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Recommended: Girls5eva Season 2 on Peacock

As deliriously entertaining as ever, a new season finds our resurgent pop girls in album mode.
  • Busy Philipps, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles, and Paula Pell in Girls5eva (Photo: Peacock)
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    Girls5eva Season 2 | Peacock
    Half-hour Comedy (8 episodes) | TV-MA

    What's Girls5eva About?

    After the first season put the titular early-Aughts pop group on the comeback trail and in control of their own music for once, season two sees Girls5Eva trying to capitalize on their Jingle Ball performance and cut an album. As you might expect, this plunges them even deeper into the bowels of the entertainment industry as they teeter on the cusp of renewed fame.

    Who's involved?

    • Sara Bareilles as Dawn, the songwriter and stable center of the group, forever trying to balance her refreshingly boring family life with a desire to blossom creatively.
    • Renee Elise Goldsberry as Wickie, the group's fame-obsessed diva who's finally on the verge of having the rest of the world recognize just how fabulous she is.
    • Busy Philipps as Summer, the group's consistently underestimated member who's currently going through the dissolution of her longtime, Christian-influenced marriage to Kev.
    • Paula Pell as Gloria, who's really celebrating a resurgence now that the group is back together and she can finally enjoy Girls5Eva as an out and proud lesbian… who's still pining to get her ex-wife back.
    • Daniel Breaker as Scott, Dawn's stable, guidance-counselor husband whose boringness is perfect for Dawn and unfathomable to Wickie.
    • Andrew Rannells as Kev, Summer's longtime husband and a former boy-bander whose influencer empire with Summer is about to take a hit with their impending divorce.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    The first season of Girls5Eva was a mid-pandemic miracle, a joyful burst of silly comedy and catchy songs with an impossible-to-deny hook: what if one of those generic pop girl groups from the Total Request Live era decided to get back together long after the world forgot about them? With creator Meredith Scardino and executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock at the helm, the comedy was sharp and fast-paced, with the performances by Bareilles, Goldsberry, Philipps, and Pell elevating the already strong material that much more. Now they're back for a new season, with the show's fictional band poised to capitalize on last season's long journey to make a splash at the Jingle Ball. They are now, as Wickie repeatedly and forcefully declares in the season premiere, in "Album Mode."

    Album Mode, in this case, means a six-week sprint to write and record their comeback album for their new record label. I will not spoil the details of their label, because like most of Girls5Eva's world-building, it's best experienced firsthand. One of the show's great strengths remains its needle-sharp skewering of the nightmare melange of art and commerce that characterizes the most popular of pop culture, and in season two that manifests as the Girls try to self-promote through social media, podcasts, other artists' music videos, and basically any other attention-grabbing vector that's available to them. All the while, the show's writers routinely flex with a staggeringly deep breadth of pop references, from Sia to Succession to old Liam Gallagher TV appearances.

    The show's central four performers don't disappoint, either. Sara Bareilles is particularly impressive, having adapted not only to acting but to a particularly demanding and specific comedic style. She also brings an incredible amount of gravitas as a performer, helping the show sell the group's songs, which ride the line between the bad kind of ludicrous and the catchy pop banger kind of ludicrous. Paula Pell and Busy Philipps each get a sizeable share of character development to work through this season, paying Gloria and Summer's twinned quests to better themselves to great effect. But the standout performance is once again Goldsberry, with Wickie determined to look the part of a pop diva accountable to no one, even before the group actually attains that status for her.

    Whether you're a fan of the Fey/Carlock comedic voice, and/or your pop cultural touchstones have their roots in millennium-era dirty pop, the second season of Girls5Eva works tirelessly to deliver high-volume comedy and frighteningly perfect middlebrow tunes in a totally diverting package.

    Pairs well with

    • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock-produced Netflix series that most resembles the joke pacing and pop cultural cleverness of Girls5Eva.
    • Little Voice, the short-lived Apple TV+ series that Bareilles co-created with J.J. Abrams, which is a more earnest but still tuneful take on bringing Bareilles's musical sensibility to a TV series.
    • 2gether, the 2000 MTV movie about a (fictional) boy band, which was plumbing the ephemera of early Aughts Total Request Live pop music culture from the front lines, and is currently available to stream on YouTube.

  • Girls5eva (Season 2)
    Premieres three episodes on Peacock May 5, 2022. New episodes Thursdays through June 9th.
    Created by: Meredith Scardino.
    Starring: Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, Daniel Breaker, and Andrew Rannells.
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    TOPICS: Girls5eva, Peacock, Andrew Rannells, Busy Philipps, Daniel Breaker, Meredith Scardino, Paula Pell, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles