Derry Girls is a brilliant series. It is important to open this review with this statement so that there is no doubt about the quality of this project that now comes to Netflix. Having such series in the catalog is a real find of the company, which bought the rights of the Irish production. There is probably no representation of what adolescence was in the 1990s that is better than we see in here, at least not in this year.
It talks about a group of girl friends (and a guy) who are always together, trying to survive this complicated time in anyone’s life. Adolescence always comes with fears, yearnings and a huge willingness to do different things – it’s the time of the free spirit, after all. Here we have all this superbly portrayed, with far above-average performances and a road map that mixes these issues with other, wider ones, such as the Northern Ireland conflict in the portrayed period.
Derry Girls deals with these people living in the city of Derry during the 90s – or it can also be called Londonderry, according to Wikipedia – which is the second largest city in Northern Ireland. Because of its territorial and population size, it has always been one of the most targeted during the conflicts that afflicted the country in those times (and a bit until today too). Against this background, we have five teenagers with distinct profiles, ranging from the shy to the purely impatient. There are four girls and a boy going through those crazy years – a sensational time, by the way, and maturing as the implications of age arise.
It had a beautiful casting choice, too. Dylan Llewellyn, Jamie Lee O’Donnell, Saoirse Jackson, Louisa Harland and Nicola Coughlan play the main roles, which shine whenever the script allows. They are the typical teenagers, even if living under the tension of a conflict. At that time, the IRA (the Irish Republican Army, which made hundreds of victims with its bombings and fought for the independence of the Northern Ireland) sought popular support and began to enter politics, trying a new way to impose its wishes. Of course, this is not left out here, and the mix of subjects was very well built.
Derry Girls is a pearl in Netflix’s year-end schedule. Although not an original series, it has a tremendous quality in its production, and its story alone draws enough attention, enough to keep the viewer connected. Being a comedy series, it must make you laugh: and in that it doesn’t fail. It is possible to laugh – especially at someone else’s embarrassment – in many episodes.
Synopsis: Amidst the political conflict of Northern Ireland in the 1990s, five high school students square off with the universal challenges of being a teenager.
Age rating: 14;