Paper Girls: Season One
July 29, 2022 9:51 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Paper Girls follows four young girls who, while out delivering papers on the morning after Halloween in 1988, become unwittingly caught in a conflict between warring factions of time-travelers, sending them on an adventure through time that will save the world. As they travel between our present, the past, and the future – they encounter future versions of themselves and now must choose to embrace or reject their fate. Based on the comic books by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Runaways).

Created for television by Stephany Folsom (Thor: Raganrok, Toy Story 4) and produced by Christopher Cantwell* (Halt and Catch Fire) and Brad Pitt (who appeared in the film Less Than Zero as "Preppie Kid at Fight.")

Early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive.

*Not to be confused with the infamous white supremacist of the same name.

Available in the US as an Amazon Prime original series.
posted by DirtyOldTown (25 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Didn't mean to leave out Vaughan's artist for the original comic series: Cliff Chiang.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:56 AM on July 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

Folks are going to call this an attempt to create a new Stranger Things. The people writing the checks probably think of it that way. But Brian K. Vaughan is a pretty good writer and the source material here provides some pretty convincing portrayals of tween/young teen female friendship.

I've only seen the first two episodes so far.

At this point, I'd compare this to the Spanish show Paraíso in that it was probably greenlit because the producers wanted a ST of their own, but the writers have their own ideas and their own world and it's pretty fun, if not quite to the standards of the better seasons of that show.

Ali Wong is in this, by the way, playing such a slovenly miserable underachiever that it took me a few minutes to recognize her.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:40 AM on July 29, 2022

My partner says, "This may be B- Stranger Things, but the new season of Stranger Things is only C+ Stranger Things, so..."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:49 AM on July 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

If I loved the comics, will I love the show?
posted by fiercekitten at 6:50 PM on July 29, 2022

I've never read the comics, but I am on the fourth episode and I have liked each episode more than the one before it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:25 PM on July 29, 2022

posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:09 PM on July 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

First episode only.

I'm a sucker for time travel, keenly interested in how they play it here. I kind of missed out expressing identity with pubescent girls at the time so I hope the writing gives a chance here.
posted by porpoise at 9:32 PM on July 29, 2022

I'm... ok with depicting the casual racism back them.
posted by porpoise at 10:18 PM on July 29, 2022

Apparently, the Stony Stream Hospital has a One-Hour Gene Sequencer by the cafeteria.

I thought this got better as it went along, though never more than mediocre. I wanted to love it, and I might even be giving it the benefit of the doubt. Mac's the kind of character I really like, but I think the actor was the weakest of the four kids. But she's the most experienced, looking at IMDB.

I also wanted to like Tiffany, but by the final episode I wanted to give her a stern talking to. KJ was the most interesting character and the performance was the best, too.

"Larry" is also "Larry" on For All Mankind and I was, like, does this actor only play characters named "Larry"? Sadly, that's not the case.

When the timecops explained their rationale, I thought it was pretty persuasive. It's interesting how time travel narratives alter or protect the timeline per plot convenience. They can't possibly be the good guys, though, with their "feed him to the 🦖" methods.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2022

I'm two episodes in and I like a lot of what they're doing with the characters, and I'm willing to go along for the ride as far as the plot goes...but there's been some really jarring continuity stuff that has thrown me out of the show. I mean, the day/night cycle seems to be whatever the cinematographers want it to be, which, I guess I can live with that, but things like: after arriving in 2019 the girls run, on foot, to get to Erin's house, a trip which takes them so long it goes from broad daylight to fully-dark. But then once they're all settled in and asleep, Mac takes off on a bike to explore the town. Where'd she get the bike? Did she just steal it? Okay, maybe. But when she stops across the street from her old house (well, its foundation), KJ shows up there shortly afterwards. So KJ followed Mac on her bike route around town? Did KJ steal a bike too?

