IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
TV-14 | Drama, Romance | 2020 | TV Series
Metacritic: 8.4/10 – Universal Acclaim
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89% Fresh
Directors: Lenny Abrahamson (6 Episodes 2020) Hettie Macdonald (6 Episodes 2020)
Writers: Alice Birch, Mark O’Rowe, Sally Rooney
Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal, Desmond Eastwood
IMDb summary: Follows Marianne and Connell, from different backgrounds but the same small town in Ireland, as they weave in and out of each other’s romantic lives.
The poster for this series is a massive giveaway about what this TV show focuses on, which is the intriguing on-again-off-again relationship between the two lead characters, Connell and Marianne. While that might not sound too interesting, trust us when we say it’s definitely a show worth watching, especially if you enjoy drama’s about people as they navigate their way through the complexities of love in the modern age.
Marianne and Connell begin their relationship as two kids who sometimes talk to each other at school. Their relationship quickly develops into something much more than either of them could have imagined. They both soon realise that everyone has their own way of loving both themselves and others and sometimes, that love can be beautiful and destructive all at once.
What’s so refreshing about Normal People is that it boldly takes a microscopic view of love and how it shapes and changes a person. And then focuses it inwards on how love can be so much more than just two people who have an overwhelming attraction for one another.
Love is whatever you make of it and everything you take away from it and sometimes, we give too little or take too much. That is definitely how I would sum up the relationship between Connell and Marianne.
We follow their lives as they mature into young adulthood and eventually leave their small town to go off to University. Marianne has developed into a very different person – on the surface at least. While Connell seems a lot more reserved than he was in college. It’s as if they have traded bodies and swapped personalities.
The characters of Marianne and Connell remind me of Heathcliff and Cathy from Wuthering Heights in the sense that they both seem like people who want to hold on to their individuality, but, they want to be with each other so badly, they’re willing to give up everything to commit to that relationship. They both seem in love with each other throughout the entire season while also in relationships with other people. Therefore, I think there is a hint of tragedy to their bond. While they seem to fit together and work well together, they also seem to be the worst for each other at the same time.
One thing is undeniably obvious watching these two actors together and that is they have the most amazing on-screen chemistry. So believable and so raw. You feel each kiss, each touch and every single tear. Consider these heartstrings sufficiently pulled!
The final scene to the end of the first season sums up exactly what I enjoyed about this drama. Both characters hope that their love will and can endure anything, including being apart and with other people. I mean, who else does that? For most people these days, it’s trial and error, but Marianne and Connell know each other so well that they’re willing to be oceans apart to prove that their love is worth the risk. Even if they say that they don’t know where they’ll be or with whom, it always implies that they expect to still be in love regardless of what happens in their lives.
It’s brilliant writing, and the critics from just about everywhere are mostly in agreement. Does this warrant a