The sacred bond between sisters can weather any storm. This truth sings through loud and clear in the new six-episode comedy Such Brave Girls. Created by and starring comedian Kat Sadler, the series follows the gloriously dysfunctional lives of three women – scatterbrained single mom Deb and her directionless adult daughters Josie and Billie. Though the family ties binding these women together may seem loose at best, their shared history of hardship has forged an unbreakable connection.
When their debt-laden father abandoned them to pick up milk a decade ago, he left emotional scars that have yet to heal. Battling depression, suicidal thoughts, toxic relationships and dead-end jobs, the women cling to each other amidst the wreckage. Through outrageous mishaps, frank conversations, and plenty of tough laughs together, their resilience shines. For all their outward misery, an unmistakable current of love and loyalty pulses at the heart of Such Brave Girls. Come for the wicked punchlines. Stay for the even more wicked wisdom about how sometimes, the only way out is through…together.
A Winning Lead Trifecta Anchors the Laughs
At the core of Such Brave Girls lies a trifecta of captivating lead performances that anchor the offbeat humor and make even the most outrageous situations believably relatable. As creator and star Kat Sadler pours her real-life experiences into her on-screen counterpart Josie, she brings a raw vulnerability and hapless likeability to the perpetually depressed protagonist. Whether plunging into ill-advised relationships or yet another downward mental health spiral, Sadler telegraphs Josie’s inner turmoil through telling micro expressions and physicality. Yet she always leaves room for impeccable comedic timing, wringing laughs from even Josie’s deepest wounds.
Equally magnetic is Sadler’s real-life sister Lizzie Davidson as the overly confident, drama-prone Billie. Davidson adeptly captures her character’s hair-trigger emotion, wielding Billie’s mercurial moods, irrational decision-making and abandonment issues as fodder for awkward laughs. But subtle glimmers of tenderness and fragility prevent Billie from becoming a mere caricature. The natural rapport between the sisters electrifies their scenes together, making their character’s connection feel profoundly lived-in.
As family matriarch Deb, Louise Brealey completes the central triad with aplomb. Though outwardly a no-nonsense bulldozer of a woman, Brealey cleverly hints at the fear and disappointment lurking beneath Deb’s stoic facade. When Deb hisses insults at her daughters or grim life advice with equal conviction, the result is a masterclass in deploying meanness for maximum laughs. Yet in fleeting unguarded moments, Brealey suggests the human vulnerability behind Deb’s toxic patterns.
Whether separately or in various combustible combinations, Sadler, Davidson and Brealey create an utterly believable family dynamic filled with dysfunction but rooted in an unbreakable, if warped, love. Their chemistry injects genuine heart into Such Brave Girls, ensuring that viewers invest in these characters at their most venal and laugh with them at their lowest.
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Smart Writing Elevates the Laughs
As both creator and head writer, Kat Sadler infuses Such Brave Girls with her distinct comedic voice. Her scripts brim with plenty of riotous slapstick and bawdy laughs. But underneath the raunchy gags lies incisive commentary on mental health, womanhood and the fallout of family dysfunction. Through whip-smart dialogue tailored to each character, Sadler touches on weighty themes while keeping the punchlines flowing.
When Josie cringes her way through painfully awkward sexual encounters or Billie flies into yet another irrational meltdown over her ex, the laughs come easy. But clever hints reminding us of past traumas and financial struggles complicate the mockery, leaving room for empathy. Beneath all their outlandish misadventures, these characters retain a damaged humanity.
Of course, Sadler also excels at crafting perfectly-timed barbs to puncture any sentimentality. Having blunt mum Deb breeze past her daughters’ crises with comments like “I won’t have any eating disorders in this house!” beautifully balances discomfort with cathartic laughs. Yet her tossed-off cruelty also subtly underscores the roots of Josie and Billie’s issues. No one emerges unscathed, keeping the show from easy villains.
By letting her protagonists flaws shine in all their cringeworthy glory, then punctuating the chaos with moments of hard-won understanding, Sadler strikes a delicate tonal balance. Scenes often swerve from slapstick to pathos and back again on a dime. But the characters’ emotional authenticity carries viewers through the hairpin turns.
