The best comedies are the ones set in a dramatic environment. A great example is M*A*S*H* and DERRY GIRLS follows in that tradition. Remember how difficult it was being a teenager? Now imagine how difficult it is to be a teenager in the middle of a war zone. DERRY GIRLS takes place in Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’ when war range between Protestant Unionists and Catholic Nationalists for almost thirty years – from the late 1960s until the peace agreement in 1998. And during all this ‘mishegas’, Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin Quinn is just trying to focus on the minutiae of being a 16-year old teen at a Catholic secondary school in Derry, Northern Ireland. With a great supporting cast, and spot-on writing and direction by the showrunner, Lisa McGee, this dramedy balances teenage yearnings in the conflicted world those teens have trouble fathoming. Season two, just as strong as the first season, ended in mid-2019 and while two years on hiatus due to COVID is a lifetime for a show about teenagers (war or no war), I eagerly await season three, currently spinning up production.
Available on Netflix, DERRY GIRLS resonates while balancing the comedy and drama of being a teen during the conflict in Northern Ireland.