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|Index||53 reviews in total|
The sitcom is a dying art. There's hardly any narrative TV left in
general, and there are way fewer quality comedies than dramas.
Girlfriends deserves way more attention, and though it is good for
their ratings to be herded in with the rest of the "urban" comedies on
UPN, I think it's heads and shoulders above any of the other shows. In
fact, and no offense to fans of other UPN fare, I think this show is
surrounded on all sides by just plain awful programs - the writing on
the other shows is a notch above Saved by the Bell. (maybe that's a
*little* too harsh).
The dialogue and the acting on Girlfriends is sophisticated and natural at the same time. The five leads have great chemistry and timing. I think it's taken a few seasons (and the smart decision to get rid of Joan's lame voice-over fantasy bites) for the comedy to become less broad and for the characters to develop past "types", but that's always the case when you have to set up a sitcom world. Every sitcom I can think of starts out with stereotypes and builds character depth as the seasons goes on.
Even in my position as a white chick (maybe a little more attuned to African American culture than the average), I think I can say that most shows about middle-class black people are terrified of seeming "too black", they've got Cosbyitus. Girlfriends seems to be more on the inside-track.
Maybe the show isn't representative of every woman in the black community, or the black everywoman, but who says it has to? Sex in the City sure as hell wasn't representative of 30something white women in New York. We want a little escapism, and Girlfriends offers all the pretty people and the pretty houses and the pretty clothing (the BEST-DRESSED show on TV by far! Who is their stylist??), *and* the polished writing and performances.
Oh, yeah, and it's ***hella funny***.
This show started out good, and has gotten better and more assured throughout its run. Comparisons to "Sex and the City" and "Living Single" are fair, but only tell half of the story. As the show has developed, it has made such comparisons necessarily reductive: "Girlfriends" combines the best of both of those predecessors and throws in other elements to make a series which is both thought-provoking and one of the most raucously funny projects on TV today. Its location in UPN's Monday night "ghetto" is both a blessing and a curse: it gives "Girlfriends" a firm foundation within the target African-American audience, but it limits the show's ability to reach out to other audiences. I wish more people would seek it out; I'm pretty sure they'd love it as much as I do. During the third season, scripts have continued to tackle serious subjects with greater and greater success, while keeping the laugh count as high as ever (much higher than 90% of comedies on the air). The performances remain strong as the characters are taken through much more than usual sitcom paces. This show actually has the nerve to tell real stories, rather than growing stale out of fear of change. The producers have managed to keep the viewers laughing while becoming the leading fictional forum for racial issues and simultaneously earning its feminist bona fides (including an A+ rating from NOW).
I cannot say enough good things about this show.
It is so funny, but so realistic at the same time. Not since Living Single has there been a show that captures the life of the Black middle class as well Girlfriends.
Some say this show is stereotypical, but to build likeable characters, sometimes you have to start with a framework everyone easily can understand. The story arc has taken these basic stereotypes and built full characters that diehard viewers have come to really love. We really did care when William quit his job at the firm, as we did when Joan was stuck trying to decide between her actor boyfriend and his agent.
Anyone open-minded person who appreciated Frasier would love this show.
I only hope that it a) enjoys a much longer life with the same or better quality of writing and b) old episodes are made available on DVD.
This show is, in my opinion, a very funny well written well acted program. I find it to be sophisticated and not your typical "urban" comedy. The chemistry between the four actresses is wonderful and believable. I must admit that there is a familiar feeling to the format of the show but, so what there are many sitcoms that are "like" other sitcoms that doesn't necessarily mean they are bad. Girlfriends brings a fresh approach to a old format. I like the fact that all the characters are in different places in their lives and that they are different in their approach to life, I find most of the story lines to be very truthful and realistic. This show is worth your time!
This show is really funny but sadly underrated. The lead actors are
good though the changing supporting cast is not fantastic. I'll be very
sad if this show gets cancelled because I stay up till late to watch it
and its definitely worth it.
The show lasts about 20 minutes minus ad breaks and tackles some real-life issues like children, marriage, career aspirations, therapy. I wouldn't compare it to Sex and the City though that may have been how the concept for the show began.
