Derry Girls created by Lisa Mcgee, first released in 2018, is a comedy series following Irish teenage girls (and one unfortunately British cousin) in the 90’s. The girls live in Derry, a town in Ireland that was heavily impacted during the Northern Ireland conflict. It is a brilliant masterpiece of teenage-hood and more importantly, growing in a place of terror. The show just wrapped up its third and final season which is now streaming on Netflix. It's terrifying and hilarious, shocking and heartbreaking. I’ve watched Erin, Michelle, Claire, Orla, and James grow up over the years and as I watched the final episode just twenty minutes ago, I couldn't help but feel a warm gush of sentimentality.
The bottom line is you need to watch Derry girls.
Many people have told me they skipped out on the show because of its oddity or its rich Irish accents, but that is precisely what makes it such a fantastic watch. The show incorporates real history, featuring news clips throughout, while also maintaining a realistic portrayal of growing pains. The lesson it teaches is that despite war, crime, and injustice, life must go on.
One personal favorite element of the show is the Irish slang. I’m considering starting to call all my younger cousins ‘wains’ from now on. Every character in the show can totally resemble someone in my life but at the same time have their own originality. I cringed, laughed, guffawed, cried, and smiled while watching Derry Girls. The entire world of the show is so lived in, I feel like I've crawled into a hole that has led me into the 90’s.
The third season (which I just completed) was definitely the most serious of them all. While all the seasons feature serious subject matter about the Northern Ireland conflict, season three reveals a background in characters that otherwise we did not know of. The audience reaches a place of vulnerability that we have never reached before. Despite these intensities, there is a lot of hope in this last season too. There is triumph, acceptance, and connection. I honestly feel so fulfilled after watching an episode of a show. That is rare.
I won’t go on and on. But I will conclude that Derry Girls is not your average teen sitcom. It's a series that is informative, insightful, hilarious, tragic, and terrifying. It's gruesome in all the best ways. It hits home, and it hits hard.