride or die, if you will.
It was a shallow end that handed Erika a version of the “get out of jail free” card, while Gia was dealt a terrible hand from start to finish. What did the poor girl do to deserve this treatment? Surely, she wanted more out of life than this. I’m sure she had her own dreams, plans, and ambitions for a legacy. Her parents weren’t even around while she dealt with the fact that she was dead and attempted to preserve her own body while Erika lived it up. She was all alone — though, Gavin was a saving grace.
I can’t be the only one who thinks that Gia deserved so much more. She deserved that Main Character energy!
Erika deserved better, too. She started off as such a strong and promising character, and while we all lose our way in life, the focus of at least a few episodes should’ve included her trying to find her way back and make it up to Gia before their time ran out.
Gia deserved that, at the very least. She deserved an apology; she deserved to be treated like a priority for a day. Unfortunately, the friendship that was rock solid at first barely got a fitting conclusion in the end.
The reason Mean Girls remains such a beloved cult classic to this day is that, at the end of the day, the Plastics all learned their lesson and truly paid the price for their hostile actions. It’s not glossed over or rushed — it’s a big turning point in the film. There’s accountability, remorse, forgiveness, and a season of change that turns the one-dimensional bratty characters into well-rounded women deserving of love and acceptance.
We never actually get any of that with Erika. She wastes precious time prioritizing all the wrong things in life while the people that really matter and deserve her attention are an afterthought till their dying breath. Literally.
And maybe that’s a thinly veiled hint that we prioritized the wrong show too.
Madelaine Petsch’s ‘Hotel for the Holidays’ Is a Gem Among Cliché Films
There are a lot of Christmas movies out there, which is why it’s important to make the right choice this holiday season. After all, no one has the time to waste over two+ hours on a bad movie.
At the top of your list should be Hotel for the Holidays, a rom-com that offers a refreshing take on a festive genre that oftentimes lacks creativity simply because the forces behind the scenes know it will make money regardless as everyone longs for a slice of familiarity and comfort around the holidays.
There’s plenty of Christmas magic (it must’ve slipped through the cracks) in Hotel for the Holidays, and it sneaks up on you—and Madelaine Petsch’s character, Georgia—in the best possible way. It’s Amazon Freevee’s first original holiday flick, and hopefully, not the last.
The plot is rather simple on the surface, but it isn’t predictable as with other holiday rom-coms.
Here’s the gist: Georgia is a young and ambitious hotel manager at the historic Hotel Fontaine (it gives The Plaza Hotel vibes from Home Alone 2), which attracts an eclectic bunch of guests, including some heartbroken singles, an infamous popstar, a European ex-prince looking for a taste of the real world, and more. They all arrive in New York City for the holidays looking for an escape from the norm, and Georgia is determined to give it to them. However, she also has her own plans and goals that get her into a bit of a love triangle with the hotel’s chef, Luke (Mesa Massoud from the live-action Aladdin), and the ex-prince, Raymond (Max Lloyd Jones from Book of Boba Fett). It also stars Kayleigh Shikanai (American Gods) as Pandora, Jami Belushi (According to Jim) as Kiki, Neil Crone (It) as Milton, and Jayne Eastwood (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as Florence.
Pretty early into the film, it’s obvious how Georgia’s romantic life will resolve itself, which allows the film to dig into other captivating subplots that are positively unexpected. Unlike other holiday films, Georgia values herself beyond a romantic partner, which, right off the bat, is a breath of fresh air.
The supporting cast plays an integral part in the film, right down to the chef’s best friend/fellow chef and the janitorial staff. They may not be the sole focus of the series, but the team behind the rom-com found a way to involve them in a way that’s natural and easy to keep up with. Pretty soon, you find yourself rooting for the happiness of everyone at Hotel Fontaine—the staff and the guests.
The acting is also great. It’s just the right amount of feel-good so it never feels forced, nor do the character’s choices seem questionable. It’s all believable within the world they’ve created, aside from the scene where they are dining on a rooftop in the dead of a New York City winter without jackets or even sweaters. How are they not cold? As for the few over-the-top performances and characters, well, they also work—the prince’s bodyguard (AJ Zoldy) is a delight.
If I’m being perfectly honest, the magical thing about the film is that it’s a love letter to the community of people you surround yourself with: your found family.
The film doesn’t just settle for telling a story about two people who finally admit that they love each other because that’s tired and expected. Instead, it recognizes that romance comes in all shapes and sizes—in romantic partners, in co-workers, in friends, and even in new acquaintances that pass through your life for a brief moment (or stay awhile).
