Last Thursday, the finale of series one of Derry Girls aired in what was a poignant ending. The main characters danced joyfully around their school hall as the ‘grown-ups’ huddled around the TV and watched the aftermath of a devastating bomb unfold.
Lisa McGee told Radio Times her reasoning for ending the series on the juxtaposition:
“I thought if I’m going to do this show and show this side of things, I have to at some point show that there were times when it floored you. I thought I’ll probably do that at the end because it wasn’t a joke either,” she told the Radio Times.
She continued: “I had a nod to that, there were lots of mundane bomb scares and things like Orange Order parades, where you had to change how you might go about your journey. There were lots of day-to-day things that were funny, but occasionally there was something big like Omagh, that the whole nation went ‘this just has to change’ and I think, I wanted to mix that in with this ‘life goes on’ thing. It had to be at the end.
“I’ve not based anything on any particular incident, but it was just something at that scale.There were lots of times when your family stood around the TV and just couldn’t speak because this was people in your own place doing it to each other. I just wanted to nod to the fact that there were those times as well.”
Derry Girls Can Love Derry Girls
The final episode saw main character Clare come out to Erin as gay – Erin didn’t immediately react well to the news.
McGee reflected on this story-line saying: “I always wanted to tell a sort of very real teenage story in the mix of it all, and I suppose someone not being able to say who they are is a horrible thing.”
Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare added: “I hope that we’ve played it right and I hope, for a lot of young gay kids out there, that we’ve done that kind of story justice. I know we’re a comedy but at the same time we really felt the weight of responsibility and we wanted to do it properly.”
There was a hugely positive response to the series end on social media, with many hailing it as the new Father Ted.
— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) February 9, 2018
Love Equality NI cleverly used it as a way to bring attention to the need for marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
— Love Equality NI (@Love_EqualityNI) February 8, 2018
Clare has been crowned “the lesbian icon we all deserve”.
— Claire (@LilyPinkBaker) February 8, 2018
The ending of #DerryGirls was superbly written. Perfectly captured growing up during the Troubles. Life was surprisingly normal and yet, even as kids, every so often the full horror of the violence would spring into sharp relief to remind us just how abnormal everything was.
— Naomi Long MLA (@naomi_long) February 9, 2018
If you missed Derry Girls you can catch up on All4.
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