'Good Girls' Review: With a Cast Like This, We're Willing to Overlook Mediocrity
I love Jason Ritter, more than probably would be comfortable for Jason Ritter. He’s just the nicest, kindest dude on the planet, and his father meant a great deal to me, and sometimes I like an actor so much that I am willing to support an actor’s project in spite of the project itself. Such was the case with Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, a very mediocre feel-good drama that I vowed last fall to continue watching out of affection for Ritter. I would have stuck with that promise, too, had ABC not gone and extended its order by two episodes. I could have endured 13 episodes, but 15? With all of these new and returning shows coming at midseason? That was asking too much.
I get the feeling that Good Girls may end up this Spring’s Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. I adore the cast — Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman, and Retta — but the show itself, based on the pilot alone, is middling. It sees three middle-class women rob a grocery store of half a million dollars in order to deal with their own money issues. Beth (Hendricks) runs into a whole lot of financial problems when her husband Dean (Matthew Lillard, continuing his middle-aged comeback) has an affair with a co-worker at the car lot he owns; Ruby (Retta) has a daughter in need of expensive medical care; and Annie (Mae Whitman) is just trying to maintain custody of her teenaged daughter (interestingly, Whitman — who played a teenager in DUFF just three years ago is now playing the mother of a teenager in 2018).
The cast itself is great, and they’re the reason anyone might tune into the series, which goes from Weeds season one straight into Weeds season six by the end of the pilot episode, after the women seemingly kill a man trying to rape Annie and discover that the money they stole actually belonged to a drug gang. The story accelerates very quickly.
But I’ll stick with it, because I love shows about covering up crimes like Ozark and Bloodline, and Good Girls has the ability to be a show like that without also being suffocatingly bleak. It’s a murder and larceny thriller with a lighter touch and three actresses for whom I am willing to forgive a great deal in order to spend more television time with them. I don’t expect, however, that Good Girls will ever achieve greatness, but with that cast? Being “OK” is good enough.