The Concept for 'Good Girls' Came From the 2016 Presidential Election

Is 'Good Girls' based on a true story? The crime dramedy stars Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman, and Retta as three moms turned criminals.

Shannon Raphael - Author

Mar. 8 2021, Updated 3:21 p.m. ET

'Good Girls' Season 3
Source: NBC

Ever since Good Girls premiered in 2018, the dramedy has continued to win over critics and fans alike for its unique plot, and for the comedy chops of its three main actors. 

The NBC series centers around three Michigan moms turned criminals: waitress Ruby Hill (Retta) and sisters Beth Boland (Christina Hendricks) and Annie Marks (Mae Whitman). 

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Fed up with their struggles of living paycheck to paycheck and dealing with other uncontrollable issues (for Ruby, it's her daughter's health issues, and for Beth, it's her unfaithful husband), the three embark on a crime spree.

While some fans can provide an episode-by-episode synopsis for Good Girls, many are likely unaware of the true story that inspired the concept.

Source: NBC
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Is 'Good Girls' based on a true story?

The idea of three suburban moms executing elaborate crimes is not directly based on a true story, and characters Beth, Annie, and Ruby are not inspired by real people. 

However, when Season 1 debuted in 2018, Good Girls creator Jenna Bans spoke with Variety about how she came up with the concept for the show. The writer, who also worked on Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, said that Good Girls was in direct response to the sexism she noticed leading up to the 2016 presidential election. 

She explained that the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape had just been leaked (which featured an explicit conversation between then-candidate Donald Trump and host Billy Bush) at the time. Jenna said that she was also hearing news coverage about whether then-candidate Hillary Clinton was equipped to be president. 

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"Our collective view of women was just in the ether. I was talking to my mom, and I said, 'I can't just believe the sexism is so overt.' And my mom, who's a matter of fact lawyer from Minnesota — there was a very long pause. She was like, 'Where have you been?' That just got me thinking," Jenna said. 

At the time, she was set to pitch a pilot to NBC anyway. She decided to put a concept forward that would make her mom happy.

Source: NBC
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"I owed NBC a pilot, and I wanted to write something escapist and fun and chock-full of wish fulfillment and something that made my mom feel better about her life," she continued. "It was a love letter to my mother, who was really depressed and down about the way the election was going."

Jenna said that the continual news focus at the time continued to motivate her as she was writing the script and the concept. 

"Every day I would spend an hour reading the news, because every day it was something crazier and crazier coming out. And then I would start writing. So I feel like somehow the election fueled me — the heightened view of women," she added. "I remember watching this news show where the scroll at the bottom was, 'Are women fit to be commander in chief?' That’s the news scroll!"

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"It was just bonkers to me that we were having that discussion but then at the same time, I realized how naive I had been to think that that wasn't a discussion anymore," Jenna noted. 

She later told Variety that she pitched the series to three female NBC execs, and they were immediately on board. 

Source: NBC
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Where can you watch 'Good Girls'?

When it's not airing on NBC, many people catch up on Good Girls on Netflix. On Feb. 16, Season 3 was made available on Netflix, and viewers can't get enough of seeing the three criminals embark on a new business venture.

Unfortunately, fans may notice that Season 3 is a few episodes shorter than the one before it. The third season was originally supposed to be 16 episodes (which would have made it the longest one to date), but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented this from being achieved. Instead, there are 11 episodes in Season 3.  

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Source: NBC

However, fans of the show who are licking their wounds from this shortened season might be happy to learn that the series will be back for Season 4. Good Girls will return on NBC on March 7, 2021 (pandemic restrictions permitting). It's unclear at this time when the new season will be added to Netflix.

The first three seasons of Good Girls can be streamed on Netflix. Season 4 premieres on March 7, 2021 on NBC.

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