Paper Girls Season 1 Review: A Ridiculously Fun Adaptation Full of Heart
Amazon Prime‘s live-action adaptation of Paper Girls arrives on the streaming platform today. The new series takes fans on a wild coming-of-age story full of twists and time travel. Based on the hit comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, the comic series follows four friends as a supernatural event on Halloween transports them to the future.
The series was produced by Amazon Studios and Legendary Television. Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers will serve as executive producers with Rogers also serving as showrunner.
The Paper Girls official synopsis reads:
“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.”
Comic book adaptations have entered the big and small screen with a force in the last few years. Gone are the days of only seeing Marvel and DC adaptations and your typical superhero films. Don’t get me wrong, I love these universes but indie comics give readers and more recently viewers as well, a plethora of unique stories that range from siblings discovering magic keys, to four teenage girls finding themselves caught out of their time in what I can only describe as an oeuvre of literary work.
The series has many highlights and truly embodies the magic of the comic by Vaughan and Chiang. The live-action adaptation really comes to life thanks to the stellar performances put forward by the cast, notedly the main cast that includes Riley Lai Nelet, Camryn Jones, Sofia Rosinsky, and Fina Strazza.
The young and talented stars of the series not only emulate the charisma and persona we have envisioned for these characters but take it one step further by showing talent beyond their years as they lay the groundwork for the tone, relationships, and emotion of the series.
Episode one could by far be the best premiere episode I have ever experienced as far as episode pacing as we are guided through the early morning pains of newspaper delivery on the day after Halloween and we get a glimpse into the life of each of our leading ladies as they inevitably cross paths during their routes while fighting off bullies, crazed neighbors, and eventually threats much bigger than they imagined. The connection and chemistry are flawless in the premiere episode that sets the tone and pace for the remainder of the first season of Paper Girls.
Amazon/Prime Video has made it clear that they will spare no expense in bringing these literary works to life as they have shown time and time again. I have to applaud all the crew that put time into this series as the visuals were something to take in all in itself. The moment we see the Fuschia-colored sky, it was as if we had been pulled straight from Chiang’s vibrant pages.
Time travel is a messy business and so comes with its own set of rules. The series does a phenomenal job of not losing the viewers in the messiness of it all as we are introduced to the ongoing “time war.” This is the engine that drives the series and although it will require patience, you will have the opportunity to connect with the mythos of it all as the series slowly unwinds itself from beginning to end.
The originality of it all comes from the series rebooting in a sense at every point in time the four girls find themselves while allowing them to explore their childish curiosity as they yearn to look for loved ones or their future selves but the tone of the series stays true as the reality of their adult lives serves as an existential reality-check.
Overall, the series takes on its own life apart from the comic book series as the world they build has expanded beyond the pages of the comic series to give us a deeper look and ways to connect with the four girls in the series. They manage to do so while still staying true to the series that is beloved by so many. As with many time travel properties, the pacing will be love or hate.
As someone who has suffered through the complexity of the Terminator franchise, this was a welcome less meandering time travel plot. If you give the series your patience, it will reward you with an emotional coming-of-age story intertwined with a sci-fi epic adventure that is full of heart.
Source: Paper Girls on Prime