Geek Girl (TV series)

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Geek Girl
Based onGeek Girl
by Holly Smale
Directed byDeclan O'Dwyer
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Production
Producers
  • Zoë Rocha
  • Anthony Leo
  • Andrew Rosen
Production companies
  • RubyRock Pictures
  • Aircraft Pictures
  • Nelvana
Original release
NetworkNetflix
Release30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)

Geek Girl is a British-Canadian ten-part television series about an awkward teenager who unexpectedly becomes a model. It is based on the 2013 young adult novel of the same name by Holly Smale. The first season was released on 30 May 2024 on Netflix.

Series overview[edit]

Harriet Manners is a teenage girl who is both physically and socially awkward; unsure of herself, she is an easy target for the group of school bullies led by Lexi. She finds support in her best friend Nat, her neighbor and fellow eccentric Toby, her father Richard and stepmother Annabel.

When her class wins a contest to attend London Fashion Week, Harriet accidentally draws the attention of modeling agents Wilbur and Betty. Wilbur offers Harriet a chance at working with Infinity Models, though she refuses unless Nat, who has dreamed of becoming a model, also gets a shot. They skip school and defy Harriet's parents to go to London for the trial.

After coaching and encouragement from supermodel Nick, his aunt, fashion designer Yuji, decides that Harriet has what she is looking for and places her in the top spot in her new show, earning Harriet some unpleasant attention from Poppy, Nick's fake girlfriend and the former headliner. Harriet does her best to keep all this a secret from Nat, who is not selected for modeling work.

Harriet and Richard sneak off to the first show in Canada without Annabel's knowledge. They hit some snags and Richard loses his job in the chaos, but Harriet pulls through and becomes a success, though Nat and Annabel are both upset when they learn what has been kept from them. Outside of that, things seem to be going smoothly, and Nick and Harriet begin dating. This draws further attacks from Poppy, whose interference leads to things going so wrong during and after a perfume shoot that Harriet decides to quit modeling.

The CEO of Infinity Models, Jude, quickly moves Poppy into Harriet's place for the next event. Wilbur does his best to smooth things over with his coworkers, but eventually resigns from the agency in protest. Back at school, Harriet is again harassed by the bullies, but with support from Toby and Nat she finally stands up for herself. Thanks to the efforts of Nick and Wilbur, Yuji is convinced to rehire Harriet, who, with the full support of her friends and family now behind her, decides to give modeling another try. The show is a great success, despite some hiccups, and Harriet at last learns to be comfortable in herself as both a fashion model and a girl geek.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In January 2023, it was announced Netflix had picked up a ten-part adaptation of Holly Smale's Geek Girl from Waterside Studios in association with Nelvana. The project would be a British-Canadian co-production made by RubyRock Pictures and Aircraft Pictures, with producers including Zoë Rocha of RubyRock and Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen of Aircraft.[1][2] It was confirmed Emily Carey would lead the series as Harriet Manners in June 2023, with Sarah Parish, Emmanuel Imani, Liam Woodrum, Zac Looker, Tim Downie, Jemima Rooper, Daisy Jelley, and Rochelle Harrington also joining the cast.[3]

Principal photography began in early June 2023 in England before later moving to Canada. Cast and crew were spotted in Ottawa, Canada, in July.[4] The show features pieces from John Rocha's past collections as well as designs by Simone Rocha.[1]

Release[edit]

All ten episodes were simultaneously released on Netflix on 30 May 2024.[5]

Reception[edit]

Audience viewership[edit]

Geek Girl debuted at number seven on Netflix's Global Top 10 TV English titles for the tracking week of 27 May–2 June 2024, with 18.9 million hours viewed.[6] On the following week, it rose to number two, garnering 41 million viewing hours.[7] Variety listed it as number three most-watched among streaming original television series for 31 May–6 June 2024,[8] while Deadline Hollywood placed it in the second spot among television shows for the week of June 3, citing 7.3 million views.[9]

