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‘Paper Girls’ – Review

‘Paper Girls’ – Review


Prime Video is currently the place to be for addictive television and one of the streaming platforms’ most intriguing new releases is the sci-fi, time-travel, future hoping series Paper Girls. And genre fans should check this series out immediately.

When teenagers Erin, Mac, Tiffany and KJ, who are out on their paper route on the morning after Halloween in 1988, become unwittingly caught in a conflict between warring factions of time-travellers, they’re sent into an adventure through time that will save the world. As they travel between our present, the past, and the future – they encounter future versions of themselves and now must choose to embrace or reject their fate.

Adapted from the cult graphic novel series from noted creators Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, Paper Girls is a throwback to the Amblin fun of the late 1980s with its focus on time travel, science fiction and coming-of-age drama. And audiences seeking some nostalgiac fun will be hooked. Developed for television by Stephany Folsom, Paper Girls offers something entirely unique to the science-fiction genre of the moment with the presence of its cast. On the verge of entering adolescence, the four main characters of Erin, Mac, Tiffany and KJ are all entirely unique in their own characterisation and actresses Riley Lai Nelet, Sofia Rosinsky, Camryn Jones and Fina Strazza all bring different quirks, nuances and characterisations to each of their respective characters making them critical to the narrative in their own individual way. Add in the concept of time travel, and crashing back and forth between the past, present and future, and things get interesting quickly.

The viewing experience of Paper Girls is also a different experience and this is driven by the series narrative and central plot device of time travel. Folsom gives the series its own slow-burn energy and this is a series where the audience experiences the events of the narrative at the same time as the characters, and it was a style I found refreshing. Normally with series such as these, it can feel that the cast is already expecting the surprises and actions of the series before they happened. Not so with Paper Girls. The series’ young cast really helps to sell the twists and turns that this series takes, and as an audience member you are easily packed into the unpredictability that this narrative offers.

Paper Girls also lends itself to a fresh approach to time travel and the broader science fiction genre, and this adds to the intrigue of the series. With its pulsing cinematography, unique action set pieces and funky retro-infused soundtrack, Paper Girls finds the right mix between nostalgic and contemporary storytelling, and there’s just difference and uniqueness that is applied to the genre in this story. The time travel subgenre opens up the concepts of science fiction up to very special narrative opportunities and we see these presented in Paper Girls. And the reaction of the main cast, who share a real unity between the four of them, will keep audiences on their toes.

Episode by episode, the action Paper Girls falls into further quirky and sophisticated turns. Throw in some compelling, and dare I say, surprising castings, plus plenty of unexpected twists which catch you off-guard, and you have a series that is guaranteed to entertain. A series such as Paper Girls was made for the weekend binge-watcher and many fans of the genre will get through this series in a single sitting. With its mix of science fiction, teen drama and laugh-out-loud comedic moments, Paper Girls makes for a fun watch, and genre fans will be in for a treat with this series.

Paper Girls gives audiences a fun, action-packed trip into the future, and there’s plenty of room in the existing narrative for this to grow in successive seasons. We’re only at the start of Paper Girls, and I’m intrigued to see where this series takes audiences next.

Paper Girls is now streaming on Prime Video.

Image: Prime Video