The first season of Peacock‘s comedy Girls5eva landed on a bit of a cliffhanger; the ladies came back together and finally achieved their dream of performing at the Jingle Ball (albeit not in the way they might have originally intended), and people seemed to love it. With the future they’ve dreamed of finally in reach, the road to success (and a new album) might not be as easy as they’ve all hoped.
Opening Shot: A news anchor announces some “feel good news”.
The Gist: The ladies are in #AlbumMode. After a warm reception to their Jingle Ball surprise performance, Girls5eva has landed a record deal and they are READY for their comeback. They’ve been signed to Property Records (the Property Brothers’ record label), and they’re working towards creating an album (in 6 weeks, mind you). In the midst of this exciting news, the ladies are all dealing with their own stuff, too; Summer (Busy Phillipps) is panicking because everything is going too well (despite her having asked her husband for a divorce), while Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry) is exploring her romantic options now that she’s been accepted to Raya. Dawn (Sara Bareilles), meanwhile, is frustrated by the nonstop emails she’s been receiving from the moms at her son’s school, especially after she tries to redirect them to her husband and this move is ignored. Gloria (Paula Pell) is addicted to learning about TikTok trends, and at their first show since they’ve been signed with Property Records, she does a death drop and winds up needing medical care. Though the stunt works (the label is now making them their number one priority!), the news at the hospital is bleak: Gloria needs a knee replacement, and her recovery time clashes with their promo tour.
Determined not to let her injury stand in the way of their success, Gloria starts popping Percocets and managing her pain with a variety of steroids and drugs. This is all well and fine until a radio interview goes terribly south when a high Gloria makes a scene (and speaks about herself like she’s a god) and the group is forced to take a beat so that she can get the knee replacement she so clearly needs. While this halt to their progress is disappointing, the chance to abandon #AlbumMode and embrace #HumanMode instead might be just what the gals need to get back to what’s important.
Our Take: Much like its spiritual predecessors Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and 30 Rock, you either love Girls5eva, or you hate it. So much of it is unabashedly silly; the performances are loud and outlandish, and many of the jokes might as well be accompanied by a “ba dum tsh!”. If this kind of thing is your cup of tea, though, it’s a total delight. Girls5eva continues to build out its quirky, colorful world in Season 2, and each new face and development only makes it all richer. So few comedies these days actually lean into jokes, but Girls5eva is deeply committed to delivering joke after joke – whether it’s an uproarious throwaway or a central gag – in its familiar sitcom format. It’s so refreshing to embrace the funny of it all (even if the occasional contemporary reference or political bit falls flat).
Each of the ladies bring their own special pizzaz to the series; whether Busy Phillipps is putting on her best ditz face, Renée Elise Goldsberry is blowing off a clueless Tim Meadows, or Paula Pell is doing a truly glorious Liam Gallagher, they’re all a hoot. Sara Bareilles, who plays the “straight man” of the group, also steps up, sharing a particularly funny scene in the Season 2 premiere opposite Saturday Night Live‘s Heidi Gardner. So much of Girls5eva is featherlight, but there’s something meaningful underneath it all, messages about friendship and family and the way women grow and change and learn. Watching all these funny people do their thing in such a creative environment is just a damn good time. We could use a little more of that these days.
Sex and Skin: None.
Parting Shot: Wickie tosses her hair over her shoulder as she walks into the rain (and away from Tim Meadows).
Sleeper Star: Tim Meadows’ appearance is a hilarious highlight of the second season premiere. It’s always a delight to watch actors play themselves, and Meadows does not disappoint; while he only pops up for a few minutes so, he totally steals his scenes. Gotta love an actor who isn’t afraid to poke fun at themselves.
Most Pilot-y Line: Girls5eva avoids getting too pilot-y, instead delivering on the jokes front. “You can get a second opinion, but it will signal to me that you don’t trust a female doctor” is just one of the handful of laugh-out-loud moments in the episode.
Our Call: STREAM IT. In its second season, Girls5eva is as goofy and entertaining as ever, a showcase for some seriously funny women and infectious ear worms.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines, hogging the mic at karaoke, and thirst-tweeting. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.