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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Some Girls on BBC3: This attempt at a female Inbetweeners falls flat

Over the past few months BBC3 have been debuting their new comedies at 10pm on Tuesdays a tradition that kicked off with Jack Whitehall's Bad Education and continued with the moderately amusing Cuckoo. The third programme to be broadcast is Some Girls written by Game On co-creator Bernadette Davis and centring on the exploits of four teenage girls who live on the same inner-city estate. Some Girls is narrated by Viva (Adelayo Adedayo) an intelligent young woman who promises she won't get pregnant and is destined to go off to university to study psychology. Viva lives with her father Rob (Colin Salmon) as well as her brother however she is upset that Rob is currently dating her vindictive football coach Anna (Dolly Wells) who makes her stay late at school to scrub the balls. Viva's football teammates are the completely dim Amber (Alice Felgate), the super aggressive Holli (Natasha Jonas) and the sarcastic Saz (Mandeep Dhillon).

The first episode centres around two plots the first being Amber's wish to dump her boyfriend Brandon with whom she no longer has a connection with sexually. Brandon is also extremely possessive writing on Amber's breasts in marker pen while she sleeps and later constantly checking her phone for text messages from other guys. The girls all advise Amber to dump him, especially when they find out about some of his personal quirks, however she's afraid that she won't be able to when Brandon flashes his sad eyes at her. Viva is also horrified when she finds out that her dad and her Anna are having a baby together while she's even more shocked when they announce that the baby will have her room once she goes off to university. Acting like a stroppy kid, Viva moves away from home briefly finding refuge at Holli's hectic abode before going to Saz's more regimented household. Viva finally goes to stay with Amber however here she has to play dolls with her more-simple minded friend and so when Rob finally goes to find her she decides to come home. Evantually Viva reconciles with Anna by agreeing to participate in the match against the insanely violent Westmount School team however this ends with a particularly bloody contest.

It's obvious to me that when the BBC tasked Davis with writing Some Girls her brief was basically - try and make us a female version of The Inbetweeners. The problem here is that teenage boys are simple to write in that they only think about sex and so most of the comedy in The Inbetweeners comes from the quartet trying to impress girls. Teenage girls are a lot more complex than their male counterparts so trying to put them into separate boxes, as Davis does in Some Girls, just doesn't work so therefore there aren't many laughs to be had. I'm sure girls do talk about ways that they can dump their boyfriends, enjoy sex on a regular basis and can be quite violent however that doesn't mean that any of these situations are particularly humorous. There was also one particularly tasteless joke involving a minor character discovering all of Brandon's personal quirks, including the sound he makes when he 'arrives', and spreading it around the school.While I realise that I'm maybe not the target market for Some Girls I think girls will also find it insulting that all of the characters are essentially stereotypes and at the end of the day aren't really that smart.

On the plus side I think all of the four lead actresses try their best with the underwritten characters and poor material that they have been given. Adelayo Adedayo succeeds in making Viva the authoritative voice of the series while I also thought Natasha Jonas was particularly memorable as the violent Holli. The only part of the programme that actually raised a slight titter for me was the final football game as I felt this to be well-produced with the slow-motion camera footage really adding to the violent nature of the scene. Personally though, I found Some Girls on the whole to be a poorly written, clichéd attempt by BBC3 to make a female version of The Inbetweeners which is an idea that just doesn't work. Despite some game performances from the four leads I found Some Girls to be predictable, as well as tasteless at times, and just hope that the next sitcom BBC3 put in this slot is a lot funnier and more original.


Anonymous said...

SOOOO FUCKING UNTRUE,HOWEVER i like the way u put some kindda dum...positive comments...and btw some girls wernt ment to be a female version of the inbetweeners LOL now thing that was a fall flat' they might be sterotypes but they are FUCKING funny.IM nt even a girl or gay and i love some girls !!! so shove it up

Jordan-ann Pearce said...

This is so untrue,some girls are AWESOME!

Mohammad178 said...

some girls r sick init man amber is hot buthas no tits

Anonymous said...

One of the worst pieces of television I think I have ever seen. A disgusting attempt to subversively promote an agenda where it is perfectly acceptable for 16 year olds to have sex, where all the white girls (including the teachers) have black boyfriends, where out of wedlock parenthood is positioned as a valid choice, where girls are pressured into sex and are not allowed to leave their boyfirends. I do not know if this was meant to be a commentry on society in the guise of a comedy - or whether it was an attempt to promote this ugly and disturbing reality. Extremely poor

Anonymous said...

To anonymous- what is wrong with white girls/women having black boyfriends? Anyway in episode 2, Amber has a white boyfriend. Inter-racial relationships are, thank God, really common in the UK as in all multi-racial societies. The Series is a 30 minute escape for teenage girls. An escape from our hard and demanding education system. More power to the BBC putting on a comedy which shows that there can be laughs on our inner-city estates. I know it isn't Berkshire the land of the inbetweeners but the inner-city is where many people live........ and laugh.

docG said...


Anonymous said...

Maybe people are over thinking this programme! I dont think its meant to be taken as seriously as some people are taking it!! Its bit of a laugh, and to be honest, it is the reality of our society these days!! So why not try and put a spin on it?! Its fun, young and a giggle. Its not serious drama so stop analyzing it. Dont like it, dont watch it !!!!!

Anonymous said...

'A disgusting attempt to subversively promote an agenda where it is perfectly acceptable for 16 year olds to have sex'

Err yeah, that's because by law it IS perfectly acceptable for 16 year olds to have sex! Idiot

Anonymous said...

