Derry Girls is a Northern Irish sitcom that aired in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 and is now streaming on Netflix. The show was created and written by Lisa McGee.
The first episode aired in the UK on January 4th, 2018, and a second season aired on March 5th, 2019.
Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan) and Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), and Michelle's English cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn) navigate their teen years during the Troubles in Derry, where they all attend a Catholic girls' secondary school.
Erin lives with her father, Gerry, and mother, Mary, her baby sister, Anna, Mary's younger sister, Sarah, Sarah's daughter, Orla, and her maternal grandfather, Joe. James is Michelle's cousin; his mother Cathy left Derry for England to have an abortion but gave birth to him and raised him in London. She sends him back to Derry to live with Michelle and her mother Deirdre when she is going through a divorce.
Cast and CharactersEdit
- Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin Quinn, the main protagonist of the series. Erin is passionate and ambitious, but at times overly concerned with how she is regarded by others. Her dark sense of humour and sarcastic nature often gets her in trouble.
- Louisa Harland as Orla McCool, Erin's maternal cousin, and friend. Orla is very aloof, quiet and naive, but not unintelligent. Unlike most of her friends, Orla has very high self-esteem and does not care what anyone else thinks of her. She often amuses herself by invading Erin's privacy for fun.
- Nicola Coughlan as Clare Devlin, one of Erin's best friends. Clare often acts as the voice of reason in the gang, as she is far more intimidated by authority figures than her friends. In the season one finale, Clare comes out to her friends and the school as a lesbian.
- Jamie-Lee O'Donnell as Michelle Mallon, one of Erin's best friends. Michelle is the wild child of the group, and her troublemaking tendencies often get her and her friends into trouble. She is shown to have a very keen interest in drugs and alcohol and shows almost no respect for any figures of authority, including her own mother.
- Dylan Llewellyn as James Maguire, one of Erin's best friends and Michelle's maternal cousin. English-born to an Irish mother, James is sent to live in Derry with his aunt and cousin Michelle while his mother goes through a divorce. James often feels like an outsider, due to both his English heritage and the fact that he is the only male at an all-girls school, but comes to accept the gang as his true friends.
- Tara Lynne O'Neill as Ma/Mary Quinn, Erin's disciplinarian mother. She tolerates no attitude or trouble from her daughter, but is very loving and usually only wants what is best for her family. She has been married to Gerry for seventeen years.
- Kathy Kiera Clarke as Aunt Sarah McCool, Orla's mother, and Mary's sister. Sarah is caring but dim-witted and often points out things that are painfully obvious. She leaves all of the house upkeep to her sister and is always smoking.
- Siobhan McSweeney as Sister Michael, the headmistress of the school that the girls attend. She is shown to rule the school with an iron fist, though on occasion has demonstrated a softer side.
- Tommy Tiernan as Da/Gerry Quinn, Erin's father. Gerry is far more relaxed than his wife but is very loyal and protective of his family. He holds an unspecified job where he drives 8 hours a day and has a very strained relationship with his father-in-law.
- Ian McElhinney as Granda Joe McCool, Mary and Sarah's father, and Erin's grandfather. Joe came to live with the Quinns after his wife died, and maintains good relationships with everyone in the house (with the notable exception of Gerry, who he often mocks and berates).
- Leah O'Rourke as Jenny Joyce, the prefect of the girls' school. Jenny and the gang detest each other, and she often flaunts her wealth and position of power. Incredibly sanctimonious, she is often called out by Sister Michael, who seems to have no patience for her either.
Derry Girls has received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season held an approval rating of 100% based on reviews from 21 critics. The website's critical consensus states that it is "A perfectly curated cast and raw writing drive Derry Girls's dark humor as creator Lisa McGee makes frenetic light of teen life in 1990s Northern Ireland".
Derry Girls was the most watched series in Northern Ireland since modern records began in 2002, with an average audience of 519,000 viewers and a 64.2% share of the audience.