Amazon Studios has just launched a brand new teen sci-fi drama series called “Paper Girls.” The show is set in the 1980s and follows a group of teenage girls who end up in the future. While this TV show is like “Stranger Things” in many ways, it also has its own unique strengths. "Paper Girls" has been praised for its strong female characters and its depiction of teenage girl friendships. It also features a diverse cast, including several queer characters, as you are about to see below.
“Paper Girls” is a television adaptation of a six-volume graphic novel published between 2016 and 2020 created by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang and published by Image Comics.
The story begins on Hell Day 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. Erin is about to start her new job as a paper girl. Quickly after she begins her paper route, she is confronted face to face by a difficult and racist customer. That’s when she met Tiffany, a paper girl too, who suddently shows up to defend Erin. Soon after, they met Mac and KJ, also delivering papers.
All is going well until the four young girls played a harmless prank to teach a lesson to two thugs who had allegedly threatened KJ. But things go wrong when the girls are suddenly caught in the middle of a time war between two warring factions of time-travelers. Mac reaches for a gun to protect herself but accidentally shot Erin in the stomach.
As Erin is seriously wounded, two time-travelers place strange insects on her wound. A few minutes later, the girls quickly realize that the bugs have healed Erin’s wound. They also find out they were sent to the future, in 2019.
That’s how Erin and her friends are about to embark on the greatest adventure of their lives to save the world. Along the way, they’ll discover that even the simplest choices have consequences, both good and bad. Each choice can change the course of their lives in ways they could never have imagined.
The trailer for "Paper Girls" that you can watch below is full of funny moments. We see the four girls discovering new technologies and meeting their adult selves, for example, and as you can imagine, this leads to some awkward moments.
As you will soon discover, each character of "Paper Girls" brings her own personality to the group. Thus, the group dynamic is always changing and keeping things interesting.
Erin Tieng (Riley Lai Nelet) is the kind of person who always sees the glass as half full. Despite facing difficulties in her life, she remains optimistic and takes on whatever responsibility comes her way. Her father passed away when she was young, so Erin has had to step up and take care of her mother and sister, Missy.
Even though she's shy, Erin has become more independent because of everything she's been through. She's a natural leader, and this is especially evident when she talks to her adult self. Throughout everything, Erin remains positive and strong-willed, making her an admirable person.
Riley Lai Nelet's ability to handle the ups and downs of adolescence with grace and humor makes her character, Erin, someone we can all root for. Whether she's learning with her friends about tampons in one scene or dealing with her own issues, Nelet always takes us along Erin's journey filled with equal parts confidence and naivety.
At first glance, Tiffany Quilkin (Camryn Jones) may seem a little cold, but in reality, she is one of the warmest and most caring people you will ever meet.
She is a strong-minded black girl who dreams of going to MIT and becoming valedictorian. But her world is turned upside down when she meets her future version, a college dropout DJ whose apartment leaves much to be desired.
Her conversations with her older self are an eye-opener for Tiffany as she slowly begins to realize the institutional racism that exists in the country.
Despite this, Tiffany maintains courage and hope for the future. She is determined to change her future, which may not be quite set yet. Tiffany is an inspiring young woman who teaches us that it is never too late to dream.
Mac Coyle (Sofia Rosinsky) is the tomboy of "Paper Girls" and a tough-talking punk wannabe like Jane Lane, a cartoon character in the animated series "Daria," whom she looks just like.
We don't really know how Mac identifies. Is she lesbian or non-binary? The book series does not answer that question. All we know is that she is not straight, but LGBTQ+.
Rachel Rosinsky's performance as Mac is one of the best things about "Paper Girls." When the show first started, Mac was a tough, street-wise girl who didn't take anything from anyone. She was also incredibly closed off and didn't let anyone get close to her. However, over the course of the season, Mac slowly starts to open up and becomes more vulnerable. For the first time in her life, she has friends who care about her and whom she can count on.
This could have easily been a clichéd "tough-girl-gets-soft story," but thanks to Rachel Rosinsky's incredible performance, the trap is avoided. Rosinsky plays Mac perfectly, with just the right amount of humor and attitude. By the end of the season, Mac is the most well-rounded and accomplished heroine in the show. It's just sad she won't get to meet her future self like the other girls, but that's just one of the many twists that make this show so great.
KJ Brandman (Fina Strazza) is a rich kid who struggles with self-confidence. Naturally reserved, she has always felt a bit like an outsider. She knows she's richer than everyone else and that has always made her feel uncomfortable, especially around Mac.
On the other hand, KJ is just beginning to discover herself. She can only accept her homosexuality, which she is just beginning to address as a teenager when she observes her future version. Indeed, Adult KJ is a happy and comfortable lesbian.
