Some Girls is the funniest TV show you’re making the mistake of not watching. It’s more than just a female Inbetweeners.
Hey, remember that girl who got her boyfriend’s business all in her hair down the park that one time? Remember that girl whose dad knocked the terrifying PE teacher up? Remember the girl everyone was scared of? And the “weird” virgin who loved Maths just a bit too much? You might not remember them exactly, but every school had its characters and its stories. BBC Three’s Some Girls offers a true insight into the ups, downs, and truly sticky moments of being a teenage girl – and some of the rumours are true.
Some Girls offers an insight into the ups, downs, and truly sticky moments of being a teenage girl
Why do we need another TV show about a group of teenagers, you ask? We’ve had Skins, we’ve had The Inbetweeners. It’s not news to anybody these days that growing up is a messy process. Teenagers, TV tells us, like to party. If they’re boys, they’re sex-obsessed and probably kind of gross. If they’re girls, they… like to party? Skins showed us that rare wild weekend stretched out over several series, while The Inbetweeners showcased the moments four teenage boys probably wish they could forget, in a Skins-like haze of drink and drugs. And then there was a gaping hole where the average life of a teenage girl should go. Enter Some Girls.
Some Girls does what it says on the tin – it shows us the life of some girls, some average girls, just trying to make it through school. It’s the story of four best friends: Amber, the sex-mad, sometimes stereotypical blonde; Saz, running hot with sarcasm and anger; Holli, who would hit you as soon as look at you; and Viva, who somehow manages to keep more or less a level head despite the chaos of her girls. They hang out, gossip, lust after boys, play football, navigate their way through popular cliques and infiltrate pizza clubs, and – above all else – support each other. They call each other names but have each other’s backs. They give each other sex advice ranging from the sensible (safe sex) to the truly bizarre (would you have sex with a dead person?).
The viewer follows these characters through everything – boyfriends, booze, bras – and the show achieves that vital trick: you wind up invested in characters you assumed would only ever be light-hearted comedy fodder. You laugh your way through Saz’s adventures with wax, Amber’s typical teenage on/off relationship, Holli’s one-of-a-kind modelling of a stranger’s sex toys and Viva’s attempt at a lap dance, and yet you root for them.
Some Girls achieves that vital trick: you wind up invested in characters you assumed would only ever be comedy fodder
You feel for Holli, with her siblings and her mentally absent mother. You find yourself wanting to protect Amber from the big bad world, despite her self-confessed status as a fan of public sex. You want Saz to know that you adore her weird, smart ways. You want Viva to come out on top of everything she puts her not inconsiderable mind to. You even find yourself caring about the background characters, those caricatures who exist more or less solely for comedy purposes. Because you know those people, too, the teenage mums and hapless teachers who populate estates and schools.
It would be easy to call the show The Inbetweeners 2.0: Version Girl; in some ways that might even be a fair description. It certainly offers up laughs and second hand embarrassment in similar measures, and it tells the world something a lot of us have known for a long time: Yes, teenage girls really are as obsessed with thinking about, talking about, and trying to have sex as their male counterparts.
But let’s get real here for a moment. It’s hard enough for women to find voices and the space to get them heard in the comedy world as it is, without reducing them down to a ‘female’ version of something that already exists (as though gender itself is enough to make something special interest). So please, let’s not make the mistake of falling into the every man character vs just for girls pitfall with yet another show, especially when it’s smart and funny and the second series is just starting.
Like all great comedies, Some Girls is as likely to give you the warm fuzzies as it is to make you cringe away from the latest on-screen escapades. Get yourself to iPlayer. Run, don’t walk! And make a note in your diaries: Mondays at 10pm, BBC Three.
All images: BBC