I’ve always had a thing for sidekicks. The peripheral character, often slightly quirkier than the protagonist, has a freedom that the main chick couldn’t afford. Where she — the Buffys, Felicitys, and Harry Potters of the world — played janitor to the plot, the sidekick could, well, have fun. They crack jokes! Their lines aren’t bloated with expository dialogue! They dance around the fringe, having a blast, while the main character keeps up narrative appearances.
Netflix’s Girlboss, which premiered Friday, isn’t a perfect show, but it’s flawless in this regard: The sidekick is awesome. Annie, played by a perky Ellie Reed, is the real MVP of the series, and she ultimately redeems the series.
First off, let me state that by using the word “sidekick,” I don’t mean any offense. Annie is categorically a sidekick, and that by no means diminishes her importance. (In my world, the sidekick is of utmost importance, and the protagonist is just a boorish tree stump reciting lines. Usually.) Best friend to Sophia Marlowe, the titular Girlboss played by Britt Robertson, Annie is fairly average as far as sidekicks go. She’s an aspiring make-up artist. She’s dating the local bartender, Dax (Alphonso McAuley). She and Sophia have a bestie catchphrase: “Love you in case I die!” Oh, and she really has the hots for Sophia’s dad, played by Dean Norris, whom I know exclusively as Hank from Breaking Bad. But like the best “best friends,” she’s witty, self-aware, and at times much smarter than Sophia.
It helps that Sophia Marlowe is so goddamn annoying. The show itself is likable, Sophia is decidedly not. In the first episode of the show, she steals a carpet, mocks her boss, and hollers at more than a few pedestrians. Like a lot of main characters these days — Hannah Horvath, we’re …read more