Derry Girls season 2 is FINALLY available to watch on Netflix, and dear god, it is hilarious. The new episodes cover all the stuff you’d typically expect from a show about teens—you know, prom, celebrity crushes, and lugging around impossibly heavy bags secretly filled with bottles of vodka. Except, there’s also some pretty serious stuff going on in the background, and you should probs know context before you tear through this entire season. (But TBH, Orla McCool will make you scream-laugh even if you have no idea what’s going on.)
As you know if you watched season 1, Derry Girls takes place in the ’90s during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. It’s kind of impossible to simplify a 30-year sectarian conflict, but...I’ll take a shot. Basically, the conflict was between Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists. Protestants wanted Northern Ireland to stay a part of the United Kingdom, whereas Catholics wanted it to join the rest of the Republic of Ireland. The majority of people living in Derry were Catholic, but because of gerrymandering (you know, when a political party manipulates voting districts to influence the outcome), the unionists controlled the government. This resulted in riots, bombings, and violence from 1968 to 1998.
So that’s why things are so tense when Clare, Erin, Orla, Michelle, James, and the rest of Our Lady Immaculate attend a Friends Across the Barricade retreat with a Protestant boys’ school. Yeah, it’s serious stuff, but Derry Girls finds the humor in the ways these events influenced how people went about their daily lives.
I won’t spoil too much of the season for you, but you should know this quick fact too. On August 31, 1994, the Irish Republican Army announced a ceasefire, which signified the end of “an armed struggle to get the British out of Northern Ireland.” This was a highly celebrated moment, as it gave lots of people hope that The Troubles would be coming to an end soon.
Now that you’re all filled in, you can focus your attention on trying to figure out what kind of shit Erin’s next poorly thought-out scheme is going to get all the Derry Girls into. Oh, and you can stream the second season right here.
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