KJ's sudden realization that she is both trapped in the present by the kind of social expectations that would force her to remain closeted and aware of the freedom of her future self is a pivotal moment in her journey of self-discovery. This moment completely changes her perspective, and she begins to understand herself in a whole new way.
Seeing a future version gives KJ the courage to start exploring her sexuality. While it is not an easy journey, she finally learns to accept herself for who she is and becomes a happier and more confident person.
And this is perfectly portrayed by Fina Strazza. The actress is able to capture the post-coming-out state of a teen girl.
KJ's journey will resonate with many of you, and Strazza's performance is a major reason why.
Note that in season 1, you can follow the beginnings of the relationship between Mac and KJ. Just know they are an official couple in the comic book on which the series is based.
KJ and Mac have a strong and unique friendship. Mac is rather impulsive and stubborn, while KJ is more reserved and level-headed, so they bicker regularly, and their relationship is not always easy, but it is clear that they care deeply for each other.
From the first episodes of "Paper Girls," we understand that KJ and Mac are attracted to each other, but I find that their mutual interest is revealed even more in episode 3 when on the one hand, KJ tells about the first time she met Mac when she was only a child, and then when KJ finds Mac in front of what used to be her house and is now a vacant lot. It is clear that there is a deep connection between them from this episode onwards.
As the season progress, their friendship deepens and they become closer than they ever imagined. They confide in each other, offer help and support whenever it is needed, and are there for each other through thick and thin.
In the comic book on which the TV series is based, their relationship is much more conflicted, with Mac sometimes bordering on homophobia in her reactions, even though they end up kissing at the end of the story.
The series has the opportunity here to explore their relationship in more depth and may finally take a different direction than the source material.
In any case, KJ and Mac's relationship is one of the most fascinating aspects of the series, and it will be interesting to see how it develops over time.
The cast of "Paper Girls" is mostly composed of young actresses who are relatively unknown to the public. While this may be the first time that these ladies have taken on such prominent roles, they all have already demonstrated their talent in a range of supporting roles.
Riley Lai Nelet, who plays Erin, is no stranger to television audiences. She has previously appeared in series such as "Genera+ion," "Altered Carbon," and "American Housewife."
Similarly, Sofia Rosinsky, who plays Mac, is also known for her role in "Fast Layne." And it's not the last time you saw her as she's working on a lot of new projects.
Camryn Jones, who plays Tiffany, has appeared in several series such as "Cherish The Day," "Pete The Cat," and "Pacific Rim."
Finally, Fina Strazza, who plays KJ, has appeared in series such as "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and most notably appeared in the film "Above The Shadows."
Together, these four talented young actresses bring something unique to the table, and together, they create a dynamic and compelling central quartet.
The main cast for this season of "Paper Girls" also includes Ali Wong (American Housewife, Love, Victor) as Adult Erin and Sekai Abeni as Adult Tiffany.
In addition, Delia Cunningham (Elementary, Madam Secretary) has been chosen to play Adult KJ, who is briefly seen from afar.
The rest of the cast of "Paper Girls" includes:
The trailer for Amazon’s upcoming series “Paper Girls” offers a more complete look at the premise of the story.
Besides the adult versions of the girls, the trailer features other strange phenomena. We see time travelers in white armor chasing the girls through a forest with laser guns and what appear to be purple robotic fireflies swarming on Erin’s injured abdomen.
All of this raises a lot of questions about what’s going on in the series, but one thing is for sure: the series is shaping up to be a pretty crazy adventure. See for yourself:
The first season of "Paper Girls" is eight episodes long and is available on Amazon Prime Video. If you’re looking for something new to watch, “Paper Girls” is definitely worth checking out.
Here is the link to “Paper Girls” season 1 on Prime Video: primevideo.com/detail/Paper-Girls.
No, there won't be a season 2 for "Paper Girls." The series, based on the fan-favorite comic book of the same name, has not been renewed for a second season by the broadcaster. Amazon Prime Video has canceled "Paper Girls" after only one season. The news comes after the first eight episodes of the series aired in July to critical and popular acclaim.
"Paper Girls" was praised for its strong female characters, its nostalgic 1980s setting, and its suspenseful plot. It's a shame that the series didn't meet with the same success in the United States and the United Kingdom as it did in other countries. The ratings were very good in Spain, France, and Italy, but for some reason, it just didn't translate to the same level of interest in the US and UK.
Note that it's possible that the timing of the release played a role; it came out at the same time as "Stranger Things" season 4 volume 2, so maybe it got lost in the shuffle a bit.
Nevertheless, there is still little hope since its creator, Stephany Folsom, is looking for a new home for the series, and we hope she is successful. We will be sure to keep you updated on any developments.