Paper Girls season 1 is a Science Fiction adventure packed with giant robots, dinosaurs, and time travel — what more could viewers ask for?
Fans of Science Fiction will be thrilled with the new show, Paper Girls. There are giant robot fights, dinosaurs, foul mouthed teenage girls, and time travel — what more could you ask for? If a captivating plot and heartwarming story is your response well don’t worry, Paper Girls has that too. With an incredible cast that perfectly embodies these characters, and a season 1 that is easily bingeable, this show is a must watch for Sci-Fi fans.
Based off of a series of graphic novels by the same name, Paper Girls explores the lives of four young girls who are thrown twenty-one years into the future after accidentally stumbling into a time war. Yes, a time war. Over the course of eight episodes the girls come face-to-face with their adult selves and must learn to discover who they are as they try to get back to their time, while also saving the future.
Come for the Science Fiction spin on a coming-of-age story but stay for the heartwarming friendships and self-realizations. Erin (Riley Lai Nelet), Mac (Sofia Rosinsky), KJ (Fina Strazza), and Tiffany (Camryn Jones) only meet because of their early morning newspaper route but are soon forced to go through a whole lot of trauma together. 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 (fingers crossed).
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 is where Paper Girls really shines, however. It is interesting right away, but becomes one of those plots viewers will be come obsessed with, hanging on to every last word as they try to piece things all together as the episodes continue on. The four girls all have different personalities — but as they are forced to work together their friendships and bond really develop.
Interestingly enough, the cast explained that they were asked not to speak to each other before filming, so their relationships would develop on and off the screen. This was a brilliant choice as it makes the story so much more believable. 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 even 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 (because 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: 4 out of 5
About Paper Girls Season 1
In the early morning hours after Halloween 1988, four paper girls—Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ—are out on their delivery route when they become caught in the crossfire between warring time-travelers, changing the course of their lives forever. Transported into the future, these girls must figure out a way to get back home to the past, a journey that will bring them face-to-face with the grown-up versions of themselves.
While reconciling that their futures are far different than their 12-year-old selves imagined, they are being hunted by a militant faction of time-travelers known as the Old Watch, who have outlawed time travel so that they can stay in power. In order to survive, the girls will need to overcome their differences and learn to trust each other, and themselves.
Based on the best-selling graphic novels written by Brian K. Vaughan, Paper Girls is a high-stakes personal journey depicted through the eyes of four girls, played by breakout leads Camryn Jones as Tiffany Quilkin, Riley Lai Nelet as Erin Tieng, Sofia Rosinsky as Mac Coyle, and Fina Strazza as KJ Brandman. Ali Wong also stars as the grown-up version of Erin, with Nate Corddry as Larry, and Adina Porter as Prioress.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.