"Paper Girls" Is The Sci-Fi Series You Never Knew You Needed — Here Are 8 Reasons Why

·6 min read

Prime Video just dropped its new series, Paper Girls, and it's about to be your new obsession.

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Based on the gripping graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, the beloved series about four young girls who inadvertently get caught up in an interdimensional war has finally made its way to the small screen.

Paper Girls has been getting a lot of comparisons to Stranger Things, mostly because there are four characters on bikes in the '80s. While I think any fan of our friends in Hawkins will instantly fall in love with the crew in Stony Stream, Paper Girls is a unique story all its own.

four characters riding bikes at night

Fun Fact: The first issue of Paper Girls actually came out in 2015, almost a full year before Stranger Things debuted, so any copycat claims can be swiftly dismissed. The more you know! Lol.

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Here are the reasons you need to be watching.

1.It has a cast of characters that you will connect with instantly.

four characters standing together

This show is packed with characters you are going to LOVE! This friend group is easily as iconic (if not more so) as the "core four" in Stranger Things. You'll be looking at your own friend group and asking:

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Who's the Erin?

Erin (Riley Lai Nelet) is the

Erin (Riley Lai Nelet) is the "new girl" on the paper route. She's quiet, kind, rational, and tends to be a bit of a rule-follower, though she's not afraid to call people out for acting rude.

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Who's the Tiff?

Tiff (Camryn Jones) is the smarty in the group. She excels in math and science, and has a knack for all things technological. Generally optimistic, she is the girl who always has a plan.

Tiff (Camryn Jones) is the smarty in the group. She excels in math and science, and has a knack for all things technological. Generally optimistic, she is the girl who always has a plan.

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Who's the KJ?

KJ (Fina Strazza) is loyal to the group and is always looking out for everyone. She may have a lot of bottled-up feelings that she doesn't know how to express, but she's a ride or die.

KJ (Fina Strazza) is loyal to the group and is always looking out for everyone. She may have a lot of bottled-up feelings that she doesn't know how to express, but she's a ride or die.

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And who's the Mac?

Mac (Sofia Rosinsky) is the wildcard. Though she may be a hot-headed, abrasive tomboy who swears like a truck driver, at her core she's a secret softie.

Mac (Sofia Rosinsky) is the wildcard. Though she may be a hot-headed, abrasive tomboy who swears like a truck driver, at her core she's a secret softie.

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The casting on this show is actual perfection. The girls mirror their comic book counterparts effortlessly, and their chemistry, both on-screen and off, is undeniable. I mean, just look how freakin' adorable they are together IRL!

the four cast members at an event together
Araya Doheny / Getty Images for Prime Video

2.Its take on time travel feels original and invigorates the genre.

three of the characters standing in a doorway

Who doesn't love a time-travel story? The girls start off in 1988 and stumble into a journey that leads them to 1999, 2019, and beyond! They have to figure out how to get back home to the '80s, all while evading nefarious time overlords who want to stop them dead in their tracks, ready to punish them for leaving their original timeline.

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And the show allows the characters to do what I imagine is everyone's secret desire: check in on your older self to see how you turn out.

Early on we're introduced to Erin's older self (Ali Wong), and Young Erin not only has to deal with the reality of time travel, but also confront how all of her 12-year-old hopes and dreams stack up against the reality of her life at 43. We might even get a glimpse at the other girls' futures as well. YOU'LL HAVE TO WATCH TO FIND OUT!

Early on we're introduced to Erin's older self (Ali Wong), and Young Erin not only has to deal with the reality of time travel, but also confront how all of her 12-year-old hopes and dreams stack up against the reality of her life at 43. We might even get a glimpse at the other girls' futures as well. YOU'LL HAVE TO WATCH TO FIND OUT!

/ ©Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

3.It has every possible element that a true sci-fi nerd would want.

While Stranger Things is a horror/drama, Paper Girls is very much a sci-fi drama, and I am LIVING FOR IT! You want giant robots? Time machines? Laser guns? Huge ships beaming people up? Underground societies who understand the secrets of the universe and are fighting against the forces of evil? Well, Paper Girls has it all!

