Florida Girls, created by Laura Chinn, is a light comedy series ideal to be watched with a group of friends. Why? Because it is about friendship, being young, and broke in Florida. The series is a Pop TV Original and tells the story of four girls – Shelby (Laura Chinn), Kaitlin (Melanie Field), Erica (Patty Guggenheim) and Jayla (Laci Mosley). The girls begin to rethink their lives and actions when their other friend gets their GED and leaves for Ohio. However, old habits die hard.
While Shelby tries to follow in her friend’s footsteps and get the education she needs, Kaitlin doesn’t understand her decision. Erica attempts to fight her kleptomania while Jayla is searching for love. At first, Florida Girls may sound like your usual comedy show, what sets it apart is its all-women lead cast. Throughout the years, people have seen similar shows like Workaholics and Two and a Half Men, but there was one problem – where were the women? The main characters are ordinary people that viewers can identify with. All four women are different from one another and want different things in life, they have diverse views and represent different body shapes and features. While Shelby is a petite girl with curly hair, Kaitlin is an average built woman with short hair and bold clothing choices. Erica is rather tall, preferring to wear ‘skater girl’ style clothes. Jayla, on the other hand, is a classy lady with fancy clothing. There is no body-shaming, just a celebration of womanhood and their varieties that also gives way to comedic moments.
Laura Chinn stepped up to the plate and decided to create a show that was inspired by her struggle as a woman living in the West Coast of Florida. While the show doesn’t teach the viewers anything new – probably the opposite in fact, because it shows the path not to follow in life – Florida Girls is still an important pop culture moment for its representation of women. The leading ladies do such a good job with their characters. Each portrays their character in the best way possible – there is no artificiality. Because the show is actually inspired by Chinn’s life when she was growing up in this sunny state, everything feels authentic and lived-in.
While continually getting in trouble and day drinking, these women talk about pressing problems in a not-so-serious way. The show covers topics of racism, homelessness, and being “half-black” (as Shelby calls herself) in the community. The last one is a severe problem in our modern society. Some people struggle with this daily because they feel discriminated against for being “not white enough” or “not black enough.” In the end, they feel like they don’t belong to either. Florida Girls touches on this subject and shows the impact it has on one’s life. It hasn’t been massively explored in pop culture before, most recently with Bow Johnson (Tracee Ellis-Ross) in Black-ish, but it’s an important step forward in this matter.
Florida Girls is a light sitcom about women who don’t care what others think of them, and portrays millennial women in a realistic way. If I saw Chinn’s series while attending University, I would definitely say “oh yeah, that would be me”. While the girls do much crazier stuff than I did in college, younger people will find them easy to relate to. Florida Girls portrays four friends in the most hilarious way possible. While it may not be a show for everybody, it will resonate with so many young women.
by Zofia Wijaszka
Zofia lives in LA and is passionate about pop culture, television and Stevie Nicks. She graduated from the University of Wroclaw, Poland with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Social Communication with Creative Writing. Her work revolves around women in television and film. She previously has written for GirlTalkHQ, Reel Honey and Polish film portals. She loves the Scream movies, Carol and Big Little Lies. She wants Sarah Paulson to be her buddy and go for drinks with her. Her Twitter – @zoshugrochu