Derry Girls


“Look, I wanted to be an individual but my ma wouldn’t let me.” – Erin (and most teenagers ever)

I am in LOVE with Lisa McGee’s Derry Girls on C4. It is a new love, that started at approximately 7am this morning.

I am a bit of a TV hound in the morning, a habit that some people find down right distasteful:

“The television…in the morning.…you utter brute! What ever is wrong with the wireless? It is a Tuesday for heaven’s sake!”

You know, the way posh people found the very idea of TV distasteful in the 60s. But I love some chatter and some faces to look at in the morn, other than my own twisted expressions as I try and get my eye liner even (not the easiest task when your lids are as hooded as mine).

Derry Girls treads a well trodden path, school pals negotiating the ups and downs of adolescence, but I’m OK with well trodden paths when they are trodden with McGee’s really good boots on (*insert way better analogy here*).

Set in Derry in 1994 The show follows the lives of Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland) and their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) and Michelle’s English cousin, James (Dylan Llewellyn), as they navigate their teens in Derry during the Troubles (thanks Wiki!).

There are the usual gags about sex, discovering booze and the power of a well dropped f-bomb you’d expect from a high school comedy, but the backdrop of a tense and divided Northern Ireland brings an extra edge and grit to the humour:

Erin: “You can’t marry an Orangeman Michelle!”

Michelle: “It’s a pity, cos I think there’s something really sexy about the fact that they hate us so much.”

The supporting cast of characters include the withering Sister Michael at the Catholic school the girls attend (“If anyone is feeling anxious, worried or maybe you just want a chat, please, please do not come crying to me.”), Erin’s dysfunctional family (“Don’t say knickers in front of your father, he can’t cope!” ) and folk like Pirate Pauline and the near god-like Fionnula who runs the chip shop.

It is my favourite kind of comedy, I love shows that brilliantly embrace softness, warmth and nostalgia, but where the crass and the swears are free to skip around with glee. Also, on account of when it was set, the soundtrack is fab!

I can’t wait to devour it all over again.

*Thanks to i News for having already typed up all the best quotes*

*Images from C4*