Thursday, June 2, 2022

REVIEW: 'Girls5Eva' - Promotional Ideas Begin When the Group Grows Anxious Over Releasing Their New Album in 'Returnity'

Peacock's Girls5Eva - Episode 2.07 "Returnity"

With their album about to drop, Wickie takes career advice from a "normal." Dawn is alarmed by mysterious symptoms. Gloria tries to ignore thoughts about other women.

"Returnity" was written by John Mahone & Ava Coleman and directed by Kimmy Gatewood

This season started with Gloria destroying her knee so the label would put all of its attention on the return of Girls5Eva. And now, an algorithm states that the song inspired by that event should become the lead single from their upcoming album. The project is finished. The group has produced 16 new tracks. They are proud of everything they've accomplished this season. They don't believe anything on this album can be seen as filler. It's not like their former releases where it was clear they were stretching things out pointlessly. Fans don't like that. Of course, it's funny to see a musical piece designed entirely around that intention for the purpose of a joke. It plays out in agonizing detail across the closing credits. That continues to showcase the creative team's commitment to a bit beyond what would normally be seen as funny. This show has a solid understanding of comedic rhythms and storytelling drama. It always does its best to subvert expectations. It calls out Dawn's potential pregnancy right away. It does so without falling into the trap of having her simply be nauseous and not knowing what could potentially be causing it. Her symptoms keep getting stranger and more extreme. Sometimes she's doing a spit take without ever drinking anything. And then, her mouth is suddenly dry. She has white diarrhea to the point where she can no longer look to see what came from her body. It's all absolutely disgusting. It plays into the idea that Dawn knows something is wrong with her body while the doctors continually tell her she's fine. It's a nice way to amp up the paranoia that exists in the minds of every hypochondriac. Dawn hopes to feel empowered. She advocates for herself in the doctor's office. However, she truly is pregnant. The final beat of her realizing she was peeing on flash drives and not pregnancy tests is phenomenal. It's so silly and absurd. It pushes the boundaries of believable human behavior. The show has always operated like that. It can all be seen as dumb and immature. It still carries so much pathos because the realization comes while Girls5Eva is given an offer to potentially tour again. That's the beat that sends everything heading into the finale. The group wanted to create momentum for their careers. They've pursued these dreams. And now, Dawn finds herself with an unexpected development. She and Scott have had this conversation before. They reached some clarity. It wasn't the end of the discussion. The show plays around with those expectations. It produces the same end result. The way it arrives at that point is truly unique and helps the show feel special.

Of course, the bulk of this episode is devoted to Girls5Eva trying to publicize their album themselves. They have done this before in their musical careers. They thought they had to pull off some stunt in order to simply be noticed by the labels. They believed they had the full backing of Property Records. However, it was always clear this is a new upstart. This business is just getting started. As such, they may not have the connections and skills to make these dreams come true. Bets have been placed on Girls5Eva. They delivered an album they are proud of. Now, it's time to hand it over to an industry that can best release it to the public. Dawn and Wickie have their opinions about which song should be the single. However, it's not their choice to make. Gloria is similarly stunned to learn her song about personal injury resonated in a way that gets people moving. That wasn't the intention. It's a pleasant surprise though. One that can still be invigorating. It's being released as part of a targeted malware scheme. Tate is proud of the strategy. Everything points to heightened emotional states allowing catchy ear worms to ignite quickly. It's not what the group has always understood about the business. It's not how anyone would understand it. Of course, manipulation has always been part of the game. That was true when the group was represented by Larry. It's still true now despite their new team. As such, it causes the group to spin out in fear that this will flop too. They have to do something themselves in order to achieve their dreams. They have to continue hustling. Wickie seeks out praise and validation from anyone who can offer a good idea. It plays into the idea that these characters are still hiding from their deepest and truest desires as people. Wickie fears losing herself if she should ever embrace a true connection with a non-celebrity. Meanwhile, Gloria worries about settling for Caroline too quickly and losing the chance to pursue other opportunities. These issues have come up before. As such, the conflicts presented here are very familiar. The reactions must be different. Wickie does kiss Sheawn. That's a huge development. One that showcases her willingness to set her selfishness aside in a romantic context. She still champions her career above all else. That's always her priority. Gloria still lives in denial even though Kev can see right through her. They have always had a contentious dynamic. But now, he can call out her behavior. That's turning the tables in a way that should make Gloria uncomfortable. It does. It simply doesn't create much of a reaction that creates true consequences right away.