Barb From ‘Stranger Things’ Finally Gets Her Happy Ending In ‘Sierra Burgess Is A Loser’
By Katee Robert
I think we can all agree that Netflix is mostly killing it with their new original content. We’ve had The Kissing Booth, Set It Up, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and this weekend they released the most recent original movie, Sierra Burgess is a Loser.
Ever since Barb was done dirty wrong in the first season of Stranger Things, I’ve held a flame for Shannon Purser. Barb was me in high school, and aside from being all the confirmation I need to know that I’d never survive a horror movie, it was really crappy seeing the saucy non-traditionally-gorgeous best friend get killed off…and then completely forgotten (#justiceforBarb).
Instead, the movie was…amazing. Better than amazing. And I’m here to tell you why you should stop what you’re doing and watch Sierra Burgess is a Loser ASAP.
We start off with Sierra and Dan. They’re best friends, and have obviously been best friends for some time. There’s an easiness there, and seriously, Dan is the best best friend in existence. He has no problem calling Sierra on her nonsense, but he’s super supportive despite thinking she’s nuts for this whole catfishing crap.
Seriously. The dude shows up to save her from herself when she tries out for track in a misguided attempt to bolster her college resumé—like he goes so far to be wearing some 70s track gear so that she’s not the only one suffering embarrassment. They’re in it together, and their relationship is one of the most important things about this movie.
Bonus points for being dude-lady friends who are actually platonic, can say “I love you” non-ironically, and have no simmering sexual tension. Yes, please!
Next up, we have Sierra and Veronica. Veronica is presented as your traditional high school mean girl. She’s head cheerleader, dating a college guy, traditionally gorgeous and skinny, and is just all around mean as hell.
This movie could have followed its predecessors and had the animosity between the girls continue through the whole thing, and no one would have blinked. Mean girls, AMIRITE?
Instead, Sierra and Veronica actually become legit friends. I kept expecting Veronica to pull some nasty prank (like at the party) but the warmth between them was genuine. They actually learn from each other, and build a friendship that will last even though it started through some sketchy plan that was seriously ill advised. It gives me so much in the way of warm fuzzies.
Then there’s Jamey, the quarterback who mistakenly texts Sierra thinking that she’s Veronica. I felt those scenes down to my very soul. The awkward initial contact, second-guessing every text and knowing in your heart of hearts that you’ve messed this up. And that seriously awkward selfie. And the awkward phone call… Are you sensing a theme?
Jamey and Sierra’s growing relationship is the stuff first crushes are made of. They’re both so unsure and tentative and feeling their way as they go. I’ll admit there are parts where I cringed because it was a little too real—we’ve all been there—and Jamey just being a genuinely good guy who doesn’t feel like he fits in with the football team despite being the star quarterback… It just works. Everything about it works.
I’m not going to lie, when he said “You are my type. You are exactly my type.” I about lost it. How many of us were so freaking awkward in high school and just wanted someone to say that to us and mean it? (Surely it’s not just me?)
But where this movie really shines is Sierra herself. Sure, she’s a loser as far as the high school hierarchy is concerned, and she definitely isn’t Hollywood skinny or Hollywood pretty or dress fashionably.
She is, however, confident AF. She faces down mean girls and asshole college guys alike without blinking. She is smart as hell, has a loving (if complicated) relationship with her perfect parents, and she’s bold enough that I wish I could have been a little more like her when I was a teenager. And, yeah, she has a hard time with her looks, and she’s struggling to find her place in the world that’s her own, rather than just following the footsteps of her author father or her gorgeous motivational speaker mother.
She’s not perfect by any means, but she’s relatable in a way that I feel down to my very soul. I think a lot of people will.
What I’m saying is that if you haven’t watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser, you should carve some time out of your week and do exactly that. It’s a seriously amazing movie, and I cannot recommend it enough.
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About the Author
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title The Marriage Contract was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension." When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
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