Paper Girls is a great mix of action, heart and quirky humor

    Vena Straza, Sofia Rosinski, Riley Lay Nellette, and Camryn Jones in Paper Girls

Fina Straza, Sofia Rosinsky, Riley Lay Nellitt, and Camryn Jones in paper girls
picture: Anjali Pinto / Amazon Studios

Paradoxes of time travel: So hot now. In the past year alone, schedule browsing has played a major role in performances from loki And the Umbrella Academy to me russian doll And the Time Traveler’s Wife (And of course, it lasts forever Doctor from).

The latest proverbial phone box jumping feature is Prime Video sci-fi drama paper girls. But its origins actually predate the current craze: It’s based on a comic book series that debuted in 2015, written by Brian K. Y: The last man I also recently got the TV therapy) and illustrated by Cliff Chiang.

However, the small screen version of paper girls It doesn’t feel completely original. With a pivotal cast of ’80s girls and their brilliant blend of action, drama, and quirky humor, the show often comes off as riding the same wave as the Weird things. Having said that, it can be a very interesting time, with some insightful notes on what it means to be a girl in the big, wide world – no matter the age.

Created by Stephanie Folsom (toy story 4, As well as the next Prime The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power), paper girls It focuses on four 12-year-olds handing out newspapers in a Cleveland suburb in 1988. There’s Erin (Riley Lay Nellette), the shy new girl in the neighborhood. Mac (Sofia Rosinsky), a rock-hard tomboy with a large chip on her shoulder; Tiffany (Camaryn Jones), a budding genius who dreams of going to MIT; and KJ (Fina Strazza), a private school child who struggles under the weight of parental expectations.

The lives of the four quickly turn pear-shaped when the sky above theirs turns an ominous shade of neon pink. They soon find themselves transported into 2019 – and caught up in a war between two futuristic factions of time travelers. The girls head straight to Irene’s house, where she faces her forty-year-old self (portrayed by Ali Wong with shaky angst). As they are drawn deeper into the surrealism of their situation, they are haunted by a sinister time travel port, played with frightening magnetism by Adina Porter (American Horror Story, 100), and formed a reluctant alliance with a hardened rebel named Larry (for all mankindNate Corddry).

the offer Do Mix thoughtful character action and sarcastic humor with high-concept science fiction – but the results are mixed. paper girls It struggles to convey the stakes of the larger plot, which leads to a lot of spoiled presentation and futuristic jargon, which you forget once you hear it. (“Why does everything stupid have some kind of stupid name?”

Fina Straza, Riley Lai Nellet, and Camryn Jones in Paper Girls

Fina Straza, Riley Lai Nellet, and Camryn Jones in paper girls
picture: Anjali Pinto / Prime Video

But even if it is difficult to care about things with a great plot, paper girls“The commitment to its emotional stakes makes it a compelling watch. The most novel and fascinating aspect of the series Watches our central teens meet future versions of themselves. It’s a fantasy we’ve all enjoyed at some point: If you had a chance to talk to your past or future, what would you say to them? Throughout the season, this question is explored in ways that make the story very realistic. What do you do if you are disappointed about who you are, or if you discover buried truths about your family – or yourself? How do you show self-confidence or self-hate when you have a second You are to bounce from?

Like any piece of speculative fiction worth its salt, paper girls He realizes that the after-world and mundane implications can be completely earth-shattering. When one of the girls gets her first period, it leads to one of the funniest scenes in the show—and for anyone with a uterus, it’s pretty painful—the viewer: Four teens who encounter beam-clad mercenaries are completely bewildered by the mechanics of a tampon. In another movie, one of the characters relates to a middle-aged version of her older brother to the tunes of Danzig’s “Mother.” (By the way, we have to mention that the soundtrack is quite smack, with artists ranging from LCD Soundsystem to Whitney Houston to New Order concluding on the turntable.)

Paper Girls – Official Trailer | Prime video

Despite everything that’s going on around them, the series never loses its focus on the four kids we started with, and the ways in which they relate to—and do not deal with—each other. It’s always dangerous to put an epic story on the shoulders of child actors, but all four of them do a great job tackling the complexities of the show. Strazza, whose KJ has the sharpest emotional arc of the season, is a particularly highlight. on slept-Side by side, keep an eye out for the charismatic Sekai Abenì, making her on-screen appearance as an older version of Tiff. We have a hunch it’s about to come out.

paper girls He walks the line between fixative, derivative, clever, simplistic, deep, and hockey. (The grueling special effects, unfortunately, don’t do the show any favors.) But in the end, it’s a fast-paced slice of summer TV fare that, like its protagonists, is going through some early growing pains. Given that it ends on a rocky slope, we’re crossing our fingers for a second season.

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