Is Paper Girls season 1 worth your valuable TV-watching time? In the shortest possible answer: Yes.
Based on the comic series of the same name, Paper Girls follows three veteran pre-teen paper girls and one rookie as they head out for their paper routes on Nov. 1, 1988. As the morning progresses, the girls first find themselves having to deal with some bullies, and then they get sucked into a time war between two factions from the far-flung future.
You know, normal stuff.
Time travel has been done to death, and it’s hard to do anything fresh with the concept, but Paper Girls finds itself in a fairly new realm. While most time travel stories tell you about all of the evils of meeting yourself, Paper Girls throws that out the window and makes it one of the central aspects of the story. Throughout the eight episodes of season 1, two girls have full-on relationships and conversations with their future selves, another at least sees what she will become, and another learns some hard truths about her future.
The series takes this storytelling mechanic and runs with it: Can the innocence of youth teach your older self something, while your future self may be able to help temper that youthful exuberance? This especially shines when Tiffany (Camryn Jones) and Tiff (Sekai Abenì) meet and share some disappointments and hopes for their respective futures.
While some like this to riding the coattails of Stranger Things due to the starting point being set in the 1980s, that is also about where the similarities end for this reviewer. By the end of the first episode, we have left the 1980s well behind as we start jumping all over the time stream and spend more time with the girls being confused by future technologies. (Their reactions to an Alexa-style device early on are pretty amusing.)
While some of the effects are lacking here and there – a trend that seems to be more common as of late due to demands on effects companies – nothing is ever so bad as to tear you out of the story. The acting of the four leads also makes up for many issues. While child actors can be notoriously hit-or-miss, Paper Girls hit an out-of-the-park homerun with these four. Not once did I find any of them to be less than believable. From dealing with the insanity of traveling through time to dealing with one of the most momentous moments of a young girl’s life, they all shine in this series.
With the first season ending on a large cliffhanger, we’re hopeful the series will be back for season 2 as we’re not quite ready to say goodbye to our four paper girls.
Disclaimer: Amazon provided The Nerdy with all eight episodes of season 1 for this review. We watched them to completion before beginning this review.