REVIEW: ‘Derry Girls’ Season 3 A Perfect Send Off to a Stupendous Series

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Derry Girls Season 3 - But Why Tho

One of my favorite comedy series in the last few years has been the smash hit comedy Derry Girls. The show centers around a group of Catholic Irish teenagers growing up in Protestant Northern Ireland in the mid-90s during a time of great civil unrest. A coming-of-age comedy focused on the awkward mid-teen period packed with nostalgic goodness, and enough comedy to have you grinning from ear to ear. Derry Girls Season 3 makes its triumphant return back to Netflix. Sadly though, this is also the final season of the show.

Created, and written by, Lisa McGeeDerry Girls follows the events of close friends Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Harland), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), and James (Dylan Llewellyn) as they fumble through their mid-teen years trying to tackle relationships, families, and the peculiar situations of life in general. Season 2 finished in a climactic fashion with James’ Mum coming back from England with the intention to take him with her. All of this during the backdrop of the historic visit of President Clinton to Northern Ireland in an effort to inspire peace treaty talks to open up. Now in the current season the girls, and James, embrace the future as the country prepares to vote on the peace treaty known as “The Good Friday Agreement,” GCSE results, and a Fatboy Slim concert.

Now a very brief geography, and history, lesson if you’re unfamiliar with any of this. The island of Ireland is split into two countries with Northern Ireland being in, you guessed it, the North, and the Republic of Ireland being in the South. Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), while the Republic of Ireland is independent. ‘The Troubles’ or the Northern Ireland conflict lasted for 30 years and claimed many deaths, and political prisoners, with England, eventually intervening and stationing the armed forces around the country creating checkpoints and barriers to deter any further violence. Now you know.

Derry Girls is one of those unique shows that creates such a joyful, and fun experience it’s impossible not to come out smiling after you’re finished. Both the first seasons stood tall in this respect, and Season 3 continues the trend. It’s a special show but it’s also important to commend the creatives behind it for the solid foundation and the variety of reasons that results in it landing with such gravitas.

The show would be nothing first and foremost without its wonderful cast, and while Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle, and James are the centerpiece, the subplots supported by other members of the community hold their weight and then some. The often fraught tension between Erin’s Granddad Joe (Ian McElhinney), and her Dad Gerry (Tommy Tiernan), or the sarcastic and often exasperated antics of Sister Michael (Siobhán McSweeney) provide a respite on the main plot allowing the pacing to breathe but also elevate the show so even the fluff pieces feel fantastic.

Derry Girls Season 3 - But Why Tho (1)

I was thrilled to see some of Nothern Ireland’s famous faces turn up to make cameos in the show’s final season, and while their presence is limited, their inclusion provided some extra flavor. Expect cameo appearances from Liam Neeson, Conleth Hill, and Emmett J Scanlan.

The dialogue for the series is beyond dynamic capturing a fast-paced wit, and humor that flows with the situation. For anyone with an Irish family though, it’s also the authenticity of the style of the comedy that represents the dynamics at play. But beyond all of that, the jokes are just genuinely funny and intelligently written with a plethora to enjoy.

One of the biggest elements of the series is the difficult handling of the historical political and cultural events from the period. Experienced through the eyes of the characters these often emotive scenes have such significance and you can physically see what the cast is adding to this and the importance of getting it right. While the show is predominantly comedic based, the drama that’s added through the telling of “the troubles” are handled in an honest, but the genuine way that demands the viewers’ attention.

As a bonus, the soundtrack to this show is an IV of nostalgic gold that makes me want to go and search out a playlist on Spotify. Banger, after banger.

Derry Girls Season 3 is a powerfully hilarious, yet incredibly heartfelt show. It unfairly boasts a feisty ensemble cast that adds as much importance to the subplot as the main plot. Simply put, if you’re looking for reasons as to why you should watch this season, let alone this show then I’m sorry to tell you the list is far too long. The dialogue is top-tier, the cast performances are stellar, and the narrative sings throughout every episode. While I’m sad Derry Girls has reached its conclusion, I look forward to seeing what the cast goes on to next, and Lisa McGee has up her sleeve!

Derry Girls Season 3 is available now exclusively on Netflix.


Derry Girls Season 3
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Derry Girls Season 3 is a powerfully hilarious, yet incredibly heartfelt show. It unfairly boasts a feisty ensemble cast that adds as much importance to the subplot as the main plot. Simply put, if you’re looking for reasons as to why you should watch this season, let alone this show then I’m sorry to tell you the list is far too long. The dialogue is top-tier, the cast performances are stellar, and the narrative sings throughout every episode. While I’m sad Derry Girls has reached its conclusion, I look forward to seeing what the cast goes on to next, and Lisa McGee has up her sleeve!

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