Derry Girls episode 2, review: Iconoclastic sitcom that deserves its growing reputation

“Creepy wee f****er, isn’t he?” remarks Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), a little shockingly and blasphemously when she comes face to face with a statue of Our Lord in the principal’s office. It’s a fairly typical piece of dialogue in a show that continually presses its adolescent nose against the stained glass of acceptable post-watershed sectarian, political and religious language.That the show is set in 1990s Derry/Londonderry during the Troubles makes this nose-pressing an even greater challenge than usual, but writer Lisa McGee judges it right. Derry Girls (Channel 4) deserves its reputation as the best thing to come out of Ireland/Northern Ireland since St Patrick banished the snakes in the fifth century AD. Or at least since the much-missed Father Ted . I like to think of it as compensation for Mrs Brown’s Boys . I confess (I suppose that is an appropriate term in this context) that despite my extensive exposure to Roman Catholic iconography, I had never known the correct name for the odd statuette in question, that of a toddler Jesus incongruously dressed in sumptuous regal robes with a dirty great crown on his head, not a Pamper in sight.From extras.Thanks to Derry Girls , and specifically the principal of Our Lady Immaculate College, Sister Michael (Siobhan McSweeney), I now realise it is the “enchanting child of Prague”, and this “beautiful piece of religious art” has been bestowed by the Bishop on the Derry Girls’ school.But Michelle, Erin, Clare and the rest of the Derry Girls, plus an English boy cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn), are on a mission to kidnap the son of God, no less. They sneak into Sister Michael’s office when they know she is at judo class (learning rather than instructing, though she’s tough enough for that, alright). They then squabble, and what you could see coming transpired – the Infant of Prague is dropped and his head breaks away from his wee body, so it does.Decapitating the Lamb of God is usually not the luckiest thing to do, and so it proves. A literal iconoclasm, I suppose, and superbly, erm, executed.