What happens when four young girls are mysteriously transported to another time while just trying to deliver newspapers on their bikes in 1988? Viewers will discover the answer when Paper Girls hits Prime Video July 29th. Based off of the graphic novels by the same name, Paper Girls explores an epic journey through multiple times as these girls are forced to come face to face with their future selves and fight in a time battle.
Yes, a time battle.
Come for the Science Fiction on a coming-of-age story but stay for the heartwarming friendships and self-realizations that are formed. Erin, Mac, KJ, and Tiffany only meet because of the early morning newspaper route that they are assigned to. The day after Halloween things go awry and they are transported to 2019 after being thrown into a battle between warring time travelers. What follows is an incredible journey of self-discovery that could be just the beginning of a long-lasting franchise.
Paper Girls season 1 is made up of eight episodes, each clocking in between 40 and 50 minutes. In true drama fashion, they all end on cliffhangers that will have viewers eager to hit play on the next episode. Even the finale wraps up with an action packed, jaw-dropping, twenty minutes that should solidify a pickup of season 2.
A Science Fiction drama first, Paper Girls explores jumps through the timeline, massive rips in sky, and even a giant robot fight. The visuals aren’t always perfect, but they get the job done with the budget they have. Honestly, some of the VFX, specifically the tiny, flying, healing creatures, look incredible. It is the rips in the sky, colored with a purple hue, that don’t always hit the mark. However, this is nothing that takes away from the story or show as a whole.
The Story Delivers
Speaking of the story, this is where Paper Girls really shines. The girls all have different personalities, but as they are forced to work together their friendships and bond really grow. The way that they open up to one another helps viewers to learn more about them, and in turn, helps them become relatable. The on-screen chemistry makes them one of the best ensemble casts in a Prime Video series.
Viewers will quickly become fans of them all, but it is Mac that unexpectedly becomes a favorite as the episodes go on. Her tough exterior is hard to crack, but once she lets others in, she is the heart of the series, without a doubt.
Tiffany is another character that goes through some tough moments in the future, as she is forced to see what she becomes, and doesn’t exactly love it. Her journey is an interesting one that many viewers will be able to relate to – not ending up on the same path that you planned out for yourself when you were younger.
As for KJ, her story is the most predictable, but is sure to mean a lot to those viewers who are going through the same thing. In an effort to remain spoiler-free we won’t get into details, but just know that it includes important representation in regard to storytelling.
Finally, we come to Erin. She is the first one who comes face to face with her future self, and she isn’t what she imagined herself to be at all. Another key member of the group, she is someone that audiences who deal with trauma will be able to relate to.
Forcing them to come of age very quickly, Paper Girls throws in some on the nose references including a first period. While these four girls are at the center of the story, they cross paths with many others they try to get home. The two groups of time travelers that are fighting one another add a lot to the story, but it is always secondary to what the girls are dealing with.
Paper Girls season 1 is unafraid to tackle real life issues such as sexuality, death, and abuse. Hidden within this Science Fiction journey through time is something special that most viewers will be able to relate to in different ways. The heartwarming and heartbreaking plot points might be the biggest takeaways of the first season, but that doesn’t mean the journey isn’t a whole lot of fun (who doesn’t love a giant robot fight?).
The final episode of the season is filled with surprises that most people won’t see coming, which is what makes a season two inevitable. With the graphic novels to continue to pull inspiration from, one can only hope Paper Girls becomes a long-lasting series with more coming of age lessons, dramatic moments, and self-discovery. We could learn a lot from these girls, so here’s hoping Prime Video gives us the time to do so.
Rating: 8/10 SPECS
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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Courtesy of Amazon Studios.
Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Hollywood Critics Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.