Derry Girls: Season Two
August 3, 2019 1:02 PM - Season 2 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Derry Girls is a sitcom created by Northern Irish playwright Lisa McGee for Britain’s Channel 4, about teenage travails set in the 90s against the backdrop of the Troubles. It follows the misadventures of four teenage girls (and a male British cousin also attending their Catholic school) facing the everyday challenges of growing up against the backdrop of sectarian conflict. Series 2 trailer!
posted by rather be jorting (30 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Episode 1 had me rolling. So many hilarious moments.

I'm loving how supportive, if a tad clueless, the adults are re: Clare being out.

Erin's Granda: I heard that k.d. lang on the radio yesterday. Christ, but she's got some set of pipes on her. You're very talented people.
Clare: Thank you?

Sister Michael continues to be one of my favorite characters. "You will go far in life, Jenny... But you will not be well-liked."

And I thought it was sweet that after everything else that happened in the episode, Erin hit upon a universal similarity between Catholics and Protestants: Parents.
posted by rather be jorting at 1:25 PM on August 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Aw... just noticed that the main gang's been wearing rainbow pins on all their outfits ever since Clare came out. <3

Just recognized Ardal O'Hanlon (Father Ted's own Dougal McGuire) in ep 4! Bit more grim of an episode than the other ones, but I think it combines gallows humor with the usual teen hijinks (must destroy evidence of special scones!) pretty well.

Mr. Quinn: Sister! How are you?
Sister Michael: Well, I'm at a wake, Mr. Quinn, so I've had better evenings.
posted by rather be jorting at 2:24 PM on August 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Episode 5, omg. Clare trying so very hard to make friends with the new Chinese Irish student from Donegal and then Mae being like yeeeeah I get this a lot, but then being intrigued by Clare because she's always wanted a gay friend? I'm dying. This entire scene is great.

(And it's certainly the first time I've ever heard "Cantonese" mentioned in a UK sitcom - cringed a bit at Clare's pronunciation when she introduced herself to Mae, but, bless her, she's a funky little lesbian who's trying very hard and I'm willing to forgive!)
posted by rather be jorting at 2:34 PM on August 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh!!!! Episode 5 took an unexpectedly emotional turn. Loved the contrast between the girls' personal drama and the national drama, sort of flipped from series 1's major mood shift.

I really liked where they took Mae's character, btw - the show covered quite a few aspects of swerving around microaggressions, being conscientious about assumptions, and being hilarious about it all at once.

Clare hiss-whispering "expand and explain, expand and explain!" is basically my inner monologue whenever I see people referencing something I don't know, haha. A great succinct phrase to keep in mind!
posted by rather be jorting at 2:55 PM on August 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I almost peed my pants laughing when they met the Travelers and Erin behaved like typical Erin.

I also liked when they were trading Protestants.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:59 PM on August 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Well, that was another great season. Is a third season pretty much a certainty, given its popularity?
posted by oh yeah! at 6:04 PM on August 3, 2019

I'm not Irish but I grew up working class Catholic in a sea of Protestants speaking a different language... Episode 4 of this season was like watching a documentary. A very funny one but man... that was close to home. Easily, for me, the strongest & funniest episode of both "seasons" (well next to the episode last season when they get banned from the their Friday fried fish supper - another weirdly resonate Catholic moment!)
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:57 PM on August 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

> Well, that was another great season. Is a third season pretty much a certainty, given its popularity?

Yes! The third one's already been commissioned. :)
posted by rather be jorting at 7:12 PM on August 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

The excruciating earnestness (and pitchiness) of Jenny and her friends singing at the school assemblies, and Sister Michael's begrudging announcements are just absolutely perfect.
posted by TwoStride at 8:03 PM on August 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

I finally gave in and watched Season 1 a few weeks ago and was then furious at myself for having deprived myself of such joy for so long, but hey, then I didn’t have to wait long for Season 2, so, every cloud.

I grew up in the 90’s, theoretically would have been the same age as these girls. And while I am American, I grew up in a very Catholic area and my best friend’s family was an Ulster Project host family so for a few weeks every summer we had Omagh kids joining our summertime teenage horde. There’s a lot about Derry Girls that ends up being not only relatable, but heavily personal for me. It’s a bit odd to be of an age now where things that were contemporaneous happenings for me are now presented as part of a sitcom that takes place at an important historical time.

That said, this show, and especially season two, has NO IDEA what year it wants to be!

The Hugh Grant incident took place in summer of 1995 - but the girls went to a Take That concert that had to take place in 1994, because Robbie Williams left in July of 1995 and they didn’t go to Belfast that year. The Usual Suspects got a UK release in August of 1995, but when the adults are railing at the kids for ransacking the Christmas cabinet, it’s mentioned that there’s eight months to Christmas. The ceasefire and lifting of the Sinn Fein television speaking ban were in 1994, Bill Clinton visited in 1995.


