Light Spoilers Ahead!
“Boo, Bitch,” a Netflix mini-series starring “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” actress Lana Condor, was released on July 8, 2022. At first glance, the series seems like a goofy addition to teen screams, but upon further assessment this Netflix original is a modern take on the campy teen comedies of the early 2000s. The show follows two best friends, Erika and Gia, in the quintessential quest to achieve popularity after four years of haunting the halls as social ghosts. The show is a courageous attempt at weaving a unique twist to an overrated trope. The movie starts with the classic dilemma of high school seniors on the outskirts of popularity desperately trying to experience memorable high school traditions. After attending their first party with ambitions to take on prom, a freak accident derails their plans turning the story into supernatural satire.
Over eight episodes, we see the classic plot of a early 2000s teen comedy with friendship woes, identity crises and a reflective ending. The kick is an unanticipated twist in an attempt to make the show distinct.
The show’s creators had an obvious goal to fuse the infamous 2000s aesthetic with contemporary details. This reminds the audience that this isn’t a flashback to the early millennium, but a film aimed at Gen Z viewers. It contains the cliches of a teen movie with the popular mean girl dating the main character’s crush and the last ditch effort to be seen before graduation, with prom and parties being the central goal.
However, some characteristics modernize the show, especially with the cheesy use of acronyms between Erika and Gia. They pop up on the screen almost as an inside joke, but it feels like a failed attempt to connect with today’s teenagers. We can all relate to the ambiguous intricacies of texting and the power of social media as they both play a role in how we communicate. Erika’s fast track to popularity involves a major social media presence, especially on a platform like TikTok where comments make or break her reputation. Social media is crucial in today’s society, with the number of likes and views establishing status even in high school. Despite its corniness, the show does demonstrate aspects of our contemporary society.
Clothing in the series is also a major homage to the early 2000s, especially with its comeback in recent fashion trends. Even so, it feels like a millennial infusing their own nostalgia while speaking to Gen Z fashion trends. Younger generations have revitalized past fashion fads with subtle influences, but these outfits feel like an overload of stereotypical Y2K trends. In a party scene, Gia is seen wearing a turquoise bucket hat, a denim jumper adorned with flowers and translucent glasses. She looks like a Y2K Spice Girl trying to blend in with the Gen Z cool kids.
Lana Condor’s role in this show solidifies her typecast in cheesy teen movies. After starring in the “All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” trilogy, I expected Condor’s character to maybe be a little more powerful and distinct, but Erika Vu is unsubstantial; she is a waste of Condor’s potential versatility as an actor.
“Boo, Bitch” falls flat with its attempt to modernize and revitalize an overused plot. There are confident efforts with a new paranormal twist and contemporary details, but the outcome is tacky and transparent. Despite its lack of substance, this show can be an amusing addition to the teen cinematic culture. With time, it could possibly be a cult classic that future generations will obsess over. It can be a perfect watch for lazy days with copious amounts of junk food; just don’t expect a mind-blowing sensation.