Derry Girls follows the lives of five school students – Erin, Orla, Claire, Michelle, and James – who live in the city of Londonderry during the 1990s, which was a time of serious political upheaval in Northern Ireland.
Photo credit: The Chaotic Scot
While these political conflicts set the background of the show, the real focus is the comical trajectories of these students. The struggles caused by political upheaval are coupled by those universal struggles to all teenagers around the world. And this may sound all too serious for what I describe as a comedy, but the show is undeniably hilarious.
The style and sense of humor are rooted in wit and irony, and may feel like a distant cousin to British humor. There are bizarre situations, characters, and dialogue that come together in a way that will not fail to catch you off guard and leave you laughing. No matter what kind of humor you are used to, you will enjoy the show.
Often, you may find that comedy shows lack substance and sincerity as a compromise for better humor, but Derry Girls does away with this. It works to reveal the stories of small struggles that went unheard in the 90s in a way that is amusing and baffling at once. The show understatedly touches and comments on the political issues at the heart of the setting, but doesn’t let these issues steer you away from the comical aspects of the show.
Photo credit: Irish Central
Derry Girls is also a wonderful study into a new time and a new culture. Northern Ireland is a unique place with a unique history that gets overlooked in most anglophone media. I see it as a small nudge in the direction of expanding and globalizing our tastes in television.
And if this wasn’t enough for you to have already finished the show, here’s a reminder that it’s set in the 90s. Think 90s fashion and music. Need outfit inspiration or want to update your 90s playlist? This show has got your back.
Photo credit: Grazia Daily