Critical response[edit]

On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on four critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[10] The Guardian's Lucy Mangan, who described herself as a fan of the novels, considered it a good adaptation and said it was "fresh, lively and funny".[11] Radio Times gave the series three out of five stars, citing a "run-of-the-mill" format and some problems with suspension of disbelief; reviewer Tilly Pearce said the heart of the series lies in the characters' relationships, and also praised the soundtrack, in the end calling it "a feel-good, cosy watch" that should please book lovers.[12]

Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter said it was "a likably wholesome, generally low-stakes YA fairy tale" and especially enjoyed Carey's performance, though he pointed out some over-reliance on safe, familiar tropes and repetitive visuals. He said that Harriet Manners is clearly coded as neurodivergent, but that the show resists applying any such labels to her;[13] the BBC review from Annabel Rackham noted that both Carey and Smale are autistic and called neurodiverse representation an "important aspect" of the show.[14] Smale wrote, in response to critics calling the series' representation of autism "inauthentic", "It’s based on books written by me (autistic), about me as a teen (autistic). I wrote all of Harriet for the show (still autistic) and the lead actor is autistic. It’s the DEFINITION of authentic. I think people are so used to seeing inauthentic representation they don’t recognise it when it’s in front of them."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Macken, Sarah. "Zoë Rocha's New Netflix Show Is A Joyful, Fashion-Filled Watch". thegloss.ie. The Gloss. Archived from the original on 3 June 2024. Retrieved 3 June 2024.
  2. ^ Kanter, Jake (20 January 2023). "Netflix Adapts 'Geek Girl' Into Series About Neurodiverse Teenager Who Becomes Model". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 20 January 2023. Retrieved 20 January 2023.
  3. ^ Whittock, Jesse (22 June 2023). "'Geek Girl' Studio Waterside Teams With Creatives Behind 'Reginald The Vampire', 'The Way Home' & 'Orphan Black' As Part Of Scripted Slate". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 31 August 2023. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  4. ^ Kundu, Tamal (28 July 2023). "Netflix's 'Geek Girl' Has Begun Filming in Ottawa". The Cinemaholic. Archived from the original on 31 August 2023. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  5. ^ Robinson, Abby (22 May 2024). "Geek Girl: Release date on Netflix, cast, plot, trailer and latest news". Radio Times. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  6. ^ "Netflix Global Top 10". Netflix. 2 June 2024. Archived from the original on 6 June 2024. Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  7. ^ "Netflix Global Top 10". Netflix. 9 June 2024. Archived from the original on 12 June 2024. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  8. ^ "Streaming Originals: Television". variety.com. Variety (magazine). Retrieved 10 June 2024.
  9. ^ Campione, Katie. "'Baby Reindeer' Leaps Onto Netflix's Most Popular Series List; 'Under Paris' Takes Streamer By Storm". deadline.com. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  10. ^ "Geek Girl". metacritic.com. Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2 June 2024. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  11. ^ Mangan, Lucy. "Geek Girl review – this joyful adaptation is non-stop fun". theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  12. ^ Pearce, Tilly (May 30, 2024). "Geek Girl review: Is House of the Dragon star's new Netflix show any good?". radiotimes.com. Radio Times. Archived from the original on 30 May 2024. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  13. ^ Fienberg, Daniel. "'Geek Girl' Review: Emily Carey Shines in Netflix's Wholesome YA Fashion Comedy". hollywoodreporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 31 May 2024. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  14. ^ Rackham, Annabel. "Geek Girl: The teen drama tackling neurodiversity". bbc.com. BBC. Archived from the original on 31 May 2024. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  15. ^ Emily, Olivia. "The Story Behind Netflix's Geek Girl". countryandtownhouse.com. Country & Town House. Archived from the original on 7 June 2024. Retrieved 7 June 2024.

External links[edit]