Paper Girls review: The Amazon series is taking too long to get fun and weird

It doesn’t take long paper girls Picture books to get a stranger. Serial from Brian K. Vaughan Cliff Chiang begins with a dream about an astronaut with angel wings and a skull in the face, and before you finish the first version, you’ll see a strange partial organic space capsule and read completely incomprehensible language from people who might be monsters. Things get a lot weirder from there.

But New live event series of the same nameThe first season of it, available on Amazon Prime Video, brings back the weird. It is still a science fiction story about a group of girls from the 80s who are drawn into the centuries-old time travel war. But she doesn’t have as much fun with the concept as she does with her source material. It didn’t happen until the end paper girls It really shows why it’s so interesting – and you have to go through eight very different episodes to get to this point.

This review contains spoilers for the first season of paper girls.

paper girls The movie is set in 1988 and begins very early in the morning on “Hell Day”, the day after Halloween, when four girls set out to complete their paper trails. The day is significant because in the early hours of the morning while the girls were riding bikes in the neighborhood, there were still naughty teens roaming the streets looking for kids to terrorize them. After a few close calls, the girls – Tiff (Cameren Jones), Mac (Sofia Rosinsky), KJ (Vina Straza), and freshman Irene (Riley Lay Nellette) – band together for safety despite not knowing each other. It doesn’t do much good, however, because it isn’t long before a strange man steals one of Tiff’s communication devices and the girls discover that everyone in town has apparently disappeared. Oh, and the sky had turned a very unnatural shade of pale pink.

Apparent, paper girls Sounds a bit like Amazon’s answer Weird things, with its focus on children dealing with the strange events of the 1980s. but while Weird things all about D & D– inspired supernatural events, paper girls It is a story of time travel. While the girls initially worry about typical ’80s fears – the Soviets are invading! Instead, they are drawn into a complex time war between two factions with very different goals. One travels through the years in order to fix things and improve life for humanity, while the other believes in keeping the timeline pure, thus erasing the other party’s hard work. Girls don’t necessarily care about any of this. But when they were transported back to 2009, they were forced to engage the two factions as they went to find their way back home.

paper girls He does some things really well. The best thing about the show is the girls themselves. Unlike most 80s games you may be familiar with, this is not about a tight-knit group of friends facing adversity. Instead, four kids who barely know each other – and all are very different from each other – are forced to work together to survive and go back to their own time period. They eventually become friends, but it doesn’t start that way.

The cast is incredible. The main thing that drew me throughout the show wasn’t the science fiction side of the equation, but rather the ongoing drama between the girls, who have to face hard realities as they go into the future and, in some cases, meet. their future. This runs the gamut from Tiff who knows everything to worry about getting into MIT to KJ to learn about her sexuality and Irene is disappointed at how boring her life is turning out. Overall, the presentation is really good; Even children a look Like their comic book counterparts. Other highlights include the surprisingly effective Ali Wong as Old Erin and the inspiring Jason Mantzoukas as the loving leader of a time-traveling faction obsessed with Public Enemy and Metallica.

Camryn Jones, Ali Wong and Sophia Rosinski in paper girls.
Photo: Anjali Pinto/Prime Video

Unfortunately, the other side of the equation, the science fiction story, doesn’t hold up either. To start, it’s largely unexplained. You don’t really know anything about the War of Time until the season is basically over, so it’s really hard to care which of the time-traveling characters keep reappearing (and in some cases, dying more than once). More than that, although it seems generic.

Part of this is my beauty. while paper girls The comedy is vibrant and colorful thanks to illustrator Matt Wilson, paper girls The show often looks cute and cheap, especially when it comes to CGI, costumes, and futuristic locations. Soldiers from the future look like the background characters from next generation. One of the main plot points revolves around a futuristic phone that girls discover; In the comics, it’s a strange vision of what the iPhone would look like, while the rendering turns it into a generic blackboard. (It’s not even a Fire phone! The show also misses the perfect opportunity to prank Alexa.) Sometimes the sky turns pink, but for the most part, it looks like any other mid-budget sci-fi series.

There are some hints of fun along the way. Watching Ali Wong driving a mechanical suit is as entertaining as it sounds. But for the most part, paper girls Don’t make the best use of its source. Instead, it’s a really nice coming-of-age drama tied to a rather cute story about time travel. It’s not until the eighth and final episode when things really start to unravel: the war is explained, the paths diverge, and most importantly, it gets totally weird. And by that I mean the appearance of a dinosaur. It takes a long time to get to this point. The cast does their best to keep you invested along the way, but there are some pretty boring moments that you’ll need to look into the past to get through.

As is the case , paper girls Looks like it could be the start of something great. The story ends in an interesting place, and if Amazon takes over some of it Lord of the rings income To sweeten things up, there is a lot of potential. But the potential doesn’t make for a great TV series (especially with no current promise of a season 2). paper girls He has a lot to work with from the comics, but he doesn’t quite come together in season one.

paper girls It starts streaming on Amazon Prime Video on July 29.