Derry Girls, which has always been outstanding, finished up its three season run with excellence! This series is part hilarious, part Irish history, and part coming of age. The only problem I have with Derry Girls is the episodes are too short and their aren’t enough of them.
Lisa McGee created Derry Girls about her home town. It was pretty clear in season three that the character Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) had been the stand-in for Lisa McGee all along. The three seasons completed a well-written story arc that began in season 1 with an introduction to the characters and the situation in Ireland with The Troubles.
In season 2, the characters continue to grow and develop. U.S. President Bill Clinton comes to town in an effort to bring peace.
Which brings us to season 3. The main characters all turn 18 and are ready to vote on the Good Friday Agreement to end the fighting. They are off to college or into jobs.
Let me reintroduce the cast. Left to right is Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), Orla (Louisa Harland), Erin, James (Dylan Llewellyn), and Clare (Nicola Coughlan). Michelle and James are cousins. Erin and Orla are cousins.
Much of the action takes place in Erin’s home where the zany family includes Erin’s mom (Tara Lynne O’Neill), dad (Tommy Tiernan), Aunt Sarah (Kathy Kiera Clarke), Orla, and granddad (Ian McElhinney). There’s also a toddler, a feral cat, and a fascinating new microwave. Everybody talks nonstop and no one listens.
Sister Michael (Siobhán McSweeney), the caustically nonreligious nun, remains in charge of the Catholic school. In the first episode, the 5 kids break into the school to see their test scores and become unwitting accomplices to a burglary. They are taken to the police station where a Constable played by Liam Neeson questions them. You didn’t know Liam Neeson had perfect comic timing, did you? He does and he is terrific here.
Liam Neeson wasn’t the only surprising guest in season 3. One was very surprising.
Everyone grows up a bit. Some get that longed for first kiss. The parents have a 20 year reunion drama all their own.
The extended final episode, “The Agreement,” included voting day. All the cast showed up at the polls. That put everyone in the same place for a nice photo opp. There’s an extra person in the back row that I suspect might be Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee.
All three seasons are on Netflix.