huhBefore dawn on Nov. 1, 1988, four suburban girls venture out to deliver newspapers and dodge threats from teenage bullies sneaking home after a long night of Halloween doom. Searching for the boys who stole their walkie-talkies, they break into a house under construction, come face to face with some apparent mutants and flee into the deserted streets under an angry, unnatural fuchsia sky. Instead of fighting bullies, they are entangled in a cosmic war.
Paper Girlscoming to Amazon on July 29th sounds a lot like Weird stuff– but for girls! And if that’s what gets you to watch, so much the better. But this coming-of-age sci-fi series, based on a comic book written by Brian K. Vaughan (best known for Y: The Last Man and saga) and illustrated by veteran artist Cliff Chiang, tells a more focused, character-driven story that’s especially refreshing on the heels of the bloated fourth season of the Netflix epic.
From left to right: Sofia Rosinsky (Mac Coyle), Riley Lai Nelet (Erin Tieng), Camryn Jones (Tiffany Quilkin), and Fina Strazza (KJ Brandman) in ‘Paper Girls’
A time travel show more than a serialized creature feature, Paper Girls introduces his central foursome on the abyss of adolescence. Erin (Riley Lai Nelet) is mired in family obligations, acting as the designated translator for her Chinese immigrant mother. Tough, secretly tender Mac (Sofia Rosinsky) comes from a troubled family and strives to be just like her delinquent older brother. She closes the horns with privileged private school jock KJ (Fina Strazza). Tiffany (Camryn Jones), the resident genius, remains focused on her studies, which she hopes will one day take her far away from their sleepy, mean-spirited hometown.
The girls all have visions of a future better than the present, whether that means running for president or simply escaping the expectations of parents who don’t understand who their daughters really are. But when their catastrophic post-Halloween morning leads to a journey through time, to 2019 and beyond, each gets a glimpse of a future that forces her to reevaluate the present. That’s a lot of processing to demand from 12-year-olds who are also trying to extricate themselves from a war unfolding across timelines between two factions from the future – one a shoddy crew of young people looking to use time travel to face the worst of humanity. mistakes to be solved and the other a powerful, high-tech army determined to maintain the status quo.
From left to right: Camryn Jones (Tiffany Quilkin), Ali Wong (adult Erin), and Riley Lai Nelet (Erin Tieng) in ‘Paper Girls’
Anjali Pinto — Prime Video
While the show is packed with strong comedic actors, including Ali Wong and Nate Corddry, the highlight of the show is the young, mostly unknown, protagonists. Along with sensitive depictions of adolescent rites of passage, a soundtrack that moves gracefully between different decades and styles of pop music, and an evocative production design more like Chiang’s artwork than Disney’s latest CGI simacrum, these emotional performances form the foundation of the sci-fi epic in the recognizable details of growing up. As ’80s girls grapple with the uneasy realities of a future they’re just starting to build, the show expands—without ever getting caught up in too many storylines—to envision how the future of humanity might be. are shaped by decisions we make today . Overflowing with plot but devoid of substance, Weird stuff wished it had so much more to say.
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