Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching “Normal People” (Video)
Hulu’s new show “Normal People” is a heartbreaking portrait of a young couple’s relationship that’s sure to become your next TV obsession, even if you’re not familiar with the hit novel by Sally Rooney that inspired it.
Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal), two young Irish people, are the focus of the show, which follows them from their last year of high school through college and into early adulthood. Even though they’re polar opposites in many ways and keep breaking up, they can’t quite seem to get over each other.
What’s special about “Normal People,” and what made Rooney’s novel so intoxicating, is how raw Marianne and Connell’s emotions can be. Even though they seem determined to break each other’s hearts at every possible moment, their connection ? both emotional and physical ? is undeniable.
Here’s why you should be watching “Normal People.”
1. It’s based on a best-selling novel by Sally Rooney
First released in 2018, Rooney’s novel was an instant hit.
Luckily for fans of the original, Hulu’s adaptation of “Normal People” stays pretty true to its source material, capturing the joy and intense yearning that form the basis of Marianne and Connell’s tumultuous relationship.
Even though the show lacks the unique introspection of Rooney’s novel (which did an excellent job of taking us inside Connell and Marianne’s minds), it still packs an emotional punch and is a must-watch for fans of the book.
Plus, seeing Marianne and Connell brought to life onscreen by talented newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal is an absolute treat. They skillfully portray the passionate longing and searingly painful apathy that Marianne and Connell display towards each other in equal measure.
2. There’s intense romance
Connell and Marianne’s flawed relationship isn’t for the faint of heart.
It starts in their final year of high school: Connell is a popular and smart athlete with lots of friends, and Marianne is a loner, bullied by her peers for her appearance and intelligence. Connell’s mother is a housekeeper for Marianne’s wealthy family, and eventually, the two begin sleeping together, keeping their relationship a secret due to Connell’s fear of social humiliation.
After a heartless choice by Connell leaves Marianne despondent and unable to finish out the school year in person, the two eventually go their separate ways. They next meet at Trinity, where they both attend college. Although they’re both seeing other people when they finally reconnect at a college party, Marianne and Connell find themselves drawn to each other over and over again ? much to the chagrin of their friends and family.
3. Newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal are completely captivating
Connell and Marianne’s intense relationship might be incomprehensible for some, but for those who’ve felt the dangerous power of a hypnotic and all-encompassing love, watching the two wreak emotional havoc on each other while still clinging to their connection is both cathartic and relatable.
Portraying these characters is no easy feat, but Edgar-Jones and Mescal do an excellent job of capturing Marianne and Connell. Their relationship has its ups and downs (mostly downs, unfortunately) but throughout it all, Edgar-Jones and Mescal remain compelling, letting their emotions simmer just below the surface to devastating effect.
4. The settings
A small town in Ireland, the storied halls of Trinity College, and an Italian villa are just some of the settings in “Normal People” that make it not only enjoyable to watch, but also a welcome break from our current reality.
Thanks to Edgar-Jones and Mescal’s natural chemistry and the lovely scenery, seeing them discuss their relationship in the ruins of an abandoned house or reconnecting during a summer in Italy is aesthetically pleasing.
4. The costumes
Marianne’s wardrobe is to die for. Jewel-toned velvet suits, romantic blouses, and eye-catching jewelry are all a subtle indicator of her development as a character. The colors and textures of her clothes do more than denote her status as a wealthy, intelligent young woman, thought. In a way, they mimic her state of mind, with the moody grays, blues, and blacks of her teenage years giving way to jewel-toned velvets once she blossoms in college.?
“Normal People” premiered on April 29 on Hulu in the US. You can watch the trailer below.