I await its move from late night television show to prime time sitcom but doubt it will be happening too soon. All four female leads are quite beautiful...contrary to previous comments.
Lynn, Joan, Tony and Mya and sometimes William. All i can say is that
the chemistry is great the acting is great and the show is also great.
It is as if each episode is funnier than the previous. The producers
are really doing a good job. In fact if i compare it to the parkers and
soul food which i believe were also great..i think this out shines them
By far. I just hope the ending ..if there is to be an end ..will not be
rushed and messed up ...just like that of soulfood and parkers.
Man this is a comedy for any race.....do not miss out on it....as a Ghanian living in Africa....i don't have any issues with any of the Topics being discussed in this comedy so therefore i am in the best position to judge this programme...and like the majority of the reviewers wrote..this is definitely a "must see" show. I also hope it Comes out on DVD soon, so that i can have my very own copy. I think it is one of the best comedies ever...and it has good plots and the Characters are well defined.
Dalai..Ghana - West Africa
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'll admit that Girlfriends didn't look so bad for the first 5
episodes. Im not sure why I watched this junk for at least 3 seasons
but I guess I was just being optimistic that this show might have
gotten better as it progressed but it didn't. There are times when this
show blatantly rips off elements of Sex and The City. In this review
I'll state everything that made me despise this show. The characters
are pretty obnoxious and as the show progresses its hard to like them
because they do some pretty stupid things to jeopardize their lives.
Joan Clayton(Tracee Ellis Ross) cant keep a steady relationship with a
man to save her life. Maya Wilkes(Golden Brooks) doesn't know if she
wants to be with Darnell or not and she drives him as well as the
viewers of this show nuts with her high strung antics. Lynn
Seacy(Persia White) is the most likable character in this show but she
is not without her flaws. She does not know if she wants to be with men
or women(and she drives them both insane), She is very scatterbrained
and when people depend on her she is likely to fail them. Plus I found
it very typical that the most likable character of all of them is the
one of mixed heritage. Toni Childs(Jill Marie Jones) is the most
reprehensible of all characters. As a matter of fact she is probably
the most insufferable character in sitcom history. She is a high class
gold-digger that puts poor Todd Garrett(Jason Pace) through hell. So
much so that when he took her to court that I was ecstatic but
unfortunately the idiot had to feel sympathy for this loathsome tramp
and dropped the case. William Dent(Reginald C Hayes) would be a likable
character but his moronic horn dog ways makes it virtually impossible
to like him. He ruins what could have been a decent relationship with
his boss(played by Anne Marie Johnson) to be a pig and is constantly
running back to that gold-digging self-centered trollop Monica(Keesha
Sharpe), even though her love for him was only on a financial level.
Pluss episode after episode is wasted on him chasing after Donna
Williams(Jill Scott) and we all know that wouldn't have worked out at
all. Darnell Wilkes(Khalil Khan) seems somewhat smart till you realize
that only a fool would put up with Maya for so long. There are plenty
of episodes that make me disgusted with this show but there is one
episode that is stuck in my mind eternally. The episode where William
forgets to pose as Santa Claus(or Satan's Claws) for Jabari and the the
girls were mad at him for that made me sick to my stomach. First of all
we all know that Santa Claus is an imaginary character so you're going
to get angry at William because he doesn't cater fairy tales to a
little boy that needs to be fed truth in order to grow up to be a
mentally stable adult? How insane is that? And we wonder why these kids
grow up to be so self- destructive. If they are fed these poisonous
fairy tales all their lives how can they deal with reality? Any Black
parent that feeds their kids these harmful tall tales needs to be
locked up for the rest of their natural lives.
