Derry Girls fans were surprised to find themselves “shipping” an unlikely couple after they shared a heartwarming moment in episode five of series two, which echoed a classic moment from US sitcom Friends.
It was a surprisingly tender episode of Lisa McGee’s comedy, which centred around the school’s 1950s-themed prom. Though Erin originally agreed to go with Claire out of solidarity, she ended up running into an old flame who had just broken up with his girlfriend, and asked him to go with her instead.
As she sat waiting for him, decked out in a borrowed dress, it slowly dawned on her that he was never going to turn up. But just as she got up, teary-eyed, to get changed, the doorbell rang. It was James, who had skipped out on his Doctor Who convention to save the day.
It was a lovely moment, and viewers found themselves willing the two to get together.
More than one Twitter user made the connection to that pivotal Ross and Rachel moment in Friends, in which it is revealed on home video that Ross had gotten ready to take Rachel to the prom after she had seemingly been stood up, only for her date to turn up at the last minute.
Sarah Doran wrote: “Is it just me or do Erin and James actually have REALLY good chemistry? I did NOT expect to kinda ship this…”
Maeve Mac Coille reckons there is precedent.
“Ever since she went mad at the thought of him having sex, I’ve been sure she has a thing for the wee English fella,” she wrote, referring to an episode in series one in which a foreign exchange student takes a liking to James.
On top of this, the show ended on the upbeat note that the IRA ceasefire had been agreed – a massive step in the peace process. It was celebrated by the grown-ups of the Quinn family watching at home, and Sister Michael, who treated herself to a glass of whiskey as Zombie by The Cranberries played in the background.
Viewers found it moving and timely, considering the threat that Brexit poses to the Good Friday Agreement (a 1998 pact between Northern Ireland and Britain which saw the inception of a power-sharing government between unionists and nationalists).
“My English husband has no idea why the tears are still tripping me after watching Derry Girls,” Niamh McGrady wrote. “It’s all still so raw, and the timing of the episode couldn’t be more pertinent #ProtecttheGFA.”
Emily D added: “Could we please make every MP watch Derry Girls because yes, they probably need some light relief, but they also need to be reminded that the UK isn’t an island. There’s a land border and one that hasn’t been without it’s challenges in the not so distant past.”
Derry Girls sure knows how to tug on our heartstrings…
Derry Girls series 2 concludes on Tuesday 9th April at 9:15pm on Channel 4