Derry Girls creator explains the truly powerful finale for a brilliant first series
What a powerful ending to one of the best TV series to come out of Ireland in years.
It was with a touch of sadness that the many fans of Derry Girls watched the final episode of the first season of the show last night, knowing that it’s going to be some time before it returns to our screens.
A typically brilliant episode with a finale that packed an emotional punch, however, will ensure that it will be talked about for some time yet.
If you haven’t seen it yet, spoilers are about to follow so go away and watch it here and come back later.
If you did catch it, you’ll have seen the final episode reach a conclusion with a juxtaposition of the type of scene, full of fun, that has made the series such a great watch so far with a scene that brings home the devastating impact of The Troubles at the time the series was set.
While Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle and James dance gleefully around the school hall, the Quinn family gather around the TV to listen to the news of a fatal bombing, a scene made all the more poignant when Granda Joe places a hand on the shoulder of Da Gerry in spite of their complicated relationship.
In another notable touch, 'Dreams' by The Cranberries plays out in the background during the final scene, nearly a month on from the death of Dolores O'Riordan in January.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee said that the reference to the bombing was not based on a specific incident, although she did mention the tragic Omagh bombing in 1998 when expressing the need to highlight the serious nature of The Troubles amidst nods to more mundane aspects of life in Derry at the time.
“I thought if I’m going to do this show and show this side of things, I have to at some point show that there were times when it floored you,” McGee said.
“I thought, I’ll probably do that at the end because it wasn’t a joke either.
“I had a nod to that, there were lots of mundane bomb scares and things like Orange Order parades, where you had to change how you might go about your journey.
“There were lots of day-to-day things that were funny but occasionally there was something big like Omagh, that the whole nation went ‘this just has to change’ and I think, I wanted to mix that in with this ‘life goes on’ thing. It had to be at the end.”
“I’ve not based anything on any particular incident, but it was just something at that scale,” McGee added.
“There were lots of times when your family stood around the TV and just couldn’t speak because this was people in your own place doing it to each other. I just wanted to nod to the fact that there were those times as well.”
Two of the stars of the show, Saoirse Monica-Jackson (Erin) and Nicola Coughlan (Clare) also spoke to RadioTimes.com about Clare’s coming out, the other major storyline in the final episode and the initially hostile reaction of Erin to the news.
“I hope that we’ve played it right and I hope, for a lot of young gay kids out there, that we’ve done that kind of story justice,” Coughlan said.
"I know we’re a comedy but at the same time we really felt the weight of responsibility and we wanted to do it properly.”
You can read the interview in full on RadioTimes.com here.
While we’ll miss it badly, it’s already been confirmed that Derry Girls will be returning for a second season.
We can’t wait.