Created by Lisa McGee, the third and final season of Netflix original Derry Girls recently wrapped up with a nice little bow, left slightly undone, for the ongoing stories of the Derry gang – Erin, Clare, Orla, Michelle, and James (the honorary Derry girl of the group). Set in the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland’s Derry in the 1990s, this wee little show with a gamut of robust performances was hilarious from the get-go and would’ve delighted fans if more seasons had come along. But sadly enough, we only get three. Three solid ones at that, at least.
We were left on a high, not on a cliffhanger like many canceled-before-their-time Netflix shows tend to do. In addition to the usual six episodes, the third season also gave us a seventh episode, a year after the events of 1997, with the special episode set in 1998. It covers the historic Good Friday Agreement, which solidified peace negotiations in Northern Ireland.
The third season was just as cracker (if not with an added twinge of bittersweetness) as the first two seasons of the coming-of-age saga. And that is why everyone needs to binge the series as soon as they are done with their umpteenth rewatches of Community, Office, and 30 Rock.
Reminiscing the Follies of Young Adulthood
With a whopping 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Derry Girls may take place in the backdrop of conflicted times but this political unrest, while portrayed in its seriousness, mostly hangs in the back of the lives of the five main characters. The show will bring back memories and other familiar scenes ’90s kids have memed to the moon and back no matter where you lived – from renting out film cassette tapes, aspiring to become one of the Spice Girls, and selling Avon products on the side long before hustling became a mantra for the current generation.
While the gang gets up to shenanigans like before, in the third season, they also have some growing up to do. The group has to face death and the grave decision of voting in the most important election of their life as they turn 18. The Good Friday Agreement marked the beginning of a long, drawn-out peace process between the British and the Irish governments. But the show seamlessly blends the edges of comedy and tragedy.
This season might make it harder to say goodbye to this show that can quickly become one of those stories you cannot help revisiting time and again whenever the mind seeks comfort, familiarity, and good laughs.
Derry Girls and Historical Times
The current generation might be feeling bogged down with how many historical events we are living through, so many of them may even seem like the end of times. Perhaps that is another reason why Derry Girls is not only relevant but a grand reminder of how life happens, and we survive through laughter, love, and a few pointed misadventures above all else.
The show does more than just bring up pop culture events under the same roof. It also strings together certain contemporary historical events that might seem to have happened at isolated times otherwise. A student exchange program in season one brought students from Chernobyl to Derry, and hilarity ensued amidst the momentous affair.
Here growing pains go hand-in-hand with growing up Catholic when two flavours of the same religion fight it out for supremacy. While season one began shortly after the first IRA (Irish Republican Army) ceasefire in the area in 1994, the second season captured the fascination the Clinton family’s visit to Derry had on the girls and the grownups in 1995. A letter that went missing finally reached the right recipient (a few years too late) in season three. That is just one more gift we get along with Liam Neeson’s guest appearance this season.
The Tremendous Cast
Sister Michael is truly my favourite comedy character of the last few years. Just genius #DerryGirls pic.twitter.com/xFYxDuFQSp
— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) March 12, 2019
Northern Ireland looks gorgeous in Derry Girls, and for wanderlust enthusiasts, that could just be a good enough reason to watch this show. But the performances by the cast can do a convincing enough job on their own.
Siobhan McSweeney as Sister George Michael is a laugh riot with her barely disguised contempt for the stupidity around her! She is the headmistress who will send you to detention just for the fun of it but look the other way when you raise hell as teenagers are supposed to. Sister George Michael is the kind of teacher you get to appreciate more as you teeter further into adulthood. Sister George Michael is kinda-sorta cool, but don’t let her hear you say that because she will roll her eyes at you.
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 – the whole gang of Derry girls shall be missed. At least we get to see more of Coughlan in the upcoming seasons of Bridgerton as Penelope Featherington, aka the infamous Lady Whistledown.