Derry Girls (Channel 4) maintained a consistently high standard but the third series, The Agreement reached a new high.
Rarely does a pure comedy series conclude on such a sad note but this series of Derry Girls has been nothing if not surprising with its inclusion of celebrity cameos. But even girls from Derry have to grow up and this outstanding cast cannot play teenagers forever.
The decision to conclude with an extra hour long 7th episode was a master stroke. It delivered the best hour of comedy seen this year if not longer. Set in 1998, one year after the 6th episode, the Good Friday agreement referendum is taking place. Lisa McGee has written from her own experiences of the time and perfectly creates the atmosphere of doubt, anxiety and compromise that affected ordinary people’s lives, with warmth and understanding. Carefully balancing the worries of both sides of the community yet delivered with humour, indeed with plenty of laughs.
Throughout the series Siobhán McSweeney, as Sister Michael, has delivered some of the best dead pan lines ever scripted. When you watch the scene with the school play make sure you’re not drinking at the time or the spray will go everywhere. The line, the delivery, the timing, is pure comedy gold.
Just recalling that hour of TV whilst writing this I am laughing at the memories : Orla’s dance routine: Ardal O’Hanlan emerging from the bathroom; Clare’s telephone conversations; family discussions on the birthday party and so much more to bring joy and laughter.
The cast will of course move on to other shows, indeed they have already but they’ll always be the Derry Girls (and James of course). So, if you haven’t already seen the programme do so now – while we still have the electricity to power our TVs.
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