I'm really late to the party with this series and only just finished the first season. To be honest, at first I was on the fence after seeing a few teasers, and I actually took it off my queue. What left me unsure was the acting for the most part -- I first thought it was too over the top, but when I took that first step and watched the first episode, I realized it all fell into place. And it was beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.
Yes, the acting is especially frenetic and even neurotic, as though the characters (especially Erin) are constantly on the verge of a breakdown. BUT IT WORKS. It works with the absurdity of each episode and especially the humor, which is of the pull-no-punches variety. Having grown up in a conservative Catholic country and so spent my nursery, kindergarten, grade school, and high school years in private Catholic schools, I appreciated the nuns, the veneration of "Big M" (St. Mary), the uniforms, the proliferation of crucifixes, etc.
Though in my case, the uniforms were of the sailor variety, and our skirts were required to be at least one inch below the knees. And the colors were blue and white. And everything we couldn't say to anyone (especially to those who I felt deserved it the most back then) are being spewed liberally in this series, and I'm here for it. All of a sudden, I'm back to being a teenager in an all-girls' Catholic school, loving and hating my days there in equal measure.
An extra perk from watching the series was the hunting down of videos on Ireland's history and especially The Troubles, which I've grown up hearing about but never really understood or even kept up with when I was older. Before I worked on this post, I spent some time watching a video chronicling the events, and I'm set to watch the second part. When I was a kid growing up two continents away in Asia, all I heard was that the IRA were homegrown terrorists, so it helps listening to historians give viewers an even-handed account of Irish history.
I'll be diving into the second season soon, and I'm hoping to see more of my series idol:
My school might have had a Sister Michael of its own, but I never crossed paths with her, and I feel so damn deprived. The first season didn't have enough of her, and I'm crossing my fingers I'll be getting more in Seasons Two and Three because barbs delivered in a dry monotone are exactly the humor I prefer to revel in. And when tossed out there by a nun who's had enough of everyone and everything? More please!