Sropcap (dropcap!)o, my boss actually recommended Derry Girls to me. Normally I am the one shelling out recommendations to him -or in my case, spazzing out on him, since the conversation normally goes like this:
Boss: “I haven’t seen Parks and Rec before.”
So when he came in and insisted that I *HAD* to watch this new show, I took it pretty seriously. He said it was a quick watch and I would love it.
It was indeed a quick watch – if you watch it once. I’ve watched the whole series about five times.
Derry Girls is about a group of schoolgirls and one “wee English fella” living in Northern Ireland during the 1990s, dealing with the universal problems of growing up. I’ll be honest with you – I had to google and give myself a brief tutorial on what exactly the ramifications of “Northern Ireland in the 1990s” meant, but now I’m up to speed. The political background, combined with the hilarious acting and alarmingly relatable Read on for why Derry Girls should be your next binge.
ALSO if you live in the UK and are watching the new season on Channel 4, please know I am extremely jealous and it needs to hit American Netflix STAT.
THIS IS YOUR FRIEND GROUP
This is one of the best and most hilarious portrayals of teenage girl friend groups I’ve ever seen. They are normal girls, who get in fights about stupid crap, and are occasionally mean to each other – but in this case, no one dies or goes missing or gets another identity (looking at you, CW and ABC Family). Instead, they make up, get over it, and continue their adventures. AND IT IS INCREDIBLY ENTERTAINING WITHOUT MANUFACTURED, INSANE, OUT OF NOWHERE DRAMA! GASP! Also, the girls aren’t pitted against each other to create drama – so different from most “teenage girl” stories you see on TV. Yes, there, of course, are boys and crushes and everything else that comes with adolescence, but these girls love each other – which is fun and very refreshing to watch.
Living their best, weird, awkward life
SISTER MICHAEL IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL
Sister Michael is the head nun at the girl’s Catholic school, and I LOVE HER. She takes exactly zero shit and she has the best one-liners you’ve ever heard. I can’t even do justice describing her, so here’s a great compilation from Season 1.
ADOLESCENCE IN A TROUBLED TIME
Derry (or if you want to call it the actual name, Londonderry) is a town in the northwestern UK that has had much civil unrest between the Protestants and the Catholics, as well as those who wanted Derry to become a part of Southern Ireland, instead of the UK. Derry has several bombings, battles, and frequent civil unrest, all of which are felt in the show.
The characters in the show are very prominently Catholic – they go to Catholic school, their houses are covered in crucifixes, Sunday mass is present and accounted for. This means they are growing up in a precarious situation – they are Catholic in a place where it wasn’t necessarily good to be Catholic.
However, what struck me was how the show absolutely nailed the obliviousness of growing up. When you’re a teenager, you’re so obsessed with being a teenager and your own life that the outside world doesn’t intrude into your own little world. The show captures this perfectly. Oh, there’s a bomb on the bridge? UGH, gonna make us late for school. Soldiers doing checks on the school bus for possible stowaways across the border?
The “wee English fella”, James, also shows how deep the political unrest is…but also how used to it all the girls are. James is constantly the butt of jokes and blamed for tons of things simply for being English.
However, at the same time, James is just part of the gang. He goes on all the adventures, the girls try and stop him from getting hurt (with hilarious consequences), and really do love him and treat him as a part of their gang.
UGH, GUYS, I COULD GO ON AND ON. But then this would be crazy long and you should just go watch. IT’S ON THE NETFLIX. GO DO IT NOW. DAMMIT I’M YELLING AGAIN.