Such Brave Girls 2023 / An unforgiving and bleakly funny look at the sorry state of mental health in low-income Britain


In an early scene in Such Brave Girls, Josie (Kat Sadler) compares herself and her sister Billie (Lizzie Davidson) to a more attractive woman. “She’s live, love, laugh,” she says, “We’re death, silence, hate.” At this point, you’d think Sadler, who is also the creator and writer of the show, and Davidson, who is Sadler’s real-life sister, are the types to indulge in their sadness and romanticize their dysfunction. Though that happens to some degree, Sadler is self-aware enough to steer clear of wallow territory and offer something insightful about mental health and the ways we cope (or fail to, anyway). Parents who dismiss depression are called out, as are social workers and supposed experts who stereotype people with the illness. But weirdly enough, the show is never downright cynical. Josie is sweet enough to cut through the darkness, as are her ignorant and selfish though ultimately well-meaning family members. You’ll probably recall Broad City and Fleabag while watching Such Brave Girls because of its unapologetic approach to both sex and suicide, but maybe more than those two shows, Such Brave Girls is willing to root its themes deeper into reality. It almost never brings up mental health without contextualizing it in the family’s low-income state, making it one of the most relatable and urgent shows you can watch right now.

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