Remember the episode of Gossip Girl where Blair Waldorf turns TF up and rips a bunch of shots at her bachelorette party? Well, if you loved seeing your favorite Upper East Sider let loose and wondered what the show might have been like if Blair was a bit of a shit show, you need to watch Derry Girls immediately.
Derry Girls, the series you keep seeing in the “trending” section on Netflix, is a comedy set in the early ’90s about five Northern Irish schoolgirls—er, actually, four Irish girls and one English boy who is forced to attend an all-girls Catholic school. More on that later. This show is right on parr with Gossip Girl in terms of scheming; the main difference is that these teens don’t have trust funds, as they hilariously discover when the rich girl at school suggests they just go home and ask their parents to dip into them for a school trip.
The series first aired on the British network Channel 4 exactly one year ago, but Netflix just blessed us with that goooood stream in December. There are only six 30 minute episodes, so you can tear through the season in just three hours. (Which, I’ll admit, I’ve already done twice. Sláinte, motherfuckers!)
A wee background on the girls
Erin, Clare, Michelle and Orla are fifth-year students at Our Lady Immaculate College. They’re 16-year-olds, not college students. I know it says college in the name, but that’s just what high schools are sometimes called in Ireland.
Michelle (the one with the hoops), has an English cousin named James who is attending their all-girls school because he’s, well… English, and there’s some concern that he might not do so well at the boys’ school because of the Troubles.
Wait, what are the Troubles?
In Northern Ireland, the Troubles was a civil rights conflict between the British Loyalists and Irish Nationalists. No worries if you’re not a history buff; the show doesn’t dive too far into the details. You basically just need to know that for our Derry squad, Irish=good, British=bad, and there are a few riots. NBD.
The one-liners are comedic gold
Every character in the show is kind of a hot mess, which results in the best one-liners you’ll ever hear. Honestly, I highly advise watching this with a group of friends so that you can make sure that everyone you know is in on all of the jokes. You’ll want at least one person in your circle to understand why you keep saying “sweet and gentle Jesus.” It might be almost as quotable as Mean Girls.
Once you’ve binged it all, there are plenty of fan accounts you can follow to feed your obsession until the second season.
Yes, I did just casually allude to another season. Apparently, it’s already been filmed, but doesn’t have a release date yet. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to wait an entire year to stream it on Netflix!
You’ll basically learn a new language
American Derry Girls fans have been quick to point out that although the show is in English, you MIGHT have to watch with subtitles to understand what the hell anyone is saying.
Constantly pausing for a Google search is such a buzzkill, especially with a script that moves as quickly as this one does. I watched the series over the holidays with my mom who happens to have grown up in Ireland around the same time (the south, though, as she’ll be quick to remind you), so luckily, I’m familiar with most of the lingo. Here are a few terms you might want to know before pressing play.
- Ach is a placeholder sound. Think of it as a Northern Irish “ugh,” but more versatile.
- Boke means to puke.
- Buzzing means thrilled.
- “Catch yerself on” is a reminder to get your shit together.
- Class is really, really good. Our “sick,” if you will.
- Craic is basically a fun time. You’ll hear it as “great craic,” which means an absolute blast, or as “what’s the craic?” which is basically “what’s going on?”
- Cracker also means really, really good.
- Dead-on is a way to describe a pretty decent person.
- Fanny does not mean butt like it does here. It actually means vagina in Ireland. Ah, language!
- Ride is a v sexual term that you can use as a non or a verb. You might describe a regulation hottie as “a ride.” If you were to “ride” someone, you’d be having sex with them.
- Sláinte is a toast, like cheers.
The cast is SO cute
For a show that doesn’t waste time getting too sweet or sentimental, perhaps the most aww-inducing part of Derry Girls is the cast IRL. They’re all buzzing (ah, see the new word you’ve learned!) over the show’s success, and it’s adorable. Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare, is a Chrissy Teigen superfan on a campaign to get her to watch. She’s described the series as “the non stressful Netflix-antidote to Birdbox,” which is spot-effing-on.
Look at them and their adorable little Polaroid pics!
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