August 11, 2022

CABLE | 'Paper Girls' Bikes Into the Future on Prime Video

"You don't know who you're about to become."
Fina Strazza Riley Lai Nelet Camryn Jones  Christopher C. Rogers Stephany Folsom Brian K. Vaughan | Paper Girls | Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Studios / Legendary Television
Based on writer Brian K. Vaughan and illustrator Cliff Chiang's action-packed (also very weird and very fun) 1980s time-travel comic book series of the same name, Paper Girls' television adaptation is a breakneck mix of coming-of-age sci-fi adventure and emotional young female preteen future drama.

Co-starring Ali Wong as the 2019 adult version of one of the titular delivery cyclists who accidentally travels back in time and meets her younger 1988 self (Riley Lai Nelet), there are some clear themes about the promise of your childhood self being disappointed in the limited progress of the less than impressive adult version of you.

Created for television and led by screenwriter Stephany Folsom, who left the show before production, and then spearheaded by Halt and Catch Fire creators Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers (showrunner), the half-hour(ish) episodes initially helmed by British director Georgi Banks-Davies never quite meet the visuals of Strangers Things (an inevitable comparison despite its source material predating it) even with the Pacific Rim-style giant fighting robot action before the plot gets very weird—enter a shorts and flip-flop clad Jason Mantzoukas as an oddball sort of time cop from the future.

When Paper Girls focuses on its burgeoning but strong friendships and the raw emotions of its characters amidst the chaos of being caught up in a futuristic time-travel war across space and dimensions with some very strange overtones, things really get cooking thanks to its charming cast of mostly unknown young actors.

Paper Girls' eight-episode season is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Polygon / Verge

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