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TV Show Review: Paper Girls (2022 - Amazon Prime)

Paper Girls One Sheet

If ever there was a show that was not what I was expecting, based on the trailer, it's Paper Girls. The trailer suggests the basic plot is four pre-teen paper delivery girls from 1988 somehow, find themselves transported into the future (2019), and must find their way back with the help of at least one of their adult selves.

It's a cool idea, and the time travel aspect piqued my interest enough to see what a show, seemingly targeted at young adult girls, was all about.

While the first episode is somewhat purposefully all over the place, raising more questions with no answers in sight, once you get to the second episode... wow. This is not your basic, we gotta get back to our time, time travel plot.

If you're a fan of Science-fiction, time travel stories, or just really great character development, this show has all three in spades. It's by no means basic, or dumbed down for younger viewers. While it does present like a show for tweens, there's plenty here for older viewers to identify with as the show explores youthful  idealism crashing headlong into reality and life experience.

While I would say the character development is a very strong part of the show, the science fiction and time travel elements are not glossed over as simple plot devices. There is a whole other story going on as to why these girls time travelled, how they were able to travel, and  the people they meet along the way who know all about time travel.

I'm deliberately not spoiling anything because when certain events happen it blew my mind in a, I didn't see that coming at all, kind of way. To the point where I started to think the show just might be bonkers in a good way.

There are some online comparisons to the Netflix show, Stranger Things, but other than the four girls ride bikes and come from the eighties, that's really where the similarity ends. That show is more horror than Sci-fi (I should know I've watched every season), and this show doesn't spend enough time in the eighties to really feed the nostalgia.

My one criticism of the show is a trope that does seem like it's becoming a staple of any 'coming of age' type story for pre-teenage girls... having to deal with getting your first period. While I'm not at all squeamish or grossed out by such scenes or talking about it, I kind of wonder if girls of this age are actually as clueless about it as these four that they needed to spend so much time on it (spanning two episodes and several scenes)? I'm not saying leave it out but the show did spend a lot of time, on resolving one of the girls getting their first period and what to do about it.

That aside, the four main cast members all give great, believable performances, that really do get you invested in each of their individual story arcs. I'm equally as interested in all of them as I am with finding out the mechanics of all the time travel stuff going on around them.

It feels like no one is really talking about this show because its trailer really under sells it to the wider audience (like me) who aren't aware of the comic book series it's based upon. It easily looks like a show for young adults, specifically female young adults, however there's plenty to give it a wider appeal to a much broader audience of any age and gender.

Currently there is only one season, and the full story is not resolved by the end - which isn't really a spoiler as most shows rarely are resolved by the end of the first season. I just hope it gets a second season (at least) because it really deserves to. I mean Ali Wong alone is doing some of her best dramatic acting in this and she doesn't particularly stand out because everyone is equally as good.

Definitely worth checking out.


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