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.
Found Season 1 Episode 10 – Missing While Indoctrinated
M&A suffered minor setbacks on Found Season 1 Episode 10 when the team’s license was revoked following Melissa’s death, with Mallory egging on the narrative in the media.
That, however, didn’t stop Gabi in the slightest—it fueled her to do what was right by Tony despite everyone trying to push her away from the case, including his father, who didn’t trust her after Tony was shot while trying to save Matthew from being turned over to sex traffickers.
Tony’s father’s reaction was understandable considering he was just trying to do the right thing for his son—and the right thing wasn’t exactly clear in this situation—but when the cops showed up mere moments after Tony opened his eyes from a monthlong coma and placed handcuffs on him, it was clear that he didn’t have much of a choice. If he wanted to help his son, he needed to place his trust in Gabi’s hands.
Gabi naturally went above and beyond to ensure a good outcome for Tony, yet he was also reluctant to help her out. Tony didn’t trust anyone, especially Gabi as he, too, blamed her for accidentally getting shot, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise when he used the bathroom excuse to give them the slip.
The investigation hit much closer to home than Gabi initially anticipated, but being forced to confront her past so head-on is ever so slightly helping her work through the trauma she endured. And most importantly, she can put herself in the shoes of the victims, knowing exactly what needs to be said or done to assure them that she’s on their side.
In an attempt to find Tony, they brought in his estranged mother, who admitted to being scared of her son and wanting nothing to do with him in order to protect her two other children. It was actually heartbreaking to witness her stance toward Tony, however, Matthew’s mom managed to persuade her to stand by her boy and not give up on him. Despite Tony’s involvement in Matthew’s kidnapping, she was able to forgive him when he stopped by with an apology, realizing that he was just a good boy who was being taken advantage of, and who was also lost and scared.
M&A figured that it was possible that Tony was trying to get back into the game and recruit other students when he returned to school, yet that didn’t track with his apology tour. And it turns out, he was at the school to get revenge on those who ruined his life, namely Finn, the one who recruited him and straight up lied to Gabi’s face, along with the principal, Chloe, who prided herself on lowering the truancy rate. It wasn’t overly obvious that she was involved, but there was something off about her from the start. Not to mention they always say that kidnappers tend to be someone you know and trust, and aside from parents, kids trust their teachers and friends the most, so it tracks.
Gabi got very emotional when she figured that one of the teachers at school might be responsible, even before pinpointing Chloe as the one leading the trafficking ring (who, after her arrest, sang like a canary, according to Trent), and it led to one of the biggest revelations about Sir to date—he was her English teacher.
I’ve always suspected that he knew Gabi in some shape, way, or form prior to her kidnapping as it couldn’t have been random, and this makes so much sense now, especially all of their forced literature discussions. The clues were always there.
Gabi was having additional flashbacks throughout the episode that involved a girl who tried to help her. The girl first knocked on the door having claimed that her car broke down, however, she later returned to promise Gabi that she would get help. In a follow-up flashback, Sir informed Gabi that he took care of the girl who was threatening their future, and Gabi pieced two-and-two together and realized it was Sir’s previous victim, Annie, who was also one of his former students. Annie risked her life to come back and offer her help, but she was never seen again. And since then, Gabi has been looking for Annie, promising Sir that it’s the last piece of the sick saga before she ends it all. Sir insists she won’t find Annie because he didn’t kill her, but Gabi isn’t listening to a word he says. Of course, this sparks curiosity as to what actually happened to Annie as there’s a chance that Sir is telling the truth.
As Gabi tries to heal, she’s also caught in the constant cat-and-mouse game, holding Sir prisoner and trying to make sense of the trauma he inflicted on her, all while doing the exact same thing that the monsters she despises are doing. She may be ridding the world of an evil man, but he also brought up a fair point when questioning why Gabi didn’t feel like he was worthy of redemption as some of the other people she’s dealt with.
Obviously, this case is the most personal to Gabi, and she views him as the worst man in the world, so she doesn’t consider there to be any good in him, but we know that monsters aren’t just born, they are made. His cruel mother, who was abusive to him during his childhood, made him this way, and while that’s no excuse, it’s something I do hope the writers dive into deeper.
As for Gabi, there’s no getting rid of this pressure, which means she can’t open herself up to love from Trent, who is there, patiently waiting and willing to be with her at the drop of a hat. He loves her, even when she’s being exceptionally cold and rude to him, because he cares about her—and he made sure that she knew he wasn’t going to apologize for that. Thankfully, she apologized to him for the way she’s been treating him before suggesting that he get his job back at the DCPD because they need him as “he’s one of the good guys.” Being a cop, a good cop, is his purpose and all that he’s ever wanted, plus it will help them in the long run.
Gabi may have landed a win with Tony’s safe return in the loving arms of both his parents (yes, his mother came around finally), all the people she saved rallying behind her on public television to change the narrative about M&A, and finally, in getting her license back, but she’s constantly losing because she can’t get out of that basement or be honest with the people she loves.
