In the first season of Girls5evawe meet the titular group through a NMT performance during their brief time in the spotlight in the early years. It’s a fitting introduction to the vibrant girl group and delightfully nostalgic atmosphere that envelops the Peacock series, which recently wrapped up its fantastic second season.
The comedy series created by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt writer Meredith Scardino and produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, centers a one-hit Y2K group as they reunite to attempt a comeback, which is especially difficult to pull off in the digital age (as a writer -Swedish composer played by guest star Stephen Colbert notes in season one, “It’s been a whole Zendaya since you’ve been recording music.”) The incredible, yet underpromoted sophomore season picks up with the group diving into their next album after a successful performance of Jingle Ball in the Season 1 finale. During this time, they each face challenges in their personal lives. Regardless of whether they achieve the pop stardom they aim for, you can’t help but applaud their success, especially after seeing the joy they feel when they perform.
Which makes Girls5eva The particularity is that each role seems tailor-made for its stars. Busy Philipps is a perfect match for aspiring Real Housewife Summer; Renée Elise Goldsberry steals every scene as Wickie, a social media influencer at the head of a glamorous “fempire” who feels cut from the same cloth as 30 Rockis Jenna Maroney; Sara Bareilles plays Dawn, considered the most grounded member now that she is a mother, wife, and manager of her brother’s restaurant; and there’s Gloria, played by SNL writer Paula Pell, a dentist who made history as one half of the first same-sex couple to divorce in New York State. From time to time, Ashley Park pops up as Ashley, the fifth member whose absence I won’t spoil for those of you who haven’t tuned in.
Filled with parody music videos, witty jokes, memorable one-liners and over-the-top performances, Girls5eva hits all the right notes by balancing nostalgia-centric satire and its exploration of the music industry. The heightened entertainment world the group operates in is hilarious and absurd: all the publicists are named Amanda, and the Property Brothers own a record company demanding that Girls5eva complete an album in six weeks. The songs, written by composer Jeff Richmond in collaboration with the show’s writers, are so infectious and catchy that you’ll immediately want to find them on Spotify.
Beneath all the humorous and pop culture references that bear the hallmark of a Fey production, the series is also an authentic depiction of female friendship and aging. The supportive dynamic that’s blossoming among this polar opposite group of women who’ve spent the past two decades apart feels real and organic, even as the quartet is often split into the same two pairs. Girls5eva also manages to be equally authentic when addressing how women, especially in the industry, are treated once they hit their 40s and how social media has changed the way we live and consume media. .
Girls5eva is a goofy show that’s nothing short of being constantly entertaining, and there’s as much sincerity and love among its quartet as there are jokes. Although Peacock has yet to build a catalog with titles that could be considered serious competition, it is easy to top Girls5eva as the streamer’s brightest original series to date. If you haven’t tried it yet, then, as the series asks, “What are you waiting for five?”