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Derry Girls

Derry Girls (2018-2022)

No Nudity

Review

Take a trip back to 1990s Londonderry in Northern Ireland, a town in turmoil for decades due to the Troubles - the nationalistic conflict between Ulster Protestants who wanted to remain in the UK and Irish Catholics who wanted to reunite with the rest of Ireland. In Derry, the focus is on four teenage Catholic schoolgirls and their families: Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), the pseudo-intellectual, her simple but sweet cousin Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), the rebellious Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), and the anxiety-riddled Clare Devlin (Nicola Coughlan). Their friend group is immediately joined by James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), Michelle’s cousin from England (a fact they ridicule him for, albeit lovingly, in all three seasons), who becomes the only boy at their all-girls school. We’re taken through several significant events in their lives throughout the series, like big exams, concerts, school dances, and birthdays all set against the backdrop of the political tension of the time, right up to the Good Friday peace agreement. It may not sound like a description for one of Netflix’s best comedies, but the girls (and James) manage to turn a dark time in history into hilarity with their seeming ineptitude and penchant for trouble despite their best efforts (not to mention the colorful characters that surround them.) In the Halloween episode of the third season, the gang fails to secure tickets to see Fatboy Slim so Michelle goes on TV and spins a tale of James getting beaten up for loving the “Rockafeller Skank”-spinning DJ, which scores them VIP passes. Clare, the group’s lone lesbian, is desperate to find her crush (Vanessa Ifediora) at the concert so she can finally get her first sapphic smooch, but has a hard time finding her because apparently clown is a very popular (and very creepy) Halloween costume in 1998 Ireland. But the two find each other and smoosh faces just before everyone finds out James isn’t really hurt. Too bad the show ended its run before we got to see some Derry-ere!

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