And Sadler masterfully modulates the dialogue to bring Josie, Billie and Deb’s unique personalities and perspectives to life. Josie’s artsy ramblings, Billie’s reckless bravado and Deb’s chilling pragmatism all leap sharply from the page thanks to Sadler’s ear for resonant voice. Their clashing worldviews fuel much of the series’ conflict and comedy. Yet Sadler resists exaggerated quirks, instead instilling her characters with subtle depth.
Boldly Confronting Taboos with Humor
Rather than shy away from the messy complexities of mental illness, trauma and emotional damage, Such Brave Girls charges headlong into these tricky topics with searing honesty leavened by cathartic humor. From Josie’s clinical depression and multiple suicide attempts to Billie’s self-destructive relationships, the show spotlights struggles often relegated to subtext or caricature. Yet the writing strikes a delicate balance between moving personal revelation and irreverent laughs.
By peppering cringe-inducing scenes of Josie harming herself or Billie panicking over an unexpected pregnancy with perfectly-timed punchlines, Sadler creates breathing room for viewers. Space to chuckle, gasp or simply sit with the discomfort. For all their unfiltered TMI oversharing, Josie and Billie retain our empathy while fueling awkward laughs. Even Mum Deb’s casually callous treatment of her daughters’ Issues provokes knowing winces between the wisecracks.
Of course, elevating mental illness and trauma into prime comedic fodder could easily veer into exploitative territory. But the nuanced character development and compelling performances ground each outlandish scenario in emotional truth. When Josie shares yet another too-much detail about her hospitalizations, her shaky bravado suggests generations of pent-up pain. And Billie’s increasingly unhinged romantic stunts betray abandonment fears left to fester since childhood. Their humor shields profound damage.
By so openly addressing topics like depression, toxic relationships, and absent fathers that resonance deeply but still hover at society’s margins, Such Brave Girls makes the private universal. The sheer relatability of these characters’ struggles, paired with refusal to cushion harsh realities, gives the show its fearless heartbeat. Life’s messiness takes center stage.
Yet the series never feels like a bleak wallow. Thanks to Sadler’s deft tonal balancing act, darkness becomes a gateway to laughter, catharsis and deeper recognition of shared wounds. Taboo edges blur into connection. No emotional stone goes unturned, but buoyant wit transforms trauma’s leaden weight into wings. Such Brave Girls extracts bracing humor and hard-won hope from even the most crushing circumstances with era-defining courage.
Room to Further Develop the Supporting Players
While the central triad immediately leaps off the screen, some of the supporting characters and subplots around them beg for further attention. After a somewhat sluggish start, the series hits its stride midway through the short first season run. But the early episodes spend more time on outright shocking moments rather than deepening insights.
As the outrageous gags and cringe humor pile up, the underlying emotional stakes feel hazy at first. The pilot plunges viewers right into Josie and Billie’s endless personal crises without much grounding context. Only around the third episode does their seeming dysfunction start to reveal itself as trauma’s aftershocks. Adding more incremental reveals earlier on could clarify motivations sooner.
Once the show’s frenetic pace lets character moments breathe more, the story gains traction. But the spotlight remains firmly fixed on Josie, Billie and Mum Deb nearly to the exclusion of all other perspectives. Supporting roles like Josie’s possessive boyfriend Seb and Billie’s fairweather ex Nicky hover at the far edges despite promising complexity. Even Deb’s new beau Dev never becomes more than a sight gag.
With such rich leads, the single-minded focus feels understandable. But a few more hints of how these colorful personalities impact the lives around them could provide satisfying texture. What common wounds bind this family to the outside world? Tracing those latent connections may deepen the humor and heighten the stakes over an extended run. For now, the breakneck chaos whipping these brave girls along their fated path leaves little room for wider social commentary or mirroring. But the potential persists.
Will Such Brave Girls Prove Too Brave for Some?
