Geek Girl

Geek Girl

A highly unlikely premise fails this otherwise cute and wholesome teen romcom

6.5

TV Show

Canada, United Kingdom
English
Comedy, Drama, Family
2024
Emily Carey, Jemima Rooper, Sandra Yi Sencindiver

TLDR

Harriet Manners would not survive one day in America’s Next Top Model.

What it's about

Dubbed the “geek girl,” 16-year-old Harriet Manners (Emily Carey) does not fit in school, but her life changes when she’s scouted by modeling agents in London Fashion Week.

The take

Based on a romantic YA novel, Geek Girl asks us to believe in its unlikely world, where a plain—beautiful, but plain—girl like Harriet can wow a top model scout (to the point where he begs her to join his agency) and have an in-demand fashion designer have her wear her latest design, all while Harriet barely even tries, much less cares, to join. In this world, too, models aren’t gig workers subject to harsh working environments, but wealthy beautiful people flitting by. This sort of premise could’ve worked in the 2000s, but as cute, wholesome, and occasionally enjoyable as Geek Girl is, it’s hard to overlook these ridiculous instances when more effective teen shows are readily available. There are some missed instances too, like when the show could’ve enlightened us on the seemingly nebulous process of deciding who has “the it factor,” because I’m having a hard time understanding why Harriet has got it. She’s not even interesting-looking in the way, say, Anya Taylor-Joy is, or knowledgeable like her friend Nat (Rochelle Harrington) is. She doesn’t strike impressive poses (come on, the lip bite?) or walk decently. I suppose that’s the point of the show; to rephrase Ratatouille, anyone can model. But I wished they gave someone genuinely different a chance.

What stands out

The casting agent, Wilbur Evans (Emmanuel Imani) is by far the best character here. Lively, funny, and unexpected.

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