There’s a scene in the first episode of season 2 where Gloria (Paula Pell) ingests a bunch of painkillers to stave off her knee pain and sits for an album promo with a podcast host. Things go hilariously wrong from the moment she utters, “When I look back into the mirror, God looks back.”
The scene is silly and ridiculous, but what makes it funny is Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry) grabbing Dawn (Sara Bareilles) and shouting that one of them (implying Dawn) has a sexual addiction to cover for Gloria’s nonsensical statements. “That will get us into Daily Mail,” she screams as all four of them leave the promo tour before it has even begun.
Such scenes are peppered throughout the second season of the Meredith Scardino-created show and give the series its trademark humor. In season one we saw the titular girl group come together and go through various ups and downs before finally getting a deal with the record label, the Property Brothers. This season we see them go into ‘Album Mode’ to create a whole slate of new songs.
While some things are going well, like the public loving the girl gang, other things are not. Dawn is worried that she will fail to deliver the songs for the album they have to make in 6 weeks, Gloria suffers from a knee replacement and tries to win back her ex, and Summer (Busy Philipps) tries filing for divorce from her neglectful husband, and Wickie wonders if she will ever find love.
With eight episodes in this season, these troubles are just the beginning for the newly returned girl band. Thankfully, the show is so well constructed that at the end you will be left wanting more. But there’s a problem. While the second season amps up the satire and the jokes, not all of them land. Wickie being delightfully self-absorbed is one of the things that stands out and makes the show shine.
In one scene she is worried that photos of her bad foot have been released online. “I will not lose my perv base,” she shouts while exiting the recording studio. Renée Elise Goldsberry’s golden dialogue delivery makes even the most ridiculous jokes land. It seems like the actress is aware of how over-the-top her character is and plays her with that purposeful exaggeration.
But scenes where Gloria discusses how she relieves herself or such don’t work. The scatological humor, while meant to invoke laughs, often just elicits disgust and derails the momentum of funny scenes. Also, pop culture references don’t always work, especially when the topic in question is a bit too sensitive.
However, the show gets more rights than wrongs. One such instance is using humor to call out the obvious gender biases in exceedingly funny scenes. For example, in the first episode itself, Dawn has to deal with the head of her son’s Karate group only mailing the moms and not the dads.
At the end of the resolution, we see two gay dads happy that their daughter will finally get to mix with the other kids. It’s the kind of punchline that works and the show does it in almost every scene. But more than the jokes, the show is at its most enjoyable when the women come together. All of them play off of each other so well that it’s a treat to see them banter. I for one would love to know which scenes were improvised and which were actually written in the script.
Overall, season 2 of Girls5Eva brings back the jokes, laughs, and songs along with some heavy material that is carefully navigated. If you loved season 1, season 2 will make you fall more in love with the cast.
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