In closing, Girlfriends is wildly overrated and symbolizes everything thats wrong with modern Black sitcoms. Back in the day bourgeoisie morons criticized shows like Frank's Place, Different World, Roc, The Cosby Show and Parent Hood for being unrealistic and preachy but those shows were way over their snooty heads and were leaps and bounds over the rubbish that passes for sitcoms now. As for the comparisons to Living Single, don't make me laugh. Living Single might not be deep but it had class and you don't despise the characters of that show. Sure they were pretty goofy but they were likable characters. The characters of Girlfriends are so repulsive that you just want them to get trampled by a stampede consisting of the starting lineup of every team on the NFL. You cranks that want to be entertained instead of being "preached to" have found your mindless junk food. Enjoy it and savor every bite. Pretty soon there will be a Black Michael Bay to satisfy your appetite for mindless action movies with no substance. As for me I will not go near another Black sitcom. I am always anxious to see Black people on the TV screen but when all I'm getting is chittlin circuit trash like Girlfriends, Eve, Cuts, The Game and Half and Half , I begin to lose hope for quality Black shows because every show that was cool like All Of Us is countered by dreck like the shows I just mentioned.
I love Girlfriends!! I hope it's around for a long time. It's good to see black women in good roles and not playing the "Shaniqua w/ blue hair & long fake nails" type. A good show for black women. A little like Sex & The City, but with a little more sassiness.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I used to love Girlfriends until 2 things happened - 1) I got a DVR & started watching lots of episodes in a short time frame & 2) I started watching Sex & City for the first time w/ DVR. The more I watched Girlfriends the less I like the characters. They treated each other (& the people around them)horribly & the characters have not developed since the first season, & they were all incredibly self-absorbed. By contrast, the Sex & the City girls had all gone through incredible introspection & ended up moving & growing by their final season. W/ respect to treating each other mean - I could not even conceive of being friends w/ Toni after she tried to sleep w/ my man & Joan was so selfish that she turned Maya's & Toni's weddings into mini-dramas about even crying that she couldn't wait for the nightmare of Toni's wedding to be over. By contrast, Charlotte had a hard time w/ Miranda's pregnancy but she was still incredibly supportive. There was a warmth & caring between the Sex & The City girls, that was lacking w/ the Girlfriends. The height of that was last year's finale where all the Girlfriends turned their backs on Joan after she made a mistake.
When I first saw this show when it premiered in the fall of 2000,the first thing that came through my mind was this..."Could this be another Living Single"? and it came to me as though it wasn't but to make a long speech short I thought it was a very well written and well acted show. It made not have the spunk of "Living Single",but the full charmastic charm and wit of HBO's "Sex In The City" and it shows. The minute I saw this show I was immediately hooked.`The show did have some flaws in its first season,but as the second season progressed,it improved totally. This concerns three well educated sistas living and working in L.A. as we explore there ups and downs on relationships and etc. As for the characters themselves are a trip and each week they can't figured out why they can't keep in man in company let alone dissect him in pieces. First off,you have Joan(Tracee Ellis Ross)who is always interfearing in somebody else's concerns as well as her own and can't keep a man in check. One episode in particular shows how Joan gets a taste of her own medicine here in which she talks down to a guy she loves but he walks out on her after she says something pathetic in front of him. Second, the golddigger Toni(Jill Jones)who is always dead broke but is always high class,but is always begging a guy for attention especially when it comes to money or in other cases stealing someone else's guy for her own greedy self,but is dead broke and she is part country too. Third, miss ghetto fabulous equals attitude Maya(Golden Brooks) who is married to Darnell(Khalil Khan)and has a 8 year old and has martial problems but she is also cheating on her husband with another guy behind his back and sometimes is the leader of the girl group and the one with the most common sense some of the time. Finally,the freeloader and sometimes lazy as hell Lynn(Persia White)who is a lot like Lisa Bonet who always talks down to a guy but will sleep with anyone she claims with and like Toni also wants attention for her own selfish greed,but also she has a hatred for guys and is the bisexual part of the group(One episode dealt with Lynn coming to terms with her own sexuality when one of the girls catches her in bed with another lover---a woman!)...Lynn is a vagabond and will make a home whenever she fits. These inconsistencies in their personalitites make the characters come alive and it makes the show very watchable as we see girls go through the motions each week. The casting is excellent here and it comes to my attention that the only brother on the show (Reginald Hayes) is just a joke in between the girls,but he does help them out in tight situations. Let's hope that UPN keeps this one for several seasons,because its one of the many shows the many sides of women working together through good times and bad. Not to be missed.
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