Good Girls is described as a “Thelma & Louise meets Breaking Bad.” Christina Hndricks, Retta and Mae Whitman play financially struggling suburban moms who decide to rob the local supermarket using toy guns. But the loot, and the repercussions, are much more than they expected.
Creator/EP Jenna Bans dismissed suggestions she had to make compromises on how edgy the show could be because the series lives on broadcast TV. Because it “leans into the fun and the chemistry of these three women” she has not been anything deemed “not network” she assured.
“The short answer is no,” Bans said.
Even so, TV critics asked if she or the network felt any aspect got “too dark” as episodes progressed. “I’m sure there is an example, but I don’t think so,” Bans said.
Hendricks, refreshingly, said she only agreed to do the series if NBC assured her they would keep it “edgy and dark.” Hendrick was tapped to take her role only after lengthy negotiations, in a re-casting of the part.
“I was worried about being on network television,” the former Mad Men star admitted, saying she told NBC honchos “You have to promise me that you will not back down” on that.
Even so, the cast and creator kept getting TCA questions suggesting that wasn’t possible. Like the one about whether these “resourceful” women “who do things that are illegal could eventually decide to do something for good or “something legit.” (FYI, Retta’s character participates in the heist to finance an obscenely expensive drug her little girl cannot survive without.)
“Every episode they tell themselves they’re doing something for good, and, until this point they had never done anything illegal,” Bans reminded the critics. “Whether it’s for good is something the audience has to decide. We don’t put any moral judgment on it; leave it to audience. They’re definitely breaking rules – at least laws.”
Another critic took issue with the show’s name, noting “Girls” in TV show titles is a trend, but that “these are three grown women” and wondered if Bans had considered a different title.
That’s been the title since her first pitch meeting, and reflects the “Just be a good girl,” line she got a lot growing up.
“The title is ironic,” she said.
“It’s a big middle finger to the phrase,” Hendricks jumped in to explain more concisely, and in perfect keeping with her keeping-it-edgy thing.
“I should have just said that,” Bans agreed.