Paper Girls season 1 review – four papers thrown into a world of time travelling

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 29, 2022 (Last updated: January 24, 2023)
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Not overly exciting and too tame in many episodes. However, Paper Girls may satisfy a younger audience who are more willing to overlook some of the show’s silly moments. 

This review of the Amazon original series Paper Girls season 1 does not contain any spoilers.

Access the recaps, reviews, and news for Paper Girls.

From reading the premise of Paper Girls without any research, it seemed that the show could be going a similar route to Shining GirlsHowever, after learning that the series is based on a comic book and I read more into the story, the world, and its characters, I couldn’t be more wrong. With a heavy emphasis on its teenage audience, Paper Girls doesn’t have any dark and horrifying storylines like Shining Girls. But one show that it could be compared to, even if only slightly, is Netflix’s Stranger Things.

That’s because, like Stranger ThingsPaper Girls focuses on its teenage characters whilst also heavily exploring coming of age, nostalgia, and the need for (or lack of) maturity in its characters. You see, Paper Girls follows four paper girls, Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ, who deliver papers after Halloween and become caught in an unknown battle between two feuding teams of time travelers. With their lives at risk and no one to help them, the four paper girls are stuck. The worst part? They’ve time traveled to the future, and it looks like there’s no one to help them. But whilst on a mission to return to 1988 and save the world, they meet their future selves, their families, and therefore in some cases, react in horror to the future they may have. 

For the most part, Paper Girls moves exactly as you’d expect. There aren’t huge shocks along the way, and when you think something will happen, it does. At times it’s as though the series sometimes forgets the crisis that is at hand for the characters, which only adds to the frustration of the overall show. Interestingly, Brad Pitt is among the producers of the show, joining a long list that includes Christopher Cantwell, Cliff Chiang, Christopher C. Rogers, and Dede Gardner. Also included in that list is the writer of the original comic books, Brian K Vaughan.

As well as being the co-creator of the series, Brian K Vaughan has likened the series to a combination of Stand By Me and The Terminator. Paper Girls definitely works best when it has an emotional element, such as when Erin meets her future self and Mac meets her brother and uncovers facts about her future self.

To sum up, Paper Girls is a light-heartened version of Stranger Things, Dark, and The Terminator all rolled into one. But due to the family feel of the show, it is much tamer with less action. Whilst the show may not get you on the edge of the sofa, it will do as a family show that younger children may find easier to invest their attention in.

What did you think of the Amazon original series Paper Girls season 1? Comment below.

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