Catherine Cervone

Take a break from “Bird Box” and the new season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and stream this new Netflix series: “Derry Girls”.

The first season of this comedy show actually aired in the United Kingdom before it made its way to America. It debuted on Jan. 4, 2018, but was renewed for a second season before the second episode had even been shown on television. The show was released on Netflix on Dec. 12, 2018, where it immediately popped up on my homepage. After watching the trailer, I knew I had to watch it.

The show follows a group of four girls, all 16-years-old, in Northern Ireland during 1992, a time of turmoil in the country. However, these girls have bigger issues, like one of the girls’ English cousins moving in and becoming an exchange student at the all-girls Catholic school they attend, or the five of them accidentally setting a house on fire. The show scored a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from verified critics. 

Of the girls, Erin is the quirky, sarcastic, leader. When watching this show with my friend, Ava Zisman, she had pegged me as Erin within the first few minutes into the episode. Erin is always trying to impress boys and challenge the status quo. She wants to be a writer, and takes a stance at the end of the season by going against direction and publishing an article in the school magazine about a girl being gay. 

Clare is chubby, constantly nervous she’s going to fail a test, and always drinking energy drinks to stay awake. Zisman said she identifies with this girl. “We’re both high-strung caffeine addicts,” Zisman said. 

Then there’s Orla, Erin’s crazy cousin, and Michelle, who is immediately getting in trouble the first day of the new school year for bullying a younger student on the bus. James, Michelle’s cousin, joins them for the year, as he could not attend the boy’s school in town on account of his English accent, which sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the Irish girls. They were afraid he’d be bullied. 

The Lisa Mcgee show’s humor is quite unique. It is sometimes dark, sometimes light and witty, but it’s all extremely fast-paced comedy. Zisman and I raced through the whole first season in one sitting, though, to be fair, it only contains six half-hour episodes. The characters, beautifully acted by the cast, jump off the screen with their ambition and boldness, which sometimes gets them into sticky situations. 

Though the kids all look to be at varying stages of puberty, they are all in their mid-20s. The only exception is Clare; though she looks the youngest, she’s actually the oldest, having just celebrated her 32nd birthday. 

I would compare this show to any sitcom type show like “Parks and Recreation” or “Friends,” but the location and situation are so different that I find it hard to put them side-by-side. Zisman, a senior political science major, said she loved how the show takes place in 1990s Northern Ireland because it brings all elements of the separatist movement together into the show, which is a major part of the UK’s history. The show reminds me of a big kid’s version of “High School Musical,” but rated for a mature audience and with no singing. 

I hope this show sweeps Netflix by storm. The humor is easy to connect to and will keep you rolling with laughter. So next time you’re taking a break from studying, make sure to give “Derry Girls” a watch.


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