With its unfiltered honesty and envelope-pushing humor, Such Brave Girls won’t resonate universally. Those averse to raunchiness or complex depictions of depression may recoil from the show rather than connect. The writers plainly refuse to cushion anything. Josie’s uncomfortably candid oversharing and Billie’s hormone-fueled outbursts pull no punches. And their mother Deb thinks nothing of casually mocking their mental health struggles when irritation strikes. Some moments push the boundaries of relatable human foible into uglier territories.
While plenty may celebrate the show’s bravery, for others, glimpses of self-harm, suicidal ideation and toxic behavior could understandably overwhelm. The sheer avalanche of dysfunction rarely pauses for reprieve. Though leavened with laughs, the relentlessness taxes even sympathetic viewers. And bombarding depictions of instability can inadvertently reinforce stereotypes around mental illness.
Add frank sexuality into the mix – from Deb’s crude bedroom quips to Josie’s lesbian awakening – and Such Brave Girls courts notoriety alongside acclaim. The writers clearly aim to spotlight marginalized stories. But they still risk unintentionally alienating those very communities if the humor turns too coarse. The line between reclaiming slurs and thoughtlessly repeating them stays razor-thin.
Of course, comedy tastes run inherently subjective precisely because they hit close to home. For supporters, Such Brave Girls strikes a bold and needed blow against stigma through radical intimacy. For detractors, its willingness to make light of real suffering does more harm than healing. Yet its courage can’t be questioned. In an age terrified of offense, the show stays zealously true to its own bruised heart. Not all will embrace its scars – but those who do will find camaraderie.
Laugh Through the Darkness with This Dysfunctional Family
For all its willful messiness and appetite for taboo, Such Brave Girls ultimately emerges as a quirky, poignant charmer that announces Kat Sadler as an exciting new comedic voice. While still rough around some edges, the show’s maiden six-episode run brims with irreverent wit, textured characters and hard-won humanity. Behind the constant chaos churns a sensitive exploration of trauma’s lingering impacts on family and identity. Like the beloved Fleabag, Such Brave Girls wrings awkward laughs, stinging insights and defiant hope from life’s roughest patches.
Much credit naturally goes to Sadler’s dynamite central performance as Josie, so winningly balanced between guileless and ghastly. But her penetrating writing and flair for nailing prickly women’s inner lives proves equally impressive. The sheer creativity and courage fueling this divorcee’s daughters tale promises even richer rewards given more space to stretch. As Sadler digs deeper into hercharacters’ contradictions and refines the show’s inaugural raucousness into something sustainably sharper, Such Brave Girls could become a touchstone for marginalized experiences long left undiscussed in the cultural mainstream.
That poignant potential blossoms delicately from the start in Sadler’s thoughtful handling of complex trauma and mental illness. But the promise glimmers brighter still in the small grace notes among the dysfunction. Brief windows into how Josie, Billie and Deb’s wounds warp their attempts to care for each other reveal damaged but determined hearts underneath their outrageous hijinks. Their familial loyalty may look strange from the outside, but resonates with truth.
So while a few uneven early episodes and underdeveloped subplots leave room for growth, Such Brave Girls remains compulsively watchable over its first season thanks to its fearless lead performances and smart writing. The laughs sting, but soothe too. The discomfort gives way to catharsis. The brazenness turns freeing.
For audiences hungry for more authentic and inclusive representations of womanhood beyond the usual glossy fantasies or played-out platitudes, Sadler and her brave girls deliver. Imperfect, inappropriate and utterly original – this show cuts to the core. May we walk with these sisters another blazingly messy mile.
Such Brave Girls
With its sharp writing, breakout performances, and fearless examination of messy realities, Such Brave Girls announces Kat Sadler as an exciting new comedic talent to watch. While a bit uneven in parts, the show ultimately proves poignant, cathartic and seriously funny.
- Excellent lead performances with strong chemistry
- Smart, witty writing that balances humor and pathos
- Fearlessly tackles complex topics like mental health
- Authentic dysfunctional family dynamic
- Kat Sadler has immense talent as creator/star
- Uneven pacing and development in early episodes
- Supporting characters could be better developed
- May alienate some viewers with its bold humor
- Shows some roughness around the edges