The rest of M&A is doing the work to make sure they can heal and become the best versions of themselves, including Margaret who, with her therapist’s help, moved back the time of her train station arrival an hour. They may be baby steps to her in the grand scheme of things, but they are massive to her.
Elsewhere, Zeke called in a request to his estranged father to get the license reinstated, informing him that he never asks for anything, while making it clear how much he relied on the purpose that M&A gave him. His father stopped by later, having successfully done what Zeke asked, and it was a small breakthrough in their frought relationship, one that happened after Zeke was taken. Lacey was on hand to support Zeke during the moment, and let’s just say, I’m excited to see them take their relationship to the next level.
What did you think about the episode? Are you surprised about what we learned about Sir?
Who Is Lark on ‘Virgin River’?
Lark (Elise Gatien) made her debut on Virgin River Season 5, specifically, during the episodes that tackled the wildfires that ravaged parts of the picturesque town.
Warning – this post has spoilers from the Virgin River holiday episodes.
After Jack and Brady risked their lives to save Lark’s daughter, Hazel, who went missing from the campsite during the fire evacuation, the single mom began to bond with the latter, extending her gratitude to him for going out of his way to prioritize her daughter’s safety.
When Brady found out that Lark and Hazel were squatting, he offered them up a place in one of the lumber yard trailers, a selfless gesture that speaks to his big heart.
Lark definitely set her sights on Brady, especially on the heels of his generosity, and a connection sparked around the time that Brady’s relationship with Brie crumbled and he was looking for some companionship. Lark also helped Brady see the better parts of himself, as Brie held his lies (even though he couldn’t tell her anything about being an informant) against him and made him feel guilty.
One thing led to another and eventually, Lark and Brady began a relationship after his romance with Brie ended. It was also helpful that Hazel really took to Brady, and thus, he became a bit of a stepfather figure in her life.
Fast forward a few months to the timeline of the holiday episodes, Brady and Lark are going strong, fully embracing their romance and sweet little family together. Lark even invited Brady to meet her mother, though he claims that’s a little too fast-paced for him, which is understandable considering he still harbors strong feelings for Brie, who has currently moved on with Mike.
However, Brady seems to be in a good place in life, particularly as everything with Melissa Montgomery’s money laundering/drug smuggling at Emerald Lumber has finally settled down. He’s finally able to move past the nightmare that started when he was roped in by Calvin when he was young and reckless, or so fans thought. In retrospect, I guess we should’ve been more suspicious of Lark’s attempts at inserting herself into Brady’s life, though she definitely made it seem so natural.
In the final moments of Virgin River Season 6 Episode 12, Lark sneaks off to pick up a call from Hazel’s father, who turns out to be Jimmy, who is serving time in prison. Lark informs him that “Brady doesn’t suspect a thing,” which shows that this is Jimmy’s form of getting close enough to Brady to get revenge.
It’s an awful and disappointing twist considering all the progress Brady has made to turn over a new leaf and hit refresh. He can’t seem to shake this whole Emerald Lumber fiasco, no matter how hard he tries. Bad luck just seems to follow him based on one bad decision he made way back when—and it’s cost him so much, including his friendships and his romance with Brie.
I’m hoping that Lark realizes just how good of a guy Brady is and how much he’s sacrificed for her and Hazel and decides not to go through with whatever she and Jimmy have planned.
Lord knows that Brady deserves some sliver of good news and positivity in his life, along with a storyline far removed from the lumber yard.
ExMas Movie Review – Robbie Amell and Leighton Meester Make a Holiday Bet
While most holiday movies this time of year are centered around one’s Christmas wish, ExMas takes a different approach.
Beware—spoilers from the movie ahead!
Imagine the worst possible situation that can occur when you come home on Christmas…. is it your parents inviting your ex-fiancée, who broke your heart into a million pieces, over for Christmas dinner after you told them you weren’t coming into town due to previous work commitments but then decided at the last minute on a change of plans as part of a surprise? If so, that’s the exact plot of Robbie Amell (a treat for all of us Upload fans) and Leighton Meester’s (Gossip Girl) new Freevee movie.
And let me tell you, it brings plenty of comedic moments and jokes, sprinkled into what turns out to be a heartfelt plot about owning up to your mistakes and apologizing for shortcomings in a failed relationship, all while expertly capturing the chaos that is going home for the holidays. You know the former couple will find their way back to each other in the end—this is a Christmas movie after all—but it’s less about the destination and more about the journey that gets them to the “aha” moment.
It’s a fa-la-la-oh-my-god-is-this-really-happening situation that Amell’s Graham and Meester’s Ali turn into a competitive bet to see which one will win over the family’s love and which one will be kicked out before Christmas day.