Terrible programme...

Abiola said...

I have twin teenage sisters. They think Some Girls is hilarious. I do not understand the humour either because I am 23 or because it is so far removed from their reality.
Either way. It's good for BBC 3 to try new things.

Unknown said...

Love some girls always has me Lol

Anonymous said...

guys i personally love some girls but everyone has their own pinions its a bit rude and sexual but funny and in episode 6 when rocky got back with viva i was so happy but i agrre with you guys its rude and holli rashly bullies her freinds and also i hope there is a secound series

Anonymous said...

Some girls is amazing and hilarious. Im in its target market and to me it is hilarious, and It's now my fav program of the week, just saying its not gonna appeal to all BUT its aimed at my age group and me and all my friends lovee it.

Anonymous said...

Suck dick I like it

Anonymous said...

This is funny and enjoyable. I loved it!

Unknown said...

Some Girls is poorly written, the characters have very little depth to them and overall the only thing that connects with me is the setting. As a 17 year old male I'm not completely within their target market of girls with (according to these comments) terrible grammar, but attempting to create a female version of The Inbetweeners has pretty much flopped.

Anonymous said...

Firstly for those of you who are saying the characters don't have a enough depth, remember these are teenage girls. Teenagers in general are notorious for being shallow male or female.

Secondly I think the show does bring up some issues that many young people face today eg. dealing with step parents, dysfunctional families (Holli), and bullying/peer pressure.

Like it or not it does paint a pretty accurate picture of today's society. Is it exaggerated? Yes but then again most programs are.

Anonymous said...

Hi does anyone no the name of the song in the back ground of the girls vs boys football match please.Thanx.

Unknown said...

I think what you are missing is that girls these days are heavily influenced by what the view on the idiot box and young girls may watch this and think that all the things that these "girls" do is fine. The same can be said for the present state of music videos, performers dress in very little and act slutty in the videos but then go home and read a book and write a few songs and work hard but this present generation only emulates the "act" and not the hard working and reading books part and goes to the bar to "be like their idol" how would not be seen dead in what they are wearing. it is laughable.

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Emma said...

Anyone know the real ages of the actresses?? Realistic for them to play teenagers ...... I think not!
Least the lads in inbetweeners were passable for 17! Amber n Saz look well into their 20s. Why not cast some real actual TEEN talent instead of passing off these has beens to us as an audience. It's plain insulting.

Anonymous said...

i'm old enough to be your mum and i really like 'some girls'

Anonymous said...

this is what i think:

series 1 was better than series 2
and ill quickly review series 1

episode 1 was good not perfect but a nice start to an amazing show.a few moments were laugh out loud 3/5

episode 2 was hilarious.this is probably my favourite episode in the whole series,it was great,and my fave character Holli had the main story,even better.and that panic attack,still laughing now :D

episode 3 was just as good as episode 2,actually i think episode 2 and 3 are joint first.but then we come to episode 4
episode 4 was a letdown after the first 3 there was something about episode 4 that wasn't the same as the first 3 eps.i don't know what it was but it was deffo the worst episode in series 1
episode 5 thankfully was a good one,Holli being rude to mr jeffries was so funny,and mocking that girl for the way she runs,Holli is a legend
episode 6 was a good episode as well,very funny as per usual

Anonymous said...

my fave episode woz ep 2 wiv da hamsta da 1 where holli fakes a panic attack.hahaha.dats 1 of da reasons i love holli

i also loved episode 5 da one wiv da bullying well anything wiv holli is funny 2 me.holli is a legend

but i hated episode 4 it woz shit, da rest were good so yh

series 2 wasnt as good unfortunately

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is Holli severely underused storywise? The only stories she's ever had was stealing a hamster and falling in love with a school counsellor,she's the best character,she should be used more,it seems as though they use her for comedy purposes only,which aint fair

Why not explore her family or give her a boyfriend? idea for series 3 ;)

Anonymous said...

actually Emma ur comment wuz a bit shit.It wudnt matter if they were 30(which they are not)they DO look passable for sixth formers.the 1st ever time i watched dis,i actually thought the girl playing Holli(Natasha Jonas)was actually 16,when she's in skool uniform,she actually looks like a teenager,dats wot i think anyways.but dats probably cuz she wears headbands,got a piercing,init,that makes her look younger.Viva looks a bit like a teen,but like u said the other 2 not so much,i agree wiv u there

Anonymous said...

yh anon 21:36 i agree holli's actress defo looks the youngest

Anonymous said...

is it just me or is Holli da fittest girl?

Anonymous said...

Its so bad I can't not watch it xD

Flora Enright said...

I Love some girls and it clearly can't be that bad as it is starting it's third season tonight. I am a 16 year ok d girl and personally find all four of the girls to be relatable. My best friend and I are always talking about the plot line (when the show is on) and forever quoting the wise words of them. I feel like there is a little bit in each character in me and it is always a nice relief after a day of school work. As for it not being funny I have to once again disagree as I laugh out loud a lot at the show. I do however understand that everyone is entitled to an opinion and respect yours accordingly.

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Anonymous said...

Jjust watching this in 2017 as a male 22 year old for some perspective. I disagree with this article, the show is funny. It definitely works. Just watched the whole of series 1 on BBC iPlayer. Link http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p01gkh5q?suggid=p01gkh5q

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Anonymous said...

Watching this midsummer 2021 and I find it as funny as I did first time round in 2012! Sadly only Series 1 was released on DVD but Amazon Prime have all 3 free to view for members... happy days! :)

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