Paper girls may stick together, but Prime Video isn’t holding on.
Deadline announced Friday that the sci-fi original series Paper Girls has been canceled by Prime Video after one season. The show, which is based on the comic book series of the same name by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, premiered on the streaming service with eight episodes on July 29. It was rated 90% on Rotten Tomatoes with a near even 88% audience score.
Furthermore, Deadline’s report noted that Legendary Television, the other production company for the show, will be shopping it in hopes of finding it a new home.
While the series drew comparisons to Netflix‘s Stranger Things due to its 1980s setting and use of children as the primary characters, it was a refreshing and exciting coming-of-age story that centered around time travel. Even better, the heartfelt narrative was about four young girls and their journeys to finding themselves, learning about friendship, and growing as people in the midst of a chaotic time-travel war they wanted no part of.
Science fiction stories aren’t often intended with girls and women in mind, and they aren’t usually about them either. But Paper Girls was.
Vaughan, the comics writer, and Chiang, the comics illustrator, may have created the source material and been executive producers for the show. But Paper Girls was dominated by and made for women. Even so, the show featured a wide range of diversity that allowed everyone to see themselves somewhere in the story.
As an Asian American woman, it was wonderful to see one of the main characters, Erin Tieng, was a Asian girl from an immigrant family. Not only that, but that character, played by Riley Lai Nelet, was such an integral part of setting the narrative in motion. When I was a 12-year-old, I most certainly did not see Asians at the forefront of the shows and movies I was watching. But preteen and teenage Asian girls today could see themselves in Tieng.
There’s a scene in episode 5 (spoiler alert!) that was easily one of the most relatable moments I, as a woman, have ever witnessed in media—and I’m sure that was the case for many other people who get periods, too. Because when Tieng got her period and the quartet of paper girls were discussing tampons and how they worked, I felt SO SEEN. Periods are a weird and complicated thing for many preteens, so to see that panic and confusion—but also care and support—play out on the small screen was hilariously heartwarming. And that scene wouldn’t have been a reality if not for the women who worked on the series.
Beyond that, the show was just good, compelling science fiction fun that deserves more time.
We’ve all been victims of watching a season of a show and seeing it end on a cliffhanger only to never find out what came next due to a cancellation. But here’s hoping this won’t be the case for Paper Girls, because the time-traveling thrills were just getting started.