By Kaylee Brewster“Derry Girls” is a smart and quick-witted comedy about the hardest and most awkward thing ever: growing up.
Growing up is hard, but for Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Harland), Clare (Nicola Coughlan) and Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), it’s a bit harder in 1990s Northern Ireland during the Troubles, a period of turmoil between unionists/loyalists, who were mostly Protestant and wanted Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom; and Irish nationalists/republicans, mostly Catholics, who wanted Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom.
However, this is only the backdrop. Aside from the occasional bridge bomb that affects their morning commute, these girls are more focused on things like exams, paying for school trips, boys, exchange students and a potential miracle from the Virgin Mary.
The series’ writing by Lisa McGee is pure comedic gold. Each episode sets up a problem and follows the girls as they try to solve it. Just when they think they’ve solved it, another twist gums up the works. Once you think you’ve figured out how it will all come crashing down, things go in a completely different direction. It’s a double whammy, the series pulls the rug out from under the audience and the characters as well.
And what characters they are. Erin, our main protagonist is just trying to be a normal teen and get a boy to notice her. Orla is a crazy oddball whom no one understands. Clare is the sweet and not-so-bright girl who no one takes seriously. Michelle is not nearly as tough and clever as she thinks she is. And then there’s Michelle’s poor cousin, James (Dylan Llewellyn), who is unfortunately English and therefore disliked by pretty much everyone. Together this cast of characters provides all the entertainment you could ever need.
Just how funny is “Derry Girls?” Less than one minute into the first episode I was already laughing out loud. The jokes come from dialogue, banter, situational comedy, political jokes and the characters themselves.
“Derry Girls” takes a serious topic and puts a fun spin on it to show a different side. The series on Netflix is one you could watch and laugh away your worries.