Along the way, Graham and Ali realize that they aren’t over each other one bit, while also admitting their own faults led to the demise of their relationship. Graham explains that he was doing what he thought Ali wanted—working more so he could work his way up the corporate food chain to make enough money to provide them with the perfect life. However, all Ali ever needed was for him to be there for her, present and willing, though she didn’t voice it either because she was scared he was going to walk away, so, she walked away first.
It all comes down to a lack of necessary communication in a relationship—which happens far too often to couples these days that are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life—but there’s no shortage of time to talk it out when you’re forced to spend the holidays under the same roof.
Graham’s reaction upon walking into his childhood home and seeing the woman who broke his heart standing at the top of the stairs was to freak out, naturally. And who wouldn’t? This is a huge betrayal of trust from the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally and side with you, no matter what. As he tries to make them see the issue, their argument is that she’s been part of the “family for a very long time.”
When he realizes that Ali has ingrained herself into the family by playing Wordle with his sister and helping his brother study for his exams, he realizes that he can’t just up and leave, he has to show the family how “evil she is” by making them dislike her to “save his family” and “save Christmas.”
Admittedly, it’s a pretty extreme retaliation, but one that delivers plenty of good fun, especially since Graham knows her faults and weaknesses—like her competitive streak—and can easily exploit them. And that’s a two-way street as Ali is also able to sabotage Graham, making her the perfect and worthy opponent. Graham leverages Ali’s irrational fear of goats to ruin the dealership’s Christmas party, while she deliberately moves a sign in the bathroom to ensure that he floods it when flushing, allowing her to be the toilet bowl plunger hero. Of course, these are just two adults acting silly so that they don’t have to confront the harsh reality of their former relationship, but it’s all in good fun.
They both try to make the other jealous with new crushes—and she tries to sabotage his relationship with Jess by telling her that he has problems in the bedroom (though that short-lived romance tanks all on its own when Jess suggests a threesome with her roommate/special friend), while he allows her to invest in Brady knowing that it will eventually end with him trying to sell her a car during the date.
But it also emphasizes that the dating scene is a scary, scary place, and once you’ve found your person, you have to hold on to them tight and never let go.
It also becomes evident why the family gravitated toward Ali instead of Graham in the first place—and why the duo inevitably broke up—as Graham isn’t present most of the time; he doesn’t care to ask about his family members’ personal lives or keep up a relationship as he’s too busy with work. His sister, Heather, assures him that Ali was always there at every event when he wasn’t.
The Christmas season, which starts off to be the stuff of nightmares, helps Graham reprioritize what’s important as he begins to see that he took everything that mattered for granted, his family and Ali included.
When Graham’s father suffers a sudden cardiac arrest following a competitive, yet friendly, game of hockey during the holidays, that’s when he really starts to understand just how much time he’d invested into the wrong thing. Of course, a career is just as important as anything else, but it shouldn’t take precedence over the things that truly matter–and he was working for a boss who expected him to meet a Christmas Day deadline and had no qualms about calling and demanding more from him even when he was in the hospital following a family member’s health scare. At that moment, Graham takes a leap of faith and quits—the start of his new life on the horizon. (This may or may not be a Horizen pun, I’ll let you decide.)
There were several other factors that brought him to the finish line, where he realized he screwed up and couldn’t live without Ali, including a heart-to-heart with his mom, a night of amazing drunk sex with Ali, and saying goodbye to her after they both forgave each other for the pain they inflicted.
Once she was out the door, Graham and his family couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing—and in true Christmas movie fashion, they all ran to get the girl, trying to fit into a vehicle that wasn’t up to par for the journey. As they made their way to the other car, Graham found Ali standing at the front door and immediately poured his heart out to her, only for her to explain that she only came back because she forgot her phone.
Obviously, that was the last cruel joke she played on him as the two made up and sealed the deal with a kiss. Admittedly, there wasn’t undeniable chemistry between Amell and Meester as actors—they sold the friendship more—but the plot was believable enough that you found yourself rooting for them regardless. It’s actually quite nice for the chemistry to feel more grounded and realistic rather than the kind always portrayed in holiday movies that can sometimes feel unattainable for the average couple.
Fast forward to the next holiday, at their home in Los Angeles, Graham came through on his promise to help her start up her bakery truck, proving that his priorities are finally in order, as yet another time jump two years later, revealing that they welcomed a baby together.
And just because so much time had passed, doesn’t mean Graham didn’t have revenge on his mind as he invited his sister’s ex, Heather, for the holidays because they remained such good friends after the breakup.
As they say, payback’s a bitch, but if Graham’s situation is any consolation, maybe Mindy (Veronika Slowikowska) and Heather’s story will have a happy ending. After all, isn’t that the magic of the holidays?
The film also stars Michael Hitchcock, Kathryn Greenwood, Steven Huy, Thomas Cadrot, and Donna Benedicto. It’s available to stream now on Freevee.
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