[TELEVISION] Derry Girls

You’re a Derry Girl now James

Michelle Mallon

Derry Girls is a dark comedy that narrates the lives of five youths against the backdrop of a conflict-driven period —  The Troubles. Spanning just three seasons (just 19 episodes!), the British series touched on the main characters’ adventures in the little town of Derry with mentions of key historical events to serve as a timeline for the story.

I am biased towards The Cranberries’ “Dreams” so needless to say, I was hooked by the opening scene of the series. But besides that and the occasional use of bouncy and rhythmic tunes (including Underworld’s “Born Slippy”), it was the characters and their interactions (or bickering) that kept me glued to the series. Be it the headmistress Sister Michael’s blunt and sarcastic remarks or how she simply cannot be bothered with school matters, or Michelle’s vulgar and ridiculous ideas that usually get the group in trouble, or simply just Claire panicking when they all get caught, all of them are interesting in their unique ways.

Credits: https://variety.com/2022/tv/global/derry-girls-season-3-trailer-1235208018/

As the series is only loosely connected, I have to say that some episodes were just more hilarious and memorable than the others. Take the season one finale for instance. The girls and James were dancing away freely without a care of thought of their future or the fate of the country, and “Dreams” once played again as the parents were quivered in shock as the fatal bomb incident took place. I do not know much about The Troubles, only remembering bits and traces of that decade from a social studies textbook, but I for sure know it was an era of violence and one rooted in violence and nasty discrimination. Yet seeing the Derry Girls, as Michelle calls it, supporting Orla on stage and Claire’s coming out, while something so tragic was ongoing on the other side of Derry is a touching moment for me. It was a nice juxtaposition and one to remember.

Season one finale

The series finale was heartwarming as well, especially as the girls (and James) finally reach the legal age to vote on the Good Friday Agreement. With the future of the country in her hands (and everyone’s else), Erin revealed to James that she was not ready to grow up and deal with the challenges in the real world but is going to face the changes and grow up either ways (video montage featured Liam Neeson who guest starred in S3E1) The leader of the pack, Erin has always been the boldest and vocal with her thoughts so hearing that confession was pretty touching for me too.

Liam Neeson as a guest star in Derry Girls S3E1

Simple, straightforward backed by an appropriate pace, Derry Girls is easily one of my most-liked series and one I highly recommends everyone to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 3.

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