Paper Girls on Amazon Prime

We finished the season last night, and we were very disappointed with the ending. All it did was set up season 2- and we all know how unreliable getting a second season can be on streaming services.

I enjoyed it overall. 3 stars out of 5.

Good points:
-most of the acting
-lots of the interaction between kids and their adult or young-adult selves was quite interesting. I’ve seen lots of time travel shows/movies and I don’t really remember seeing that before. KJ realizing she was gay by seeing her older self be gay was quite neat
-Jason Manzoukas cast-against-type as grand father was both good and bad. Honestly couldn’t decide which

Bad points:
-just about everything about the ending. Didn’t make much sense, but not in a “it’s not supposed to make sense yet” way. Like, it is supposed to be clear to us know what exactly happened back in 1988? Seems like maybe it is? And the huge empty sets just made it all seem particularly low-budget. And there’s a big time incident in 1999 and they send the boss of the whole organization and the prioress, and that’s it, such that one guy with a shotgun can get the drop on them?
-I guess we’re supposed to come to the conclusion that neither side in the time war is “good”? Or maybe not? Again, couldn’t decide whether the show was trying to be morally ambiguous or just wasn’t very good at making its point.

I’d definitely watch a season 2, definitely a fair bit of potential.

“Derek wants an ablution!”

Wife and I are 5 episodes in and enjoying it well enough.

One thing I was wondering-- is this a plot hole due to the complicated vagaries of time-travel plotlines, or am I missing something?

  1. So the paper girls happen into a situation where they time travel from 1988 to 2019.
  2. They get an opportunity to time travel back to what they think will be 1988, just before the incident that caused them to time-travel in the first place. One of the girls says “we need to warn our 1988 pre-time travel selves so they don’t time travel again!”
  3. But then they realize they actually landed in 1999. So it’s presumably a future (to them) in which the original 1988 time-travel incident did still happen. But there’s no sign of that in the 1999 they land in. One of the girls even secretly observes her 1999 counterpart, now a college film student living her best life. Wouldn’t the girls have all mysteriously disappeared back in 1988 in this timeline?

Only if you assume that the girls never get back to 1988.

Ah, ok. Time travel is just so gosh darn complicated!

One other thing I found unsatisfying… they had the plan to travel back in time from 2019 to 1988. They ended up in 1999. They all blamed Larry. But adult-Erin was driving the Mech. Did we, the audience, ever find out why they ended up in 1999 at all?

Adult Erin didn’t know that the coordinates sould be zeta-3 alpha-109 omega-8079b instead of zeta-3 alpha-109 omega-7594g?

It certainly didn’t seem obviously-unambiguously-clear to me that Erin was “just following coordinates” while piloting them through the fold. But certainly plausible. But… Larry (any version) didn’t seem like the type to just flat out lie like that. Did he?

I guess what I’m saying is, if the show was trying to show us “Larry is so committed to his mission that he lies and misleads the girls to get to 1999”, it didn’t do a good job of showing that, despite the girls all assuming that’s what happened.

(One other gripe: how could there be a massive purple electrical cloud hanging in the sky for hours and hours without anyone ever noticing?)

Yes? Like when he rudely told the girl that he didn’t need her map, like he knew it would be useless even before the date was confirmed (and no longer needed to act nice or polite)?

(I would say if the comic clarified the issue, but that whole storyline wasn’t in the comic.)

My fanwank is that it’s a sort of field effect- you can only see the purple electric clouds when you’re inside the area of effect.

I liked it. It didn’t blow my mind, but it kept me eager to see the next episode (and next season, hopefully).

Strangely enough, while I was watching it I kind of felt that there was more use of the F-word than necessary. I mean, I was a kid around the same time and it was considered a really bad word, not something to casually pepper into conversations.

(I’m sure people will chime in about how they were 12 years old in 1988 and they had no qualms using the F-word anywhere, anytime.)

But then the older girls should have remembered their adventure. Older Erin and Tiffany didn’t. Nor did Mac’s brother remember the time that Mac came home raving about some time travel thing.

Ok, so they got their memory wiped. But the girls seem immune to that. They should have been abluted twice now and came through unscathed. The Old Watch implied that they could wipe the girls anyway (Mac demanding a “premium” wipe), but it’s not clear that they’re being honest or if they even know what they’re talking about. And at a meta level, it seems unsatisfying if the completion of the cycle involves them forgetting the events of the entire series.

My first thought in the series was that they got duped somehow. Copies of themselves went forward but they remained in the past. Nothing later on has indicated that as a possibility, though.

Or, maybe they’re just on a completely separate timeline. But that doesn’t fit well with two groups fighting for control over “the” timeline.

Probably best not to think about it too hard…

In the comics, the ending is a very simple “they get their memory wiped”. But the comics don’t have an “ablution doesn’t work on them” plot element, and it isn’t some sort of apparent area-encompassing field. People are physically transported to a facility where the wiping is performed. The reason they kept their memories in the comics is just that they didn’t get caught. I don’t know how the TV series will handle it, if it makes it to the end.