For a minute, I thought the new Pop TV series “Florida Girls” was a reality show. I guess I had it confused with the actual reality show “Floribama Shore” on MTV. There are so many similarities! On “Floribama Shore,” a character says, “I wasn’t just blacked out. I was blacked the hell out.” On “Florida Girls,” one girl says to another, “You can’t blame alcohol for being a bad rollerblader.”
So art imitates life and life imitates art when it comes to Florida stereotypes. But the fictional version is a lot funnier — and way more insightful. “Florida Girls” (which airs new episodes back-to-back, at 10 and 10:30 p.m., on Wednesdays) is about five girls who met at age 5, started drinking at 12 and dropped out of high school at 16. Then one of them gets her GED, lands a job and abandons the girls’ hometown of Clearwater for the greener pastures of … Ohio.
The remaining foursome, now in their 20s, wonder if it’s time to “like, change or something,” as Shelby (show creator Laura Chinn, who grew up in the Sunshine State) puts it. She’s the bad rollerblader with her arm in a cast.
Be forewarned: This is not a show for people who resent depictions of Floridians as boneheaded vulgarians. There are jokes about flashers and meth cookers. Kaitlin (Melanie Field) is too broke to finish up her chest tattoo “Florida Fore... .” Unrepentant klepto Erica (Patty Guggenheim) steals Amazon packages from doorsteps. “If mean, if I don’t take it, someone else will,” she says.
But there’s more to the series than making fun of Floridians. Even though the four titular girls are mired in inertia and low self-esteem, they’re delightfully complicated characters. They can be naively sweet, fiercely protective of each other and totally fearless in the face of adversity — except when it comes to the thought of pursuing a GED.
And really, how can you resist a show that is itself unafraid of taboos? When Jayla (Laci Mosley) gets all dolled up in a white pantsuit for a date (with her — oh dear — 57-year-old boyfriend), she crows, “I look like a black Melania Trump!”