Tina Fey comedies are virtually a definite style at this level. The system, established by 30 Rock and adopted intently by Kimmy Schmidt and Great News, appears to be confidently quirky characters delivering rapid-fire punchlines laced with ultra-current popular culture references, with fast cutaways and peppy music bopping alongside within the background.
It would not at all times work (see: Mr. Mayor), however Peacock’s Girls5eva — premiering this Thursday, May 6; I’ve seen the primary 4 episodes —is a delightfully entertaining new entry to the style, with a ridiculously stacked cast, a lot of sharp jabs on the music business and a refreshingly sunny tone. It’s the TV equal of the breezy, catchy track of the summer time.
Created by Kimmy Schmidt scribe Meredith Scardino, with Fey serving as an government producer, Girls5eva catches up with the previous members of a Spice Girls-esque lady group twenty years after their one and solely hit has lengthy since pale from everybody’s reminiscence. They’re all grown up now and have settled into mundane routines and misplaced contact with one another. (One of them even died tragically when she tried to swim off the sting of her infinity pool.) But when a rapper makes use of their hit track as a pattern and sparks a recent wave of curiosity, all of them determine to ditch their disappointing lives and mount an unlikely comeback.
Fey’s identify at all times attracts a top-flight cast, however this one is outstanding. Singer Sara Bareilles reveals off good comedian timing (and a few severe Liz Lemon vitality) as annoyed housewife/group chief Dawn. Busy Philipps adopts a breathy, barely drunk voice to play the ditzy Summer, and 30 Rock author Paula Pell provides deadpan sass as Gloria. Plus, Renée Elise Goldsberry (The Good Wife) is solely spectacular as Wickie, the self-styled Beyoncé of the group whose solo profession fell flat, however who nonetheless fakes her method by way of an excellent glam life-style, talking each line of dialogue with a self-satisfied purr. (When Dawn and Wickie duet, all of the sudden we’re reminded that Bareilles and Goldsberry can actually sang.) Andrew Rannells is a riot as Summer’s clueless, Bieber-haired husband Kev, and as Sara’s blunt brother, Dean Winters is principally slipping again into his 30 Rock character Dennis Duffy — however that is simply positive with me.
The flashbacks to Girls5eva’s glory days are a sugar rush of pure Y2K-era nostalgia, with the ladies absorbing the celebrity on TRL and Cribs. And their songs are… truly legitimately good? Not within the sense of high quality music, thoughts you, however they’re hilariously spot-on copies of that period’s brainless pop hits —perhaps the funniest TV songs I’ve heard since Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. (I’ve had the theme track caught in my head for days now.) But there may be actual emotional depth to be mined right here, too, because the fortysomething women take inventory of their lives and brace themselves to reenter a brutal occupation. The wrestle towards middle-aged irrelevance, and the music business’s predatory misogyny, may be very actual. (Dawn notes that the unfavorable contract they initially signed was truly an old Ringling Brothers contract — “not even for people! For bears!”)
The early episodes do have a number of tough spots that might use some smoothing out. The group’s slimy ex-manager Larry is extra creepy than humorous, and I do know Dawn’s humdrum husband is meant to be a drip, however he is perhaps too drippy. Girls5eva‘s pleasures, although, far outweigh its stumbles. And better of all, it is a enjoyable, simple binge, with all eight episodes dropping without delay. It’s a reduction to have one thing gentle and enjoyable to observe, frankly. So a lot TV lately, even the great things, is tough to observe — however this can be a pleasure.
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: Peacock’s Girls5eva is a enjoyable, wickedly humorous deal with for Tina Fey followers, blessed with a killer cast, intelligent jokes and catchy songs.