Around this time last year BBC3 aired a sitcom called Some Girls, suffice to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I didn’t realise how much of an impact the show would have on me. My criticisms of the show generated a raft of comments informing me how out of step I was and how great the show was. Oddly, my review of Some Girls has become one of the most-read pieces on this site and so our dear editor has forced me to watch the first episode of the sitcom’s second series. Though a lot of you can probably guess my feelings about tonight’s episode, you may be surprised to find out what I actually thought.
As we return, Viva (Adelayo Adedayo), is still deeply in love with the immature Rocky (Jassa Ahulwaila). Though they’re mismatched in terms of intellect, she still feels a connection to him and their relationship is going well. That is until they find the body of the dead chemistry teacher Mr Andrews, which in turn makes Viva question the future. While Rocky sees a future in which he will either become a matador or open a pie shop, Viva has heart set on university. The independent Viva is more freaked out when Rocky gets a tattoo with her name on it and starts referring to her as Mrs Rocky. As Viva continues to obsess over the differences between herself and Rocky she finally makes a decision and breaks up with him.
Elsewhere, the school is forced to hire a counsellor in order for the students to talk about the grief they’re feeling in relation to Mr Andrews’ passing. Holli (Natasha Jones) meets counsellor Nick (Jonathan Bailey) and instantly falls in love. Amber (Alice Felgate) later visits Nick where she talks about how she feels her life has taken a turn for the worse ever since Saz (Mandheep Dillon) stole the butterflies form her trainers when they were younger. As Nick suggests that Amber confront Saz over the incident, Saz suddenly finds herself the victim of abuse from her friends. Saz finally confronts Nick, but he finds that she’s harder to charm than either Amber or Holli. While Amber and Holli battle for Nick’s affections, Saz has to come to terms with the fact that she’s constantly labelled ‘the weird one’ amongst her group of friends.
The first thing to say about Some Girls is that I can see a lot of improvement in the show and that’s mainly down to the young actresses who have all grown into their roles. Adelayo Adedayo is incredibly engaging as Viva and I feel that she is better than the material she has been given. She definitely delivers her lines with conviction and I really believed in the story about her being torn between her future and Rocky. Similarly Mandheep Dillon has improved as the sarcastic Saz and I felt she portrayed the change in her character admirably. As this is series two, the chemistry between the four lead actresses has improved immensely and I am starting to believe in the friendship between the quartet. In addition to the acting, the overall production value of the programme feels slicker. I don’t know if this is because the show has been given more money, but everything about the sets looks a lot more modern than it did the first time around.
Unfortunately there is still a massive problem with Some Girls, namely its script which did not contain one single joke. If the opening conversation between the four girls over whether they’d sleep with Prince William or Osama Bin Laden was meant to provide some of the laughs then I’m afraid it was lost on me. I feel the main issue is that Bernadette Davis really doesn’t have an ear for the sort of dialogue used by young girls. In fact it looks like she’s conducted a bunch of market research and then has infused the script with lots of references to R-Patz. Similarly the comic subplot, involving Rob the counsellor, felt incredibly patronising and again wasn’t funny in the slightest. Meanwhile some of the characters, especially Holli and Amber, feel incredibly clichéd and therefore I founder it harder to warm to them. I’m also struggling to understand what Colin Salmon is still doing in this show and my theory is that Davis has some compromising photos of him stashed away.
In conclusion, Some Girls has definitely made some progress both in terms of the performances and the production. However, it still isn’t funny in the slightest and for any sitcom this is surely a fatal flaw. My feeling is that Davis really needs to give a younger writer a shot at creating the scripts because, in my opinion, the lines she creates are incredibly clichéd. So, while I’m willing to admit that the show is moving in the right direction, it’s still not a good sitcom as it’s just not that funny. Now let the abuse begin.
Some Girls Starts Tonight at 10.00pm on BBC3 THREE