Netflix’s latest Younger Grownup collection “Boo, Bitch” is a montage of early 2000s teen movie nostalgia, half-baked Gen-Z pandering, and YA book-to-movie stylization. Lana Candor leads this collection as Erika Vu, a shy, nerdy high school senior down in the dumps together with her greatest buddy, Gia (Zoe Margaret Colletti), over the conclusion that they’re going to graduate without having had their ultimate teen expertise. However, the nighttime of their last-ditch tries to enter the social scene ends with considering one of their deaths, turning them right into a ghost. With a purpose to exit their very own private purgatory, they need to be certain that they fulfill their “purpose” earlier than totally departing: be seen, be identified, be common.
“Boo, Bitch” is relatively unremarkable in its foundational features. Shot like another YA collection on the platform, it’s brilliant, vivid, and extremely digital: super-crisp visually and plagued by textual content pop-ups on the display. The place it does snag time to shine is within the soundtrack. Some of the present issues in regards to the present is its alternative in music. From hyper-pop to indie rock, it really appears like songs that may be on the playlists of teenagers right this moment.
What appears disconnected is the flowery acronym-speak and fixed hashtags that introduce each new chapter of the present plot. “Boo, Bitch” appears like an try to pander to Gen-Zers utilizing three TikToks and early 2000s recollections as analysis. The best way it mixes its references is sloppy and leads to the present feeling out of time.
The friendship between Erika and Gia must be the brick and mortar of the present, but Candor and Colletti lack plausible chemistry. No matter scripted heartfelt moments and inside jokes, each second between the 2 is like watching them run strains. There’s no escapism available in “Boo, Bitch,” as a result of all the pieces being continually dialed to eleven. In a presentation about ghostly purgatory, suspension of disbelief is to be anticipated, however solely within the plot, not the efficiency.
Whereas it’s typical, and typically even efficient, to depend on overacting in teen comedies, there aren’t any notable moments of emotion to convey the degrees again into relatability. Even the present’s lead villain, Riley (Aparna Brielle), is a Regina George knockoff without the depth of character. The standout is Mason Versaw as Jake C., the heartthrob boy toy caught in the course of a love triangle.
Versaw’s efficiency fluctuates with genuineness whereas the others hop and skip with machine-like high quality from second to second. In fact, the willingness to fall into tropes on “Boo, Bitch” just isn’t purely a flaw to be placed on the heads of the actors and their route. It’s within the DNA of the script, from the best way the plot advances to the dialogue itself.
To be honest, “Boo, Bitch” does think about the daunting nature of a life in transition and the concern of coming into maturity with a youth left incomplete. It makes use of the normal, if not clichéd, the hierarchy of high school to plant seeds of measuring the meaningfulness of present friendships versus idealized ones. However, these notions are pretty widespread information to any grownup watching, leaving the impression of this constructive notion to be washed away by the sloppy waves of lackluster performances and spotty writing.