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DERRY GIRLS AND A PAKISTANI PARALLEL

Many people accidentally stumbled across Derry Girls on Netflix while looking for Doctor Strange, and since the Netflix algorithm thought that both belonged to the English category, clicked. The show seemed interesting, and the first episode brought something that led to the waiting for a show I am most definitely a fan of. Every teenage girl needs to watch; Derry Girls focuses on four teenage girls living in the titular town of Derry in Northern Ireland; it is based around the end of "The Troubles" in the late 90s. Like the political situation in the early 2000s for Pakistan, there is political upheaval and terrorism in Northern Ireland. The girls in this situation are not caricatures of misery but functioning teenagers and people with distinct, three-dimensional personalities, interests, and goals who go with life. These turbulent circumstances are impactful but not their entire personalities. Something which is unique ad special about Derry Girls is that though the teengers are played by adults, they look and feel like actual teenagers going through puberty.





I felt much camaraderie from the narrative of the Derry girls. They functioned, growing up in a place like Pakistan in a time of terrorism and terror and yet experiencing fun, teenagehood, and parents being angry at them for not going to school. At the same time, bombings are something every Pakistani goes through, and putting a twist on it with female friendship at its center is a beautiful and unique story coming from Ireland, one in which many people can see themselves going through turbulent times.

The adventures of normal teenagers, not ones who have cars or attend high-scale parties but fun and new spins on teenagers who live with parental guidance, grades, stupid decisions, and most of all normalcy, but all this does not lead to staleness as creators of other famous teenage shows seem to think so like Riverdale. The show is a breath of fresh air in the teenage genre. It has romance and the necessitating emotions of feeling not understood by society as a young adult experiencing adulthood and its experiences. Teenagers from Pakistan can experience many of the trivial things that make teenagehood a monumental worldwide experience.

It is a must-watch for women; in a male friendship-centric world, Derry Girls will tell you what female friendship stands for: fun, laughter, and loyalty.


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Honestly, I never knew this parallel existed and how girls in Pakistan could be compared to Derry girls. There have been quite remakes of TV shows in the Bollywood industry using Hollywood themes such as Riverdale and the new Archies and how they are mirror reflections of each other. Your post makes me want to think more about how some media forms are universal and can be applicable world wide, this post highlights a great parallel and open to discussion the fact that media is not localised rather can be generalised with a specific and given context.

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Neiha A. Siddiqui
Neiha A. Siddiqui
Nov 30, 2023

I never thought to draw a parallel between the teenagers in Northern Ireland and Pakistan, and how the show portrays the spirit of adolescence in the midst of political turmoil. It is a HUGE relatability and prevalent factor for Pakistani teenagers nowadays. I never saw it as that, for me it was a lively yet meaningful show. It reminds me of how 'spoilt' I felt when I moved to Pakistan in 2012 because in the USA we lived a fairly normal school experience with no fear of a bombing or a terrorist threat in our schools. However, in Pakistan there were constant 'drills' for students which freaked my mom out so much, that she pulled me out of school and…

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I adore Derry Girls! And the parallels that you draw between our childhood in Pakistan and the ways in which the girls in the show go through similar experiences of sadness, despair, terror, but also happiness, desire, mischief is apt. But I've also been thinking about this recently, especially in light of the plight in Palestine, is the way in which childhood is now effected in light of incidents of terror. Especially for me, who has been in close contact with terror attacks living in Karachi, one of the reasons I found such close connections with Derry Girls was because despite the terror, I was still in a position of privilege to also experience the happiness of certain childhood events.…

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Ofcourse the privilege plays a big factor in how we view events. However, Pakistan and Northern Ireland has had many similar events in terms of political turmoil. In Gaza and Afghanistan, there is too much despair which cannot be covered by comedy or even coexist with comedy. In Pakistan, there was something to hope for and still is. and maybe what makes what the Palestinians and the Afghans are going through so much more heartbreaking.

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Mariam
Mariam
Nov 29, 2023

First of all, I absolutely love this show and I never would've thought about looking at the show from a Pakistani perspective. I totally see the parallels with the regional tensions between Ireland and England. I feel like the reason behind us relating to shows like Derry Girls more than Riverdale is because derry girls is set in the UK and, belonging to a country that was colonized by British people, it makes sense to relate to a lot of aspects of the young teenagers' lives. I think it's also because they're young people going through the academic anxiety of sitting for Camrbidge board exams and studying the same curriculum as us, which is probably the biggest point of relatibility…

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Definitely, I think it would be super funny but I think rather than a spin-off we should just have our own version.

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Reading your blog post about "Derry Girls" was truly captivating. It's fascinating how you drew parallels between the experiences of the characters in the show and the realities faced by teenagers in Pakistan. The way you described the setting of the show in Northern Ireland during a turbulent period, yet focusing on the normalcy and vibrancy of teenage life, is particularly striking. It underscores how universal the teenage experience can be, regardless of the backdrop of political upheaval or social unrest. Your emphasis on the authenticity of the characters, portraying them as real teenagers rather than stylized, unrelatable caricatures, adds a layer of relatability to the show. This aspect, combined with the focus on female friendship, certainly piques interest. In…

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I would definitely recommend that you give it a watch and I think you will like it!

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