The humor is sparse, and the production value is lacking in this opening episode, where teen BFFs Erika and Gia decide to crash their first-ever high school party, although things go terribly wrong.
This recap of the Netflix series Boo, Bitch season 1, episode 1, “Life’s a Bitch and Then You Die,” contains spoilers.
One of the major tropes of the teen genre is the sudden blossoming of the wallflower, where a nobody becomes a somebody, seemingly overnight. This usually centers on a shy, socially awkward introvert, who suddenly becomes popular once they ditch the studying and embrace the party lifestyle. They normally embark on an epic and unforgettable bender just before high school ends. In Boo, Bitch, best friends Erika and Gia make a pact to do just this, and party like they’ve never partied before. This latest teen comedy from Netflix puts a slight twist on the old genre convention though, pitching the idea of Erika dying the night of her unveiling.
Boo, Bitch season 1, episode 1 recap
The show introduces this supernatural premise in the very opening scene, where Erika (Lana Condor) appears to be very much deceased, flattened under the corpse of a dead moose, with just her shoes poking out of one end. The series then jumps back two days earlier and throws viewers into the hustle and bustle of Parkway High School life. The entire production looks rather cheap from the get-go and desperately tries to mine jokes out of teen clichés, with all the students glued to their phones or brazenly making out in public. There’s also a montage of a teen trying and failing over and over again to open his locker.
We’re then presented with the show’s lead actresses, BFFs Erika and Gia (Zoe Colletti), as they discuss their final two months of high school. Erika is deadly serious about skipping prom, whilst Gia just wants to go to at least one high school party before they graduate. These nobodies have been completely out of the loop all year, with Gia only just discovering that the seniors have a text chain, where they plan all their parties in secret. Gia swipes a student’s phone and finds the details of tonight’s shindig, which is at Jake W’s, but Erika still doesn’t want to go.
The dynamic duo meet later that day to look through their yearbook quotes and Erika is heartbroken to find her name has been written down incorrectly. Under her photo it says Helen Who. This mistake prompts an elaborate flashback that explains the origins of this unfortunate pseudonym. A dorky, youthful Erika queues up at orientation and accidentally bumps into Riley, breaking her nose in the process. From this day forward, Riley has it in for poor Erika. Her first act of vengeance is to have everyone believe that Erika Vu is actually called Helen Who. Riley even manages to get this name on Erika’s ID badge every year without fail.
It’s an odd setup, but one that perfectly captures the main themes of the series. Erika states that she would rather remain unseen than seen. The whole debacle has led Erika to live her high school years in the shadows, playing it safe and avoiding any drama. This typo is the final straw though and Erika seems empowered by the betrayal. She vows to leave a legacy and finally start living it up. It’s a fun moment, with the two best friends tearing down a banner in recognition of their new, changed attitudes.
Erika and Gia dress for the occasion and head to their very first party, wearing matching necklaces no less. But all seems a little too quiet at Jake W’s house and Erika fears it’s a trap. Teen etiquette apparently states that turning up on time is actually early and the friends wait over an hour before any guests show up. The party starts off terribly with the villainous Riley locking them outside and saying, ‘Bye Helen’, to further rub salt in the wounds. They manage to get back into the party and vow to say yes to everything, well nearly everything, that comes their way.
Erika finally gets the chance to speak to her crush, Jake C in an awkward but sweet exchange. She then becomes the life and soul of the party, winning a beer pong tournament, with everyone chanting her name. Jake C breaks up with girlfriend Riley and then nearly kisses Erika. Our likeable lead goes in for the kiss but almost vomits on her heartthrob. She settles for his phone number instead. As they swap digits, Riley watches furiously from the shadows, silently plotting further revenge.
The night ends as a huge success and the two friends head home on a high. Erika and Gia walk the empty streets, recounting their highlights. Erika tells Gia the good news, whilst Gia explains that she will be taking Jake W to the prom. A split second later and the duo are nearly hit by a speeding truck. Erika wakes up the next morning to discover her new necklace has gone missing. They go to the woods to hunt it down and that is when Erika notices her dead body underneath a moose, as you do.
Opening episode, “Life’s a Bitch and Then You Die”, is a mixed offering overall. The series looks seriously low budget and the comedy doesn’t quite land. However, the two leads make for an adorable pair, bringing some much needed heart to the drama. Hopefully once the supernatural elements are properly introduced this show can pick up the pace.
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