Lisa McGee, a Northern Irish stage and screenwriter, is in the news after the success of her British Sitcom Derry Girls. Derry Girls is a black comedy centered on the teen-life of the 1990s set in Derry, Northern Ireland. It is produced by a British independent production company, Hat Trick Productions. Michael Lennox is the director of this famous series. Derry Girls made its debut in 2018 on Channel 4, a British public television service.
The series has so far released two seasons with six episodes each. The series has received 8.4/10 by IMDb and 98% of the average Tomatometer by Rotten Tomatoes, with an average audience score of 96%.
Derry girls highlight the story of the girl named Erin, her cousin named Orla, their friends Clare and Michelle, and Michelle’s cousin, James, and their adolescent during the end of the troubles in Derry. They attend a catholic girls’ secondary school. This is a story about adolescents and, therefore, makes it more relatable for the viewers.
Characters and Storyline
Derry Girls involve Erin Quinn, sixteen years old in season one, cautious about prejudices of others, but ambitious and sarcastic. Her dark sense of humor seems to settle with the viewers. The show involves Gerry and Mary, the father and the Mother of Erin, respectively. She lives with them. Gerry is the possessive guy when it comes to his family.
He is loyal and patient, keeping up with his father-in-law, who doesn’t get along very likely. Mary is somewhat similar to Gerry as she is always rooting for her family, and her motherhood is not comprised of the troubles led on by her daughter, Erin. She maintains discipline with strictness. She is a lovable character. Gerry and Mary have been married for seventeen years.
The series mentions the house of Aunt Sarah, who is the younger sister of Mary and also a neighbor, yet Sarah seems to stay in Mary’s house where Mary does all the chores. Her house is not shown to the viewers. Orla McCool is her fifteen years old daughter. Orla is impressed with her solitude, stays quiet, and is not wavered by the likes of others. Breaching of Erin’s privacy is somewhat amusing to her. Sarah doesn’t want to take responsibility for raising her daughter but cares for her. Joe, the father of Mary and Sarah, has been living with them since the death of his wife. He tries to convince Mary to leave Gerry.
Clare Devlin and Michelle Mallon are the best friends of Erin. Clare is intimidated by authority figures and is a lesbian. Michelle has a strong affinity for troubles and, thus, drags the gang with her luck. Michelle is the black sheep. She has a keen interest in sex, drugs, and alcohol and is not wavered by the authorities and not even her mother. James Maguire is Michelle’s maternal cousin. James is an English born. His mother, Cathy, is Irish.
She wanted to abort him and traveled to England for the abortion but raised him. She is about to get a divorce and, therefore, sends James to live with his cousin Michelle and Aunt Deirdre in Derry. He has an English accent, and to avoid any troubles getting bullied, and he becomes the first boy to the catholic all-girls secondary school.
There is always someone who opposes the other in the school, and here we have Jenny Joyce, who is confident prefect of the school. She belongs to a wealthy family, and this is something she boosts about. She likes to flaunt her position of power and is admired by Sister Michael, who is the headmistress of Our Lady Immaculate: all-girls’ catholic school.
Derry girls season one aired in January 2018 with its last episode in February 2018, comprising of six episodes. The story begins with Erin getting annoyed by Orla, who is found reading Erin’s diary. The first episode introduces us to the gang: Erin, Clare, Michelle, Orla, and James, whose mother has left for London for the divorce.
The gang is under detention by Sister Michael for bullying a first-year pupil on the bus; Jenny confronts the group when she caught Michelle in the act. Erin loses the chance to go to the concert of her crush, David. We find the rebelliousness of the gang when Sister Michael catches Michelle trying to get her confiscated lipstick back, Erin trying to escape through the window and James peeing in the bin.
Sister Declan, 97 years old, who was supervising the detention, dies. The story flows with the terrorist activities happening across the border, transporting weapons via Grandfather Joe’s brother Colm’s van, which got lost, lately. The group is excited and looking forward to the paid trip to Paris. They learn that Jenny has a trust fund, which will help her pay for the trip.
The group tries to work part-time where Michelle gets them in trouble by getting caught while stealing a notice board. Fionnula, the shop owner, makes them clean the shop, but they set Fionnula’s flat on fire with flaming shots. To their rescue, they call Mary and Sarah, but Fionnula catches them all red-handed and bans the family from the shop.
Like every teen, the group does not want to give the exams, and while cramming all night, they see Erin’s supposedly dead dog, Toto, who pees over the statue of the Virgin Mary in church. Clare, Michelle, and Orla call in for Sister Michael, informing her about the miracle: Virgin Mary is smirking, with the hope of getting excused from the exams.
Handsome Father Peter believes in the story and thinks it was meant to get Erin down to the church. The grave of Toto is found empty. Erin knows the truth and learns Toto has never died from her mother Mary and spills the beans when Father Peter tells her that he was close to ‘abandoning the priesthood.’ The friends are branded a liar and have to take the exams.
The teenage Ukrainians visit Derry to help the victims of the Chernobyl disaster, where we meet Katya, who is interested in James. Grandfather Joe is dating a Sixty-two-year-old Maeve; Michelle is attracted to Artem, who is living with Jenny. Erin is suspicious about Katya, she finds condoms in her bag and confronts her in public for prostitution where Katya reveals she has been trying to buy Jenny a ThankYou gift with the help of other Ukrainians.
