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.