ABC greenlights 1990s girl band sitcom


Oh, the rich catalogue of women-made music of the 90s: PJ Harvey was being dark and loud on guitar, Bjork was channeling her quirk into a new brand of electropop, TLC weren’t too proud to beg, riot grrrl was in full swing, and Lilith Fair sprang up, with Sarah McLachlan giving everyone goosebumps when she sang “Arms of an Angel.”

And what if a fictional all girl band from that era were to be documented now, twenty years later, with mini-vans and middle-age and a desire to get back together and take to the stage?

This is the premise of a show that ABC recently greenlighted, the brainchild of two women writers: Jennifer Crittenden of Seinfeld writing fame, and Gabrielle Allan, who wrote for Scrubs and more.

Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan

The show would focus on four women who were an all girl band on the edge of fame in the ’90s. A messy break-up and twenty years later, they’re reunited and trying to get the show back on the road. Comedy will trump music, though, as Crittenden said in an interview:

We both loved Spinal Tap and The Go-Go’s and this is a way to meld those together; what would The Go-Go’s be like if they had a huge horrible break-up and then reunited twenty years later?

What would they be like? We’ve all seen bands come together for reunion tours, and there’s that moment where you wonder, are they counting on all their old fans coming out, or are they actually hoping to attract new ones?

Whether the sitcom would actually tackle the perils of being a woman, let alone a woman over thirty, in the music industry is questionable. While the creators cite being inspired by the likes of The Bangles and The Go-Go’s, their characters will be more like “four Gwen Stefanis.”

So, it’s not like watching the Spice Girls in their forties, but it’ll also be a far cry from watching a riot grrrl band like Bratmobile in their future.

People seem evenly divided over this being an awesome project, or a disaster waiting to happen. To help, Videogum whipped up a list of elements that would surely make the show a success, including: “No ‘mom jeans’ jokes,” “No scene where they realize they don’t really know how to play their instruments very well anymore,” and, of course, “Force Carrie Brownstein to be involved.”  

Amen to that.

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