Thursday, May 5, 2022

REVIEW: 'Girls5Eva' - Summer and Kev Argue Over Announcing Their Divorce to Their Fans in 'Triumphant Return to the Studio'

Peacock's Girls5Eva - Episode 2.02 "Triumphant Return to the Studio"

Dawn worries her status as the group's songwriter is in jeopardy. Wickie panics over an unflattering paparazzi photo. Summer struggles to officially split from Kev.

"Triumphant Return to the Studio" was written by Ron Weiner and directed by Brennan Shroff

What does Girls5Eva want their album to be about? That's the question their new producer Ray asks when they go to the studio for the first time. It's not exactly the basis of this episode. However, it's a very important question that must be asked. Right now, it presents as if they're performing whatever songs Dawn happens to write. She is talented as the group's songwriter. She can be overindulgent at times. She believes she has crafted perfection in an 8-minute song about the many different ways "set" can be used in a sentence. It highlights the obvious musical talents she has while still featuring the overall silly comedy embraced throughout this world. Plus, Dawn is jealous when other people try to expand on her ideas in order to make them better. Ray isn't like all the sleazy producers the group has worked with in the past. He's not making them feel uncomfortable. He's not harassing them simply because he has them in a room. Instead, he's asking meaningful questions about the purpose of each development on the album. He wants to help make it great. Dawn can't shame him either. Her attempts at digging up dirt only reveal how shallow she is being over all of this. Wickie is typically the one with the oversized ego. In fact, she enjoys recognizing these traits in her friend. She believes the selfishness is powerful enough to unlock her phone through its recognition algorithm. Of course, that doesn't actually happen. It's simply a way of these friends calling each other out. They hold each other accountable. They pressure each other from time to time. However, it's all done with the intention of making their lives better. They want their friends to be committed to the paths they believe lead to happiness. They shouldn't have to compromise themselves for any reason. Dawn has been accepted as the songwriter of the group. No one sees that position being challenged. Everyone is fine working with Ray. Dawn has a problem only because she's insecure. She has to confront those feelings and apologize for how she made Ray feel. She saw him as completely disposable. She just wanted someone in the room to press buttons. That's only more strange and awkward. This group thrives together. However, an outside perspective can enhance it as well. It reveals the strength that has always resided within them. It doesn't have to compromise any of what they are capable of doing. It's honing what makes the group great. Dawn accepts that. It's challenging for her. She doesn't want to apologize. It's still the necessary action to mend this newly crucial dynamic.

Meanwhile, Summer has to stand firm in her demands for a divorce. She can't let Kev continually find a reason to avoid making the announcement. He doesn't want to disappoint their fans. In fact, their vitriol turns against Summer from the slight suggestion that she could be flirting with someone else. The women of Girls5Eva love the spotlight. It only ever seems to capture their most awkward moments. Summer was trying to make a point to her friends. She could embrace freedom in this new arrangement with Kev without having to break the hearts of Summer & Kev fans. That fandom is so popular. And now, Summer has to embrace being the villain. Kev details a story where Summer cheated on him. He needs so much from her. And now, he gets to set the terms for this divorce. He has to find a way to be comfortable with it as well. Of course, he clearly loses everything. He no longer has his turtles in Tampa. They died because of a careless mistake. Summer gets to demand everything she wants because Kev told the story on his terms. That leaves him begging for some small acceptance in her life. That's a deal Summer is willing to take. She does so gladly. She depends on the support of her friends. They don't want her to pursue the same animosity Kev embraced. She is better than that. She can aspire for so much more. She has to be free in order to do so. This gives her that opportunity. She may not know what she's going to do with it. However, it's inspiring for her to have that opportunity now. She can shine on her own. The women must still blend together as a group though. That's what will lead to success in this business. They continue to buy into that idea. The narrative continually has to find stories with each of them in basically every episode. With Gloria, it's mostly just the fact that everyone doesn't notice she's still wearing a hospital gown in the studio. She shouldn't be released from that environment quite yet even though she is doing the physical therapy to improve her knee. And finally, Wickie feels ashamed of her right foot because it can't compare to the perfection of her left. It's so phenomenally silly. People are attracted to the story when it feels like a scandal. It's something deserving of shame and ridicule. When Wickie pronounces her acceptance and details the ways this foot has made her stronger, the story quickly loses interest. She can't even build on that momentum. Instead, it's just another trivial concern that entertains the group for a little bit while being mostly tangential overall. It's better to watch Wickie perform whatever is on her rolodex of riffs. That's an amusing plot that should be brought out more moving forward.