I do very extremely much love this show, though.
posted by angeline at 8:29 PM on August 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

this post and your comments, rather be jorting, made me finally start this show this morning and i blew through til halfway through the second season in one go. what a delight!
posted by gaybobbie at 2:43 PM on August 4, 2019 [3 favorites]


I dunno, I'm exactly the same age the girls are supposed to be in the show as well (man does the music take me back!) and to me the timeline inconsistencies are extremely reasonable in service of narrative efffect and give the whole thing a kind of affectionately hazy nostalgia (I myself can't quite remember if the Cranberries were the soundtrack of my sophomore or junior year) rather than mockumentary accuracy.
posted by TwoStride at 6:00 PM on August 4, 2019 [4 favorites]

I will never get sick of seeing Orla eating something in nearly every scene.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:02 AM on August 5, 2019 [4 favorites]

Another thing I enjoy is how the main characters will get into a pickle, try their best to not get caught whilst they get out of the pickle, and they get caught anyway. And then, they have to deal with the consequences. I find it more interesting storytelling to see how they deal with the consequences of their actions, rather than pulling the action off, and getting out of the pickle at the nick of time.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:07 AM on August 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

The drama surrounding MIchelle's mother's Big Bowl was exceedingly well-observed and hilarious.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:54 AM on August 5, 2019 [9 favorites]

Among all the things that are great, the Dead Poets Society English teacher made me laugh.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:29 AM on August 5, 2019 [5 favorites]

Here's a better view of that chalkboard.
posted by cazoo at 3:47 PM on August 5, 2019 [9 favorites]

angeline, hah, I didn't know that about the timeline! But also, I didn't know about Clinton's visit to Derry at all - which was kind of an astounding moment to frame the finale around.

It's bittersweet, thinking about everyone's excitement for the President's visit, and to just... see them like the United States so much, to think so highly of the U.S. that they'd wear jumpers with the flag knitted on the front and know how many stars should be on the bootleg flag from the wee shop and to drive for hours and hours just on the hope of meeting the President in person, because why should Colm have all the luck? That massive outpouring of goodwill for the U.S. as an international supporter of peace is what really truly makes the show feel historic for me, much more so than the general 90s setting. I'm younger than the gang, and my first real awareness of Clinton as a President was when I kept hearing about the impeachment proceedings without understanding what was happening. It felt so surreal to watch the finale portray a time before all that.

The part with James' departure - and then return - really got to me, ha. Something about Michelle being the first to insult her cousin all those times, and then be the one to make that wonderfully impassioned plea for him to stay - "and you're one of us now!" - wow, that brought out the tears. And the gang turning away from their primo spot up by the front of the stage once they realized he came back!!! Because being a Derry girl is a state of mind and he's a Derry girl now, goddammit! Big group hug!!! Gosh. That was some great emotional catharsis to wrap up the season.
posted by rather be jorting at 6:07 PM on August 5, 2019 [7 favorites]

On the chalkboard, I note that "Catholics love JFK" originally had a different verb - something's been erased and "love" is written in it's place. It could have been "like", but that's boring, so I have to imagine that the original was misheard.

"But why would Catholics shove JFK?"
"No, *love* JFK."
"Yeah, that makes more sense." (erase) (re-write)
posted by Mogur at 4:53 AM on August 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I loved that blackboard. I'm not quite sure which was my favorite difference - "Protestants like accordian bands and orange stuff", "Holy Shops!", or possibly "Protestants like soup" (a bit of background on that one).

I grew up in Dublin rather than Derry, at about the same time and it really all feels so familiar from the music to Ian Paisley yelling being treated as background noise. The Clintons' visit was a huge thing, simply because the President of the US was actually visiting Ireland! I'm sure it was an even bigger deal for Derry, as even the brave few famous people willing to go to NI at the time would normally only go to Belfast.
posted by scorbet at 5:33 AM on August 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

"Protestants paint rubbish murals"
posted by Rock Steady at 8:09 AM on August 6, 2019

when they get banned from the their Friday fried fish supper

omg. they never addressed this in season two, did they? I wonder if they’re still banned! the horror. pizza’s not as nice!
posted by angeline at 10:03 AM on August 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I thought they had made it up - but then I found "How do I tell my Protestant girlfriend to leave the toaster out after using it without seeming sectarian?" - could have been an AskMe people. And note that this is a long and controversial thread.

I don't think I've seen a comedy with such a density of jokes - for every one you get on a first viewing there are a bunch of others that merit a repetition or too.
posted by rongorongo at 4:21 AM on August 8, 2019

Finding out that the soup and the toaster bits aren't completely made up is making me wonder about the deep historical significance of Abba.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:02 AM on August 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Sister Michael continues to be one of my favorite characters. "You will go far in life, Jenny... But you will not be well-liked."

Me, too! In episode 6, when she wanders the empty halls of the school, I swear that's an approving smile on her face.
posted by Mogur at 10:40 AM on August 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

That chalkboard is incredible. So many ones I love:

"Catholic gravy is all Bisto" - this is actually true. Speaking from experience.
"Protestants think all Catholics are Alcos." - my Protestant mother-in-law literally thinks this - I had to explain on more then one occassion that I wasn't an alcoholic for drinking a single glass of wine. My sister-in-law justified her consumption of wine by saying it is "cultural" because she's married to an Italian. And that was an acceptable reason to them!
"Protestants love Hymns." - I was flabbergasted to discover, via my partner's cousin, that a "fun" activity they do on camping trips is to see who can sing the most hymns.
"Catholics love bingo" - A lot.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:52 PM on August 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

"Protestants like to march"
"Catholics like to walk"


That board is genius.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:27 AM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sister Michael meeting Our Colm was the highlight for me.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:56 AM on August 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

The chalkboard scene was mentioned at the end of the 99 percent invisible episode on peace lines.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:42 AM on August 22, 2019

This show made me cry y'all.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:02 PM on September 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

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