Derry Girls review

Lisa McGee’s wickedly funny sitcom Derry Girls has returned to Channel 4 for a second series, so viewers can follow the antics of Erin, Orla, Michelle, Clare, and James once more as they navigate their way through Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1990s. If you haven’t seen the first series, which you should catch up on immediately, the show revolves around these four characters who attend Our Lady’s Immaculate College, with their foul-mouthed humour getting them into all sorts of trouble with the nuns at the school.

Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) is a teen who believes the world revolves around her, and her crazy and whimsical cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), who is often away with the fairies and is told by head teacher Sister Michael to ‘think about wising up’ when she suggests that rain is tears from heaven. The loud mouthed and aggressive Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) brings the majority of the drama to the group, leaving the jittery and often nervously sweating Clare (Nicola Coughlan) to the edge of a breakdown in almost every episode. The final, and slightly out of place, member of the group is Michelle’s cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn), who, because he is ‘a wee English fella’, is sent to the girls’ school for fear of his safety at the boys’ school, often making him the butt of the jokes from students and teachers alike.

Whilst set against the backdrop of terrorism and conflict, the group still go about their lives as normal teenagers, raising money to go on their Paris trip and then partaking in the slightly less common activities, such as faking the death of a dog to impress an attractive priest. The second series opens with an episode set in a ‘Friends Across the Border’ camp, with music from The Cranberries thrown in to evoke some 90s nostalgia, in which the Catholic girls’ school has to mix with a Protestant boys’ school and work together to bridge the gap between the two groups to find commonplace.

Only two episodes of the newest series have aired so far (so there’s plenty of time to catch up), but if the first season is anything to go by, viewers are in for another series of quick-witted, inappropriate gags as the group attempts to suppress their rebellious urges in a Catholic school environment.

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Maya Coomarasamy

March 2021
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