This is the last show included in my Hulu roundup which I have been avoiding to write for as along as I could but decided to get it over with. By now you’ve probably seen the show and heard all about it and the popular novel the show is based on. This show was one of the hulu’s adaptions I was most excited about because of the novel; If you remember 2018, Normal People was one of the books that was everywhere (just like Little Fires Everywhere in 2017).
A millenial exploration of young relationships and heartache, the story follows Marianne, a high school outcast and popular football player Connell, whose mother works as a housekeeper for Marianne’s mom. The two of them enter a secret relationship in high school, break up and then reunite in college.
The first six episodes are co-written by Sally herself so is no wonder the show is so loyal to the book’s story while having some big changes. The photography, soundtrack and cast are terrific, specially Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones: Both actors have plenty of scenes full of silence where they have only their eyes to communicate emotion, and they excel at those moments. In a time where explicit sex scenes are more and more common, Normal People has the ability to make those moments intimate and tender at all times without making them look cheap or gratuitous, and that is also accomplished a lot thanks to the chemistry both actors have and makes you root for them until the very last episode.
Normal People may look like a simple love story in the surface, but it tackles the complex context that affects your relationships and the people that we choose to be close with; It explores privilege, abuse, and how our youth interactions and experiences shape one’s identity that last until our adulthood.
We as adults tend to diminish our first relationships but Normal People treats those experiences with respect, showcasing how those relationships leave permanent marks in our lives without forgetting to let the characters grow and evolve, giving the show a nostalgic feeling for the whole season.
There are a few changes from the book to be aware of, but to be honest this is one of the shows where I didn’t mind at all. The book has a open ending, sort of, while the show is more clear. Both formats are beautiful and sad and lovely and a lot of tissues will be needed supposing you haven’t seen it.
Also, in case you want to know what happens to the characters after the end of the story (book and show), Sally Rooney wrote a short story about them called At The Clinic, which you can read here.