As “Girls5Eva” is a series where its characters love to latch on to specific words and terms (whether they’re actually a “thing” or not), it only makes sense to describe the second season of Peacock’s musical comedy with one specific word: comfortable.
To be clear, “Girls5Eva” Season 2 is in no way, shape, or form boring. But it does have that comfortable feeling that comes from being a successful series that knows what it is, where it wants to go and exactly how to get there.
While the girls of “Girls5Eva” may not have it all figured out, the series itself feels like it absolutely does. It’s just that, after the chaos of the first season, Season 2 slows down a bit. While it still very much exists in the bizarre version of the real world that is key to any Tina Fey and Robert Carlock-produced series, there is something to the mile a minute comedy style where it’s very apparent when a series becomes “merely” a mile a minute and a half. While still definitely quick, the pace in “Girls5Eva” Season 2 isn’t as breakneck as it was in Season 1.
The first season of the Meredith Scardino-created comedy was stellar, and it provided a solid launchpad for the members of the titular group — played brilliantly by Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Paul Pell and Renee Elise Goldsberry — on their road to redemption and hopeful journey toward the potential of experiencing stardom once more. Season 2 follows up on that promise, with Girls5Eva in the studio (now signed to a pun-based label called Property Records) and creatively in charge of their voices for the first time.
As the first season had the girls looking back at their past songs within more contemporary, “woke” lenses, Season 2 features songs more about being a powerful 40-something woman. Like songs about their exploitative former manager and their “BPE” (i.e. “Big Pussy Energy”). The lyrics this season remain just as catchy as they ever were, and to be perfectly honest, the songs might actually be genuinely better than those in Season 1.
At several points throughout this season, the songs on the girls’ new album honestly feel like they’re better than they have any right to be, considering how goofy the show and even the lyrics themselves are. As always, the episodes’ end credits allow one to really hear just how absurd the lyrics to the songs are, but in trying to create a more mature album that speaks to these characters’ current lives, “Girls5Eva” Season 2 actually manages to create an interesting balance of kitschy comedy songs and strangely quality tunes. The biggest example is a ballad called “Bend Not Break” (but again, “BPE” is absolutely a fire track).
The “comfort” aspect of “Girls5Eva” Season 2 also extends to the character dynamics, as Dawn (Bareilles) and Wickie (Goldsberry) remain the yin and yang of the show, and Bareilles and Goldsberry are still the clear standouts for different reasons while Summer (Philipps) and Gloria’s (Pell) friendship also remains the series’ emotional rock. And already two seasons in, while there are often shifts in the character interactions from episode to episode, the series is well aware that it never really has Wickie and Summer interact or have plots together… and Wickie’s absolute lack of interest in Summer’s life very much rings true.
And it can’t be understated that the reason why “Girls5Eva” is able to be so confident so early into its run as a series (outside of the exceptional talent both in front of and behind the camera) is its attention to callbacks and worldbuilding. While it would be easy to consider the Fey/Carlock-style of comedy (which they perfected on “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) irreverent and fast-paced, that denies how much that comedy pays dividends through longterm setup and payoff.
By the end of it all, Season 2 doesn’t just make good on jokes introduced at the beginning of the season, it pays off jokes and follows up on plot threads established in the first season as well. It’s a show that’s found its groove and is exceptionally comfortable in it.
“Girls5Eva” premieres May 5 on Peacock.