The storylines come together seamlessly, and the themes of belonging and acceptance—in addition to staying true to yourself, finding the inspiration to pursue your goals and ambitions, and acknowledging that it’s ok to move and find happiness on your own terms, even if it doesn’t always please everyone—help the film stand out among the other cliche seasonal offerings.
Most importantly, Petsch shines… and it’s so deserved. The film allows her to show off her range of acting chops that, sadly, get stifled on Riverdale. The CW series may have been her mainstream big break, but it stopped working in her favor a long time ago, so it’s exciting to see her take on new projects and characters.
Of all the Christmas films that I’ve seen in 2022 thus far, Hotel for the Holidays is one of the best.
Check it out for yourself when it premieres on Dec. 2 on Amazon’s Freevee.
9 TV Shows to Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving is a time for reconnecting with friends and family and indulging in some delicious meals.
But after all the turkey, sides, and pie is cleared off the plate, the only acceptable activity is binge-watching some feel-good TV shows.
Here are some post-Thanksgiving dinner show suggestions:
You’ll be just as surprised as Mel to fall in love with the picturesque town of Virgin River. Come for the views, stay for Jack.
Hart of Dixie
Dr. Zoe Hart arrives in Alabama looking for a fresh start and learns that the Southern way of living might actually be what’s best for her.
An unbreakable mother and daughter bond, a charming town that would make any Lifetime movie jealous… plus, an unspoken love for coffee? Say no more.
Selena + Chef
You might know her as a Disney Channel actress and pop star, but now, she’s adding chef to her resume. And since Thanksgiving is all about food, this is one show you don’t want to pass up.
You might think it’s odd that a mafia crime drama made the list, but at its core, the series is about family and how far two dedicated and loving moms would go for their family. It’s a thrill from beginning to end!
The modern-day update to the Chuck Norris classic hones in on family above everything, with a side of roundhouse kicks.
A Million Little Things
A group from Boston bond under the unlikeliest of circumstances and get a much-needed wake-up call following the death of a close friend.
Though it falls into the “sci-fi mystery” category, La Brea hinges on a family determined to find their way back to each other despite all the obstacles standing in their way and all the sacrifices needed to be made.
Dream Home Makeover
If there’s ever a time to get inspired for a home makeover, it’s after the holidays (and during Black Friday when everything is on sale!) And the McGee family is the cherry on top!
This is… a no-brainer. No show captures the essence of what it means to be a complicated, loving, flawed, and fulfilled family more than this NBC drama.
When Is ‘Dead to Me’ Season 3 Coming Out?
There’s been a lot of buzz about the upcoming third season of Dead to Me, which will, unfortunately, also be the final season of the Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini-led comedy drama.
When Will Dead to Me Season 3 Premiere?
Well, the wait is thankfully almost over because the series is set to hit Netflix on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
And that means, you’ll have the whole entire weekend to binge watch all 10 episodes to see how Jen Harding and Judy Hale’s adventures come to an end.
It’s been a bit since new episodes aired, however, with Dead to Me Season 2 dropping on the streaming giant in May 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic along with Applegate’s MS (multiple sclerosis diagnosis) delayed the upcoming season significantly, so it’s understandable if you don’t actually remember where things left off.
How Did Dead to Me Season 2 End? Let’s Recap!
For starters, a dog digs up Steve Wood’s body with his brother, Ben, getting the dreaded call. Judy and Jen find the money that Steve was laundering for the Greek mafia behind the frames of Judy’s art paintings, which allows them to buy out the house and get a new car for Charlie with a shiny new bow on top. Unfortunately, on their way home, they get into an accident with another vehicle… and it’s revealed that the driver that hit them is Ben, who has an empty bottle of liquor by his side. He’s a little banged up, but he drives away. This is honestly messy, so I’m glad we’re on the cusp of the new season. And on top of all of that, Charlie finds the letter that Jen wrote (and Judy didn’t destroy), which probably includes way too much information about what’s going on.
Dead to Me Season 3 Trailer
Applegate on Filming the Final Season
Applegate, who recently received her much-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, told Variety that while filming the new season of the Emmy-award winning drama amid her MS diagnosis was challenging (she had to use a wheelchair to get to set because walking was difficult and painful), she remained dedicated to finishing out the story for fans, which we truly admire and are grateful for.
When the creative forces behind the show asked if she wanted to pull the plug since they felt like they were “torturing her,” she replied, “But I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no: We have to finish this story. It’s too important to our hearts; too important to our souls. And we have to give this gift, not only to ourselves — there are people that love these characters, and we’ve got to let them have their closure too.’ So, if that meant me having to take a break in the middle of the day so I could go sleep — or me just leaving because I couldn’t do anymore — then that’s what we had to do.”
And knowing how much dedication went into it will make watching this season so more rewarding and gratifying.
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