Thursday, May 6, 2021

REVIEW: 'Girls5Eva' - Dawn, Wickie, Gloria and Summer Are Inspired to Reunite as Their Former Girl Group in 'Pilot'

Peacock's Girls5Eva - Episode 1.01 "Pilot"

The members of Girls5Eva, a late 90s girl group, reconnect after their big hit is sampled by an up-and-coming rapper, Lil Stinker.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the series premiere of Peacock's Girls5Eva.

"Pilot" was written by Meredith Scardino and directed by Kat Coiro

This premiere presents a comedy with potential. It has a lot of introductory beats to get out of the way before it can find the humanity and humor within these dynamics and situations. Premieres are always difficult for comedies. So much of the premise has to be sold upfront. In this case, it's all about a girl group from 20 years ago finding newfound relevance after a young rapper samples one of their hit songs. Their lives have changed so much since they were famous in their youth. The show promises to offer an insightful commentary on the ways perspectives change over the years. Gloria was absolutely terrified of being out as a lesbian. And now, she wears her infamy of being the first gay couple to get a divorce in New York with pride. That's such a specific joke that works well with character building. The same applies to Summer being the sultry one in the group who seductively says things at the end of songs. It plays into a trope from the era. But her passion within the group is just as strong as everyone else. She is excited to get the group back together. In fact, it's all she thinks about the moment Dawn shows up on her driveway. Her house even has a shrine to their former glory. These girls have been estranged for years. They haven't been friends forever like they promised all those years ago. It was easy to say that when they were young and famous. It felt like forever was a given thanks to the talent they had on display. The business found a formula that worked for them. It was beneficial and allowed them to showcase their skills. It didn't last though. They have musical talent. They have faded from memory though. They are a play for nostalgia. Of course, a lot of the world is built around nostalgia these days. In fact, this show plays into that idea without blatantly ripping off a concept that worked in the past. This is an entirely new premise. However, it understands the way the world yearns for a time perceived to be better. In most cases, it wasn't. Things worked at a specific moment in time for a reason. Some of them haven't aged very well either. And yet, people are excited seeing Girls5Eva reunite on The Tonight Show. It's a gig that almost doesn't work out. Wickie still presents as a demanding diva always causing anxiety in the others. In reality, it's all just a facade. She is struggling in her life as well. She is devoted to pretending to have this lavish life. It's important that she is perceived as such. To the fellow members of the group, they do view her that way. They look on in awe at the posts she drops daily on Instagram. The fake charm works on them. Real life is much more humbling though. She doesn't want her former friends to see her crack. Dawn has to step up and be the person who calls her out. The group asserts that the person who used to serve that role and kept them all together is gone. Ashley being dead also showcases the passage of time and the tragedy of those trapped in this vicious business. People are abused. Youth is coveted because of the promise of so much. It sells. It's an easy commodity. Girls5Eva trying to launch a comeback isn't something that the industry will easily accept. It's a mission that the group is committed to nevertheless. It provides passion and purpose to their lives. Only a little amount of time is given to the relatively normal and lackluster lives they currently have. They aren't glamorous or fulfilling at all. This is a chance to potentially change that. They are devoted to the cause. More importantly though, they have found this friendship once more. That seems like the quality that will best serve this comedy moving forward. Yes, seeing the musical talents will also be fun. However, the comedy of these pairings must provide the heart that carries the show forward. The raw material is here to create something promising and fun. The next few episodes will have to deliver on that promise and grow it into something a bit more sustainable and reliable. The cast is very much game for anything it seems. Plus, the humor is reminiscent of other projects from Tina Fey (though she is just here as an executive producer). A trusted formula can be found. The audience just may have to be patient a little bit.