Paper Girls is a new series from Amazon Prime Video worth watching. Comparisons to Stranger Things will be inevitable here for a number of reasons that I will mention in this Paper Girls review. It is worth noting, however, that Paper Girls in comic book form was released earlier than the first season of the series from Netflix. Does it change anything? Yes and no, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Paper Girls review – what the series from Amazon Prime Video tells about
It cannot be denied that now any production that will work in the 1980s, and its heroes will be teenagers, will be compared to some extent to Stranger Things. It’s a simple relationship. The series from Netflix has become a global hit and is known to almost everyone who is interested in pop culture at least a little.
Anyway, the last season of the show was so popular that Netflix’s servers had a hard time withstanding the amount of traffic. This already shows something, regardless of whether someone likes Stranger Things or not. Paper Girls is unlikely to be so crazy, although the very beginning of the story and its assumptions are similar. However, in the case of the series from Amazon Prime Video, there are some shortcomings, mainly related to poor special effects, but let’s look at the plot first.
The series Paper Girls focuses on four protagonists – Tiffany (Camryn Jones), Erin (Riley Lai Nelet), Mac (Sofia Rosinsky), and KJ (Fina Strazza). The girls meet while delivering newspapers, but on their worst day of the year. Just after Halloween, the so-called the day of hell. It is then that drunk and awake people are walking around the city, and the delivery of newspapers turns into a chore.
And in this situation, girls have to deal with someone who attacks them and takes precious walkie-talkies. Here, the plot thickens as the sky suddenly changes its color, and after a while all four have to flee from the attacking soldiers. Moreover, it turns out that they are no longer in their hometown, at least not at the same time as before. They moved several decades forward, and this is not the end of their problems.
The girls fall into the middle of a fight between two factions trying to control their timeline. And each of them has a good reason for this, which of course I will not mention here due to spoilers. However, I would like to add that later in the texts there will be some information that will be such spoilers. Otherwise, it is difficult to describe the series and show why it is worth reaching for it. You can see, however, that there are many differences between Paper Girls and Stranger Things. At least at first glance.
Paper Girls is time travel and maturation all rolled into one
The series from Amazon Prime Video has eight episodes, although the whole series could be closed in seven. In a few moments, the tension “sags” down quite a bit and gives way to the psychological layer. And there is nothing wrong with that, because it is a very important piece of the puzzle, but in Paper Girls it is not quite well balanced.
You can see that the creators really wanted to show the accelerated maturation of the characters. After all, these must not only collide with a completely new situation for themselves, but also, to some extent, with disappointment in the future. Probably everyone, as a child, somehow imagined their future. Someone wanted to be a doctor, someone else wanted to be a singer, and so on. Looking at his versions from the future, when there is not much left of these dreams, it is difficult to remain a child.
In fact, Paper Girls deals with many topics that have to do with adolescence. We are talking here about the first menstruation, but also about domestic violence or how much you have to sacrifice for your loved ones. These are things we won’t experience in the Netflix series. There, everything is very smooth and served in a very… polite way. In Paper Girls, the girls swear, not because it is “harsher”, but because sometimes life is in danger. Maybe there is no violence or a horror note here, as in the last season of Stranger Things, but you can feel it “in the air”. Paper Girls, however, focuses on slightly different emotions and it works perfectly well.
Time travel, a topic loved by science fiction authors, is worse. Despite the apparent confusion, everything is served rather on a plate. This is not the level of complexity known, for example, from Dark, but it can be considered a plus. It’s just hard to get lost in the plot here, and on top of that, there are some nice surprises related to it. However, the special effects are the worst.
Sometimes you get the impression that the series was created at the end of the 90s and unfortunately it is not an advantage, because we would not include it among the cult series from that period. Surprisingly, Amazon hasn’t thrown a little extra to work on CGI, which is sometimes so lame it might deter you from continuing to watch it. However, for the plot and the relationship between the girls, it’s worth turning a blind eye to it.
Paper Girls review – is it worth watching the series from Amazon Prime Video?
It’s definitely worth giving Paper Girls a chance, because it’s a series that simply engages in the world. In addition, there is a highly developed psychological layer of the character, so we do not look at subsequent duplicated patterns. Yes, sometimes the creators were too anxious to emphasize certain elements again, so you get the impression that Paper Girls is eating its tail a bit. Ultimately, however, it is not something that rejects the viewer from the screen, and certainly not to the same extent as special effects. Not all, but some, would really be worth improving before the series is broadcast.
Paper Girls is actually a coming-of-age story, which in addition mixes themes of time travel and racial science fiction, and even politics. Amazon Prime Video has created a series that probably will not match Stranger Things in popularity, but is doing better in many other matters. So, may the second season correct the mistakes of the first, and we will have another hit that is waiting for millions.