Sophia (Britt Robertson), the heroine of the new Netflix show Girlboss, is a fierce 20-something living in San Francisco, raiding vintage stores for her glam-rock wardrobe and telling anyone who’ll listen that adulthood is where dreams go to die and conformity is a prison. Carol (Andrea Martin), the standout star of the new NBC series Great News, is a 60-year-old mom from New Jersey whose entire wardrobe consists of three-quarter-length pants from Chico’s, and whose defining trait is getting along with everybody. Sophia dumpster-dives for snacks and steals with abandon; Carol clips coupons and hoards off-brand toothpaste. One is a self-proclaimed badass and rebel; the other confesses in the first episode that she once cleaned barf out of the tape deck of a Teddy Ruxpin.
Girlboss presents a rags-to-IPO-ready-riches story of success that’s familiar by now: An outlandish misfit converts her personal passion project into a thriving business, enabled by an abrasive amount of go-getterness and the fairy dust of the early-aughts internet. Still, you may find yourself more compelled by the story of Carol, who decides one day that it’s not too late to live her dream, and gets an internship at the same New Jersey cable-news show where her daughter works as a producer. Both Great News and Girlboss are half-hour shows created by alums from the long-running NBC comedy 30 Rock. But if Girlboss knows exactly what empowerment looks like (rolling on a bed strewn with dollar bills while dressed for Coachella), Great News is more imaginative. Carol may be a mom with no professional experience who appends all her Google searches with, “Sincerely, Carol Wendelsohn,” but she won’t let any of that limit her goals.