In Review

Derry Girls: hit Channel 4 sitcom bows out on a high

The third and final season is upon us, and it opens where the second left off

Derry Girls has been one of the most joyously funny TV sitcoms in years, said Hannah Jane Parkinson in The Observer. Inspired by the writer Lisa McGee’s teenage years at a Catholic school in Northern Ireland in the mid-1990s, it has proved a startlingly effective combination of comedy and drama – a masterpiece, in fact, of “pathos, humour and double denim”.

Now, its third and final season is upon us, and it opens where the second left off. The gang – Erin, Clare, Orla, Michelle and cousin James, the “wee English fella” – are awaiting their GCSE results, and decide to pass the time making a short film about the Troubles.

It’s not pivotal to the action, but the scene is “typical of how the show handles its context”, said Nick Hilton on The Independent. “Derry Girls is neither about, nor not about, the Troubles. Instead, it’s about the resilience of human vanity and self-absorption in the face of the greatest challenges.” Just as in M*A*S*H the US army doctors “had a capacity to be drunk and disobedient, even under constant threat of shelling, Derry Girls is an electric depiction of adolescent monomania”.

There was reason to fear that this series might feel like an afterthought, said Ed Power in The Irish Times. Since the sitcom was first broadcast in 2018, various key players have moved on to other projects. McGee has written a Channel 5 drama, and Nicola Coughlan (Clare) has been busy shooting Bridgerton. But such fears proved misplaced. On the evidence of the first episode, this will be “a victory lap to savour”.

Recommended

A weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne Bridge and the River Tyne in Newcastle
The big trip

A weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne

Properties of the week: dreamy Italian homes for under €1m
Six gorgeous homes
The wish list

Properties of the week: dreamy Italian homes for under €1m

Nato’s renaissance: how the world’s most powerful military alliance has taken centre stage
Long table of men at Nato summit
In Depth

Nato’s renaissance: how the world’s most powerful military alliance has taken centre stage

Curtailing abortion rights: will Republicans rue their victory?
Students protest anti-abortion measures
Talking point

Curtailing abortion rights: will Republicans rue their victory?

Popular articles

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

The Week Footer Banner