Hilarious new series ‘Girls5Eva’ nails its ’90s/’00s girl group soundtrack too
Girls5Eva, a sitcom about a millenium-era girl group who get back together in their 40s, just debuted on the Peacock streaming service and is the funniest new show of the year. Created by Meredith Scardino (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Colbert Report), the series is executive produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and is very much in the joke-a-second style they pioneered with 30 Rock (and includes Kimmy Schmidt, Great News and Mr Mayor). The series stars Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), Busy Phillips (Freaks & Geeks, Cougar Town), and Paula Pell (SNL, 30 Rock) as the four surviving members of Girls5Eva -- a bargain basement Spice Girls/Destiny's Child who are thrust back together after their sole hit "Famous 5eva" ("cause forever's too short") is sampled by rapper Lil Stinker. He asks them to perform with him on Fallon, and with all of them feeling unfulfilled in their lives, they decide to give it another go.
The series mines a lot of great jokes from fame, aging, beauty, show business, sexism, social media influencers, clear plexiglass grand pianos and more. It's also nostalgic with a lot of heart, but Girl5eva is mostly a high efficiency joke machine that layers gags deep enough that your finger may stay on the rewind button in case you miss something. The cast, which includes Andrew Rannells as Busy Phillips' husband, is great and episodes are peppered with some fun cameos (Stephen Colbert, Vanessa Williams, John Slattery, and Tina Fey playing a very famous singer). It's the best show to bear the Fey/Carlock stamp since the early seasons of Kimmy Schmidt.
As you might expect, the show is also full of music, with 30 Rock/Kimmy Schmidt composer (and Tina Fey husband) Jeff Richmond crafting spot-on '90s/'00s pop songs with with hilarious lyrics from Scardino and the rest of the writers that aren't too different from what we got back them, like slow jam "Dream Girlfriends" ("We're dream girlfriends, 'cause our dads are dead / So you never have to meet them, and gеt asked why you left school.") Bareilles, who wrote some of the songs on the show including Girls5Eva's comeback single "Four Stars," Goldsberry, Phillips and Pell are all up to the task as singers and comedic performers. There's also a great Simon & Garfunkel parody ("New York Lonely Boy") and a boy band song, too ("Boyz Next Door [Puber-Dude]," sung by Rannells). The series has released a nine-song soundtrack which you should check out -- once you've watched the show, of course.
Listen, and watch the Girls5Eva trailer, below.