While Stranger Things is a horror/drama, Paper Girls is very much a sci-fi drama, and I am LIVING FOR IT! You want giant robots? Time machines? Laser guns? Huge ships beaming people up? Underground societies who understand the secrets of the universe and are fighting against the forces of evil? Well, Paper Girls has it all!

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This sci-fi world is rich and complex, with plenty for any fan of the genre to geek out over. There's something familiar and comforting about the story, but it always feels fresh and exciting and takes you places you're not expecting.

But Season 1 only scratches the surface. There is so much within this world that exists in the graphic novels and it's ripe to be explored in future seasons (which the Season 1 finale definitely sets up).

But Season 1 only scratches the surface. There is so much within this world that exists in the graphic novels and it's ripe to be explored in future seasons (which the Season 1 finale definitely sets up).

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4.It gets surprisingly emotional and you will feel genuinely moved.

Get ready to feeeeeeel. Paper Girls lets you have it with the emotional wallops. What I really appreciate about the show is that these characters feel very grounded in the reality of their situation. Being ripped away from your timeline would be traumatic and the show never shies away from that fact.

Get ready to feeeeeeel. Paper Girls lets you have it with the emotional wallops. What I really appreciate about the show is that these characters feel very grounded in the reality of their situation. Being ripped away from your timeline would be traumatic and the show never shies away from that fact.

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Where I feel Stranger Things sets their kids up to happily be the only ones who can save the world, Paper Girls sets theirs up to ask, "Can it be literally anyone else?"

The events of that day in 1988 alter their lives forever, but the girls aren't eager to be time traveling or saving humanity. They are 12-year-olds and they just want to get home and undo everything that's happened so they can live a normal life, not be heroes.

The events of that day in 1988 alter their lives forever, but the girls aren't eager to be time traveling or saving humanity. They are 12-year-olds and they just want to get home and undo everything that's happened so they can live a normal life, not be heroes.

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5.There's a queer relationship that'll make you text your friends, "OMG this is so cuuuuuuuuute."

a couple with their arms around each other at a movie theater

I won't spoil it by telling you who the ship is, but it is adorable and I love them and I would do anything for them, as would anyone else in the fandom. The way this storyline plays out is so engaging and I truly haven't seen a coming-out story told in this way before. Also, Paper Girls doesn't make you wait for seasonssss before giving you this kind of representation, like *a-hem* some other shows.

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6.It gives you plenty of '80s AND '90s nostalgia to delight your inner child.

This show takes you through multiple decades, and lets you have the cozy feels from both eras. Walkie-Talkies, perms, Nintendo 64, Whitney Houston transcending space and time to be popular no matter the year: Paper Girls delivers. It'll shoot you back to a time when things felt a little simpler, and away from our current hellscape that is 2022.

This show takes you through multiple decades, and lets you have the cozy feels from both eras. Walkie-Talkies, perms, Nintendo 64, Whitney Houston transcending space and time to be popular no matter the year: Paper Girls delivers. It'll shoot you back to a time when things felt a little simpler, and away from our current hellscape that is 2022.

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7.It gives you representation both on screen and behind the camera.

I know we see the word

I know we see the word "representation" so much these days that it's almost started to lose meaning, but it IS important! In addition to the queer characters mentioned before, this series also showcases a family of Chinese Americans, a Black woman in STEM, and offers some pretty realistic looks at young womanhood. Plus, the series is directed exclusively by women, was created for TV by a woman (Stephany Folsom), and has majority women on its writing staff. It's so refreshing to see a story like this told from such a female perspective in a genre that is often dominated by dudes.

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8.And critics across the board have been absolutely loving it!

characters in a field as the sky turns purple

If all of the points I made weren't enough for you, Paper Girls has an 87% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics and fans alike raving about the performances of the cast and its unique take on the genre. Keith Phipps of TV Guide said, "The mind-bending time contortions make it grabby. The characters' inner lives give it heart. But it's the combination of the two... that makes Paper Girls stand out." And he's right!

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What are you waiting for? Go watch it now!