Girls5eva’s Busy Philipps, Paula Pell on the show’s empowering message

Girls5eva’s Busy Philipps, Paula Pell on the show’s empowering message

Awards Circuit Podcast: Also in this episode, the filmmakers behind Investigation Discovery’s docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV”

“Girls5eva” deserves to be heard. Yes, the hilarious comedy, from the minds of Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, creator Meredith Scardino and others, is funny. The music industry (especially the teen pop machine) is terribly confused. The music, led by Jeff Richmond, is intelligent and catchy.

But in reality, the heart of the series comes from its stars – Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps and Paula Pell – and the characters they play. These are women of a certain age who are finding their voice and finally realizing their dreams, after years of settling for something less.

VarietyThe Awards Circuit Podcast recently spoke to Philipps and Pell about Season 3 of “Girls5eva,” what the show has meant to them and the special message it resonates between the laughs. Listen below!

In “Girls5eva,” Bareilles plays Dawn, who gave up her dreams of fame to raise her family. Goldsberry’s character, Wickie, is the diva whose attempt at a solo career didn’t pan out. Philipps’ Summer is the aspiring influencer who belatedly realizes her marriage is a lie. Pell plays Gloria, who gave up music to become a dentist. When one of their long-forgotten songs resurfaces as a sample on a hip-hop track, they reunite.

This is an ambitious series that mixes “30 Rock”-level joke density with a deeper storyline about what it means to pursue a passion after you think the opportunities have disappeared.

“I think what Meredith Scardino and all of our writers and Tina Fey are always able to do — honestly, on all the shows that Tina has done — are hard jokes that are so funny and absurd in so many ways,” says Phillips. “And yet it’s also very grounded and has a lot to say about what it means to be a woman at this particular time and at a certain age. And a woman trying to make her dreams come true. A woman trying to come to terms with the end of their long-term relationship and discovering in her 40s who she is. As someone in my 40s, who also found herself divorced, I think there’s one thing that happens when you reach middle age and take stock of how other people’s opinions influenced you. And whether or not that’s who you really are and what you really want to be.

GIRLS5EVA.  (L to R) Paula Pell as Gloria and Busy Philipps as Summer in episode 301 of GIRLS5EVA.  Cr.  Emily V. Aragones/Netflix © 2023

Paula Pell as Gloria and Busy Philipps as Summer, “Girls5eva” (Emily V. Aragones/Netflix)
Emily V. Aragones/Netflix

Pell jokes that at the age of 60, she discovered a new freedom of not caring too much about what other people have to say. “Those filters are falling out a little bit now,” she says. “Before, I was most worried about what people think. And everything I’ve said and done in my life. I was totally codependent, a total people pleaser, and now I’m really not at all. And I’m still a very nice person, but I’m just telling the truth.

The theme of season 3 revolves around the four characters of “Girls5eva” who continue to go on a similar journey of self-discovery. It’s a treat for the stars to even get a third season, after “Girls5eva” ran for two seasons on Peacock. While a third season probably wasn’t there, the producers rallied together and managed to get a pick-up from Netflix, which now has all three seasons on the streamer.

Meanwhile, also in this episode, the filmmakers behind Investigation Discovery’s documentary series “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz, discuss the reaction to his expose on the dangers of being a child actor in one of the films. linear networks aimed at young people.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top talent and creatives in film and television; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you download podcasts. New episodes are released every week.