Girls5eva is back for season two and is just as delightful as the first season. If you didn’t watch the first season, then there’s still tons of time to catch up before the current season ends. Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, and Paula Pell are all terrific in every episode. There are no weak links on Girls5eva.
In its sophomore season, the show follows the girl group as they make an album. Each character grows in small ways but is still able to remain fundamentally true to themselves. It’s a hard line to walk when writing characters. If they change too quickly or too much, sometimes the show loses its way and forgets why the audience fell in love with these imperfect characters. If characters change too little, then it can feel repetitive and banal. The writers on Girls5eva are able to thoughtfully navigate this tight rope.
Inarguably, the best performance is by Renée Elise Goldsberry. Wickie Roy (Renée Elise Goldsberry) is still narcissistic, but she also gives Dawn (Sara Bareilles) the solo on a song that she wanted for herself. When Wickie whips out a Riff Rolodex and hits every note, I alternated between laughing and wanting to cry at the crazy amount of talent that can exist in one person. To be clear, every performance is incredible. It’s just that Goldsberry is an undeniable star in every frame.
Like most Tina Fey productions – 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Girls5eva is filled with constant jokes on top of jokes. There are gags hidden in the production design and costuming. There are lengthy songs with wordplay jokes. Basically, if you watch an episode of Girls5eva and don’t laugh at least once, then I can’t help you for you have no soul.
The second season continues to use Ashley Park incredibly effectively. Ashley Park plays group member Ashley Gold who passed away in a tragic infinity pool incident. One of the best episodes of the season features a storyline where Gloria (Paula Pell) is convinced Ashley isn’t dead and Wickie helps her come to terms with Ashley’s death. It’s sweet and gives the show a chance to shake up the typical friendship pairings. When Gloria and Wickie are busy unmasking a famous singer, Dawn and Summer (Busy Philipps) bond over Summer finally admitting she gets cosmetic work done after they confront their former manager, Larry (Jonathan Hadary), about his bogus plagiarism accusations. It ends with a surprisingly sweet love song to Ashley.
Like the first season, most of the songs are absurd, poignant, and complete earworms. You’ll be humming B.P.E. long after you’ve finished episode six. Goldsberry’s rap about feline energy and Big Pussy Energy should be stuck in everybody’s head for weeks. I’m waiting impatiently for the complete season two album to drop so I can download it and sing it loudly in the car every chance I get this summer.
The first season was tragically under-watched. Most likely it’s because it’s a Peacock original series that premiered in 2021 when most people were still very underwhelmed by Peacock offerings. Now with the many issues facing the Old Guard of streamers, maybe people will pay more attention to newer streamers like Peacock and see that content like Girls5eva is deserving of recognition, accolades, and awards.