New TV comedy show “Derry Girls” takes the UK by storm

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Review: Derry Girls 2018

 

It’s the fresh new comedy series that everyone has been talking about. When “Derry Girls” first hit our screens in early January 2018, no one could have predicted the success that was about to follow.

 

Brilliantly written and created by Lisa McGee, there is something to chuckle at with every line, despite the fact that it is set in an unnerving era and location – the city of Derry during the 1990s Troubles of Northern Ireland.

 

Nevertheless, both McGee and producer Michael Lennox have managed to create a delightful programme, full of light-hearted scenarios and slapstick humour surrounding five unruly teenagers and their families.

 

The teenage gang bring back feelings of nostalgia for many members of the local audience – from high school detentions to setting chip shops on fire, their “up to no good” antics have fans glued to their television screens.

 

The story follows the life of fifteen-year-old Erin, (Saoirse Jackson), who has won the audience over with her dramatic facial expressions and witty come backs to her impossible mother. Her cousin Orla, (Louisa Harland), lives in a fantasy world of her own. Always a step behind the rest, she takes after her ditsy mother, Aunt Sarah (Kathy Kiera Clarke).

 

But of course, no teenage gang would be complete without a ring leader. Michelle (Jamie Lee O’Donnell), plays the cheeky rebel who never seems to know how to stay out of trouble. Clare, (Nicola Coughlan), acts as the “goody two shoes” of the group, who consistently tries to be the voice of reason during their teenage antics even though she is rarely listened to .

 

Lastly, James, (Dylan Llewellyn), plays the bewildered English boy, who never has the slightest idea of what is going on or why. His character acts as the eyes and ears of those in the audience who know little of the troubles, but are willing to learn.

 

Against the backdrop of The Troubles when bombings, shootings and inter-community violence were part of daily life, the characters live out their everyday lives with little concern over the heaviness of their political circumstance. As McGee put it, there is a sense that “life must just go on” in the face of much national turmoil, which is an attitude shared by many who grew up in similar settings to the loved characters on this show.

 

The first series of the programme tastefully portrays the lives of individuals during a very uncertain time in history, as the cast work together superbly to create a strong story line and charming drama in every episode.

 

Soon after the first episode of Derry Girls aired, Channel 4 announced that it had already commissioned a second series. If the success of the first series is anything to go by, the audience are in for a treat.

 

See alternative reviews at:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/feb/13/derry-girls-instant-sitcom-classic-schoolgirls-northern-ireland

 

https://inews.co.uk/culture/television/derry-girls-reviewed-derry-girl/

 

https://theartsdesk.com/tv/derry-girls-channel-4-review-–-bring-series-two

 

 

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