TV review: 'Girls5eva' Season 3 raunchier, funnier

From left to right, Busy Philipps, Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Paula Pell return in "Girls5eva." Photo courtesy of Netflix
1 of 5 | From left to right, Busy Philipps, Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Paula Pell return in "Girls5eva." Photo courtesy of Netflix

LOS ANGELES, March 14 (UPI) -- Girls5eva returns for a third season, premiering Thursday on Netflix, even raunchier and funnier than the first two seasons. The musical comedy tackles new subjects with its trademark clever style.

The middle-aged girl group Girls5eva has begun its first tour in more than 20 years. The country song the group has tailored to Fort Worth, Texas, represents yet another new musical genre for the show's comedy music.


But Dawn (Sara Bareilles), Summer (Busy Philipps), Gloria (Paula Pell) and Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry) aspire to bigger venues than Fort Worth honky-tonk bars. The season finds humor in their adjustment to life on the road and hurdles along the way.

Season 3, the first produced for Netflix, seems to embrace the F word even more than the seasons on Peacock. It's always used effectively in the context of hilarious exasperation.

They even occasionally use the C word, and it is impeccably timed by Philipps. The show still boasts endearingly immature takes on naughty subjects.

The funniest part of Girls5eva remains the songs, even if it's only one verse of an absurd joke song, Goldsberry commits like she's still in Hamilton, in which she originated the role of Angelica Schuyler on Broadway.


Jeff Richmond and Giancarlo Vulcano write genuinely catchy songs. Goldsberry and Bareilles are the singers who perform them with conviction, but Philipps and Pell sing respectable backup, too.

The writing of Girls5eva also lends itself to one-liner non sequiturs that end up somewhere completely random. Jokes about the names of arenas or streaming services satirize broad industry issues in a single, pithy line, while a single clip can lovingly mock the Step Up movie franchise.

Topical humor keeps the show relevant. In a subplot about the post-Roe vs. Wade world, the band members meet zealots and fanatics with absurd ideas about how to keep women and babies safe.

And yet, Girls5eva can also find humor in characters sticking things in their shirts. It happens more than once with more than one character this season.

Percy (John Lutz), a funny character traumatized by Girls5eva in one Season 2 episode, returns as a regular. Percy's pathetic enthusiasm brings complementary comic dynamics to the foursome.

The only downside of Netflix is that the streaming service will try to skip ahead to the next episode before the funny song in the end credits is over. So, viewers who want to hear every lyric will have to select "watch credits" every time.


With another catchy and hilarious soundtrack, supported by great writing and performances, Girls5eva is still one of the funniest shows on television and certainly has the best soundtrack.

Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a UPI entertainment writer based in Los Angeles. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001, and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012 and the Critics Choice Association since 2023. Read more of his work in Entertainment.

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