Channel 4 have ordered two new comedies including one from NI writer Lisa McGee. Derry Girls is a sitcom about a teenage girl living through the troubles in Northern Ireland in 1994.
Channel 4 say: “Set in Derry in the run-up to the ceasefire, Derry Girls is a warm, funny and honest look at the lives of ordinary people living under the spectre of the Troubles, all seen through the eyes of a local teenager.”
The show is written by Lisa McGee (pic below) who grew up in Derry during this time “Anything set during the Troubles tends to be a bit grim and bleak, but that just wasn’t my experience of Derry as a child and a teenager, it was a joyful place. I’d like to celebrate that. It was also hugely matriarchal, so I was keen we have a large and varied cast of female characters. There were other things going on in Northern Ireland at that time, there were other stories, I’m excited to have the opportunity to tell some of them.”
Deputy Head of Comedy Nerys Evans, stated: “Derry Girls may have a unique setting but it’s a really warm family sitcom, seen through the eyes of teenager Erin. Lisa’s writing is truthful, brave and laugh-out loud funny.” The six-part sitcom aims to show the lighter side of the troubles in the north. Caroline Leddy is the executive producer of the show. Caroline is also known for The Inbetweeners, Four Lions and My Mad Fat Diary.
Channel 4 have also announced a comedy about a bisexual New Yorker who moved to London after a break up with her girlfriend, called… The Bisexual.
The show is written and directed by Iranian-American filmmaker, producer, actress Desiree Akhavan. You may recognise her from her roles in Girls, Appropriate Behavior and Flowers. Akhavan is openely bisexual herself and last year stated “I don’t see bisexuality portrayed in movies and pop culture, actually. There’s a bias, there’s a discomfort, it’s taboo.”.
The comedy-drama is about “New Yorker Leila, who is feeling lost in London. Recently part of an uber-cool power couple, she’s now split from girlfriend Sadie and is struggling to adjust. Moving in with a ‘stranger off the internet’ she soon discovers she’s swapped her luxe old life for a house-share with Gabe. He doesn’t know any lesbians and Leila’s not got too much experience of hanging out with heterosexuals – their worlds collide in deeply awkward and revealing ways as he becomes her unlikely wingman and helps her to navigate her new life dating men.”
Akhavan said: “Getting to play in the sandbox with such intelligent collaborators at Sister Pictures and Channel 4 is an absolute dream come true. They’re the perfect partners in crime for a taboo sex comedy. And by that I mean they’re all perverts.”