'Paper Girls' has aspects of 'Stranger Things' and 'Yellowjackets,' but with tons of new twists.

Paper Girls Is The Stranger Things-Yellowjackets Hybrid You Need To Watch

This show delivers a lot more than just papers.

Prime TV

Looking for a wild sci-fi adventure to tide you over during Stranger Things’ hiatus? Or maybe you’re fiending for another twisted mystery that brings a group of very different young women together while you wait for Yellowjackets to come back. Either way, your next favorite TV series is the same: Paper Girls. The time-traveling comic book adaptation premiered on Prime Video on July 29, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, consider this your sign to bump it to the top of your watchlist. Here’s why Paper Girls is about to be your new obsession, especially if you love Stranger Things or Yellowjackets.

The similarities between Paper Girls and Stranger Things is immediately apparent from the new series’ very first episode. Set in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio (just one state over from Hawkins, Indiana) in 1988, four newspaper delivery girls happen upon an unbelievable discovery. You’ve got kids on bikes, tons of ‘80s music and style, and trippy sci-fi weirdness — the full Stranger Things treatment. However, Paper Girls differentiates itself pretty quickly with its own central gimmick: Instead of jumping into other dimensions, the paper girls find themselves traveling through time as they become inadvertently caught up in a decade-hopping battle.

This time travel is where the show’s parallels with Yellowjackets come through. Much like the way the Showtime series examined how a group of young girls grew into secretive adults, Paper Girls is really all about what it means for a girl to confront the hard truth of the woman she will become, and for a woman to face the lofty dreams she once had as an idealistic girl. It’s not really a spoiler to reveal that the time travel allows the four paper girls to meet grown-up versions of themself, none of whom fit into the ideas they had for their futures. While trying to figure out exactly what is going on with the futuristic time soldiers hunting them down, the girls also struggle with the harsh realities of growing up.

Prime TV

Although Paper Girls shares a lot of themes and aesthetics with both Stranger Things and Yellowjackets, the cast has highlighted how the series is unique from those two shows. “We are honored to be associated with shows like that and we could only hope for the same feedback,” Fina Strazza, who plays the misunderstood KJ, told Insider on July 29. “But what our show is doing is highlighting a story that hasn't been told and it has its own unique tone to it when you're watching.”

Strazza went on to emphasize that unlike many other ‘80s nostalgia projects, Paper Girls made sure to craft a tone that’s critical of the era rather than romanticizing it. “We're all already aware of the intense hatred that clawed over the ‘80s,” Strazza said. “But I think it became much more apparent to the four of us because we don't focus on just the patterns on the clothing or the fun hair or the great music. We talk about the sexism and the racism and the homophobia and how a lot of people were not allowed to fit in and it was a very enlightening experience for us.”

So, no — don’t press play on Paper Girls expecting it to be *exactly* like Stranger Things or Yellowjackets, but if you were into the throwback vibe, sci-fi adventure, or decade-hopping mysteries of those shows, then it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll get lost in the world of Paper Girls as well.