Artem is Clive, a protestant from East Belfast who pretends to be Ukrainian. He happens to be there by mistake. Katya stays with Jenny. Erin’s family skips the orange walks for a brief vacation in the neighboring country, Donegal, where they find Emmett, a republican army man, who is hiding in the boot of their car. He wants to pass the border undetected.
This leads to conflict between Gerry and Joe. Michelle, surprisingly, believes Emmett to be her future husband though she is not attracted to him. The man leaves hiding in another car with the tent of Erin’s neighbor when the family stops for lunch. Gerry loses the red docket in the wash where the white clothes turn pink and so he could not pick the family’s photos. Joe comes with Sarah to collect the photos, which later summons the clerk, Ciaran, to dinner.
Erin replaces the school magazine’s editor, the staff quits, and she is left with none other than her group, which she recruits to find a lead story. Erin finds a letter which is written by Clare confessing being a lesbian, which becomes the lead story. The story gets censored by Sister Michael, but the newspaper gets published.
Clare is disappointed and confronts Erin. School talent show comes up where Orla is ridiculed for performing step aerobics to ‘Like a Prayer.’ The group joins her on stage, and Erin and Clare get back together. It was already a long day; however, the terrific news was yet to be displayed: BOMBING. The season one ends there.
The season two begins with the peace initiative. Our Lady Immaculate spends the weekend ‘across the barricade’ with Protestant Boys’ Secondary School. Peter had returned to Priesthood but failed to find common grounds for the students. The group is trying to impress their partners but fails as they indulge in arguments due to different thoughts. Parents are informed about the teen’s activities, and then Erin realizes ‘Parents’ is what Catholics and Protestants have in common.
A new English teacher, Ms. De Brun, arrives. The group is fond of her. Mary and Gerry were on a movie date to The Usual Suspects, which is breached by Sarah, Ciaran, Joe, and Colm. They are not able to watch the climax due to a security alert. The teens are invited to Ms. De Brun’s house for wine. Their favorite teacher has left the school, which devastates them and make them steal Sister Michael’s favorite ‘Child of Prague’ statue, breaking off its head in the attempt. The group is suspended for the act, with the families having to replace the statute.
The group is forbidden from attending the concert in Belfast because a polar bear had escaped the zoo. Still, the group is stubborn and leaves with Sister Michael on board on the bus, where Michelle brings a suitcase full of vodka, which they deny confidently. The bus stops for the check by the Army who finds suspicious luggage, but the group has already left, accepting a lift from a stranger Rita who is drunk and hits the sheep. The polar bear was caught while eating the sheep. Parents learn that their kids had lied to them when Gerry finds them on TV surfacing the concert.
At the wedding, Erin has brought her friends. Mary and Sarah are being scoffed at for bad parenting by their Aunt Birdie, who dies when Mary curses her to ‘Drop Dead.’ Michelle, prone to troubles, ask her friends to try ‘hash scone,’ which they use to cause flood by flushing them down the toilet. Mary and Sarah get caught while stealing back the earrings off Birdie’s ears, which belonged to their mother, by Eamonn, son of Birdie. Joe has brought the scones back home.
A new student, Mae, is introduced by Sister Michael, who joins the group and wants to torture Jenny for buying her dress. Erin gets stood up by her date John Paul, and so James joins her. The group learns that Mae was expelled before due to bullying and tries to protect Jenny, who is the prom queen for the night, but all end up ‘drenched in tomato juice.’
The ongoing events have been terrible, and President Bill Clinton is about to visit Derry. Our lady Immaculate follows it as a working day. The group spends the day with Chelsea Clinton while the family is busy tracking down the President with a CB radio. Pupils bail on watching Clinton’s speech. Cathy comes to Derry to take James back to London to help her with her business. James is about to leave when he realizes, Michelle told him, that he was a true Derry Girl. He returns to the group, and they embrace each other. The season two ends with Clinton’s speech in Guildhall Square.
The story comes out to be what the author, Lisa Mcgee, experienced in Derry in the 1990s. The group might be fictional, but the series is based out of the humor in the events that happened around the author during her teens. The story will continue in Derry Girls Season 3 with the group fidgeting with more troubles called in by Michelle. We might find a conflict arising amongst the group as it is all about teens, but the season is expected to be the third and the final one.
Probable Cast of Derry Girls Season 3
Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin Quinn, Louisa Harland as Orla McCool, Nicola Coughlan as Clare Devlin, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell as Michelle Mallon, Dylan Llewellyn as James Maguire, Tara Lynne O’Neill as Mary, Kathy Kiera Clarke as Aunt Sarah, Siobhan McSweeney as Sister Michael, Tommy Tiernan as Gerry, Ian McElhinney as Joe, Leah O’Rourke as Jenny Joyce and many others.
We might see some new faces after-all it is Lisa McGee’s Derry Girls. One of the interviews with Tommy Tiernan did spill his beans for not being able to look up at a few artists, but there won’t be anyone left secluded. What are Derry girls without its Girlie-gang?
Derry Girl Season 3 was about, to begin with, the preparations. However, the ongoing pandemic has brought the world to a pause, but it has given some more time to Lisa to think of better humor for the audience, which won’t be disappointed.
The fan base is waiting for the third season, and so is the cast waiting with the production house for the preparations to begin. The pandemic doesn’t seem to get under control, and therefore, the Derry Girls Season Three will have to wait for 2021. Don’t worry, fans, and you will come along, after all, ‘you are a true Derry Girl.’