I dunno, it just sorta feels like they didn't want to let the inconveniences of logic get in the way of shooting any of the scenes they wanted to shoot. Which you can get away with in some shows, but in a show that early-on establishes both mystery and time-travel elements you've got an audience primed to pay attention to the people making the show have to pay attention to details too.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:50 AM on July 30, 2022

I wanted to like this more than I did. It was ok. I had trouble with how KJ”s future girlfriend wasn’t shown telling future KJ about this apparent cousin of her’s who keeps showing up.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 3:00 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

mstokes650 - you've absolutely hit the nail on the head as to why I found it a bit jarring. I bailed shortly after that scene outside Mac's old house, stuff like that just prevented me from getting immersed in the story. But also, it's just not for me, which is fair enough! I mean, I do think a show of this ilk should work for anyone if made well enough, and I really wanted to love it (time travel - tick, 80s kids - tick, mystery - tick), but I just wasn't feeling this.
posted by chill at 12:31 AM on July 31, 2022

We just finished the season and really enjoyed it. The ending sets up a really cool season two, so I'm hoping it gets renewed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:08 AM on July 31, 2022

This is me chiming in that if you haven't read the comics, you should! I checked out all six trades from my local library, binged on them, and am excite to see the live action version. The comics are just wonderful. I really loved them. If I do the math right, the girls are the same age in 1988 as I would have been, maybe a year younger.
posted by Kitteh at 5:26 AM on July 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

That makes us the exact same age, Kitteh!

[Middle aged Gen Xers high five!]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:52 AM on July 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

That makes us the exact same age, Kitteh!

[Middle aged Gen Xers high five!]

That Bangles cover was my favourite song at that age too! So already they got me right in the feels.
posted by Kitteh at 7:27 AM on July 31, 2022

I'm 3 episodes in and I'm loving it. I have no idea what's going on, but at this point, that feels about right.
posted by pjsky at 8:31 PM on July 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

I watched the whole thing in a day. It had some flaws (the time war plot was strangely... absent for a lot of the second half), but I appreciated that it cut to the chase very quickly, and overall it was a good time. I thought all the young actors were good, and Adina Porter and Jason Mantzoukas are always very watchable.
posted by confluency at 1:05 AM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

My son and I gave this a shot based on the trailer and decent reviews here and we were pretty disappointed. It seemed pretty low-budget and the dialogue was awful.
We're big fans of Stranger Things, Ms Marvel, The Owl House, Steven Universe, etc, and noped right out. Just one data point, we are.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:26 AM on August 1, 2022

Extremely well cast and performed, especially the young actors. I think what this show did really well--better than Stranger Things--was capture the actual feel of the 80s: the casual racism, while painful to watch, is very accurate and important to any 1980s American suburban story setting.

What it didn't do well for me was story: is this about a time war or about these girls growing up? like, is the time war literal or allegorical? I thought it was literal but then the last few episodes took a deep dive on existential/growing up issues, and I started to think all the plot trappings weren't actually important but more symbolic and thematic, but then the plot reasserted itself pretty literally so I think it's supposed to be both. But the narrative is really muddled with inconsistent pacing, nonsense editing, and that weirdly shifting narrative focus, so I'm not sure if I'm watching a time war action-adventure show, or a coming-of-age friendship story, but I think they're trying to do both equally and are thus doing neither very well.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:32 AM on August 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

I think if a person is trying to decide whether to watch this and is looking to set their expectations, "based on a comic by the person who wrote Runaways, but better than the TV adaptation of that one" is probably more useful than comparing it to Stranger Things. This is a way better than it needs to be teen/second tier sci-fi show. That is enough.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:39 AM on August 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

I quite liked it, and thought the casting was quite well done.

When Larry first appeared I went "Hey, Nate Cordry." and checking his bio, can only surmise I remember him mostly from Daily Show, and Childrens Hospital; but mostly as Rob Cordry's brother.

One of the episodes was titled "Weird Al Is Dead" which was also an episode of Y: The Last Man tv series, though a different Weird Al was dead.

In the cemetery the girls hid behind a grave marked 'Vaughn', maybe a nod to the comic creator though with a different spelling.

I hope it's successful (and not canned like Y) for the whole story to play out, and maybe we'll also get an adaptation of Ex Machina and/or Saga.
posted by Marticus at 3:48 PM on August 2, 2022

In spite of a couple of plot holes that have already been pointed out, I REALLY liked this show. In particular, KJ's silent scene in front of the mirror was some of the best acting I've ever seen.

Put me down as another one who'll be picking up the graphic novels.
posted by kyrademon at 1:58 PM on August 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I am so supremely bummed this how appears to be canceled; I really hope they can find another network that'll show it. I'm not surprised (it just seemed all the folks in my circle who would have jammed out on this hadn't really heard of it) but man, what a bummer.

I was hesitant, but completely sold by episode 3; the giant robot entry was kind of out of left field for the show's tone, and I felt like it really picked up after that point.
posted by furnace.heart at 2:29 PM on September 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

aahhh I loved it
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:38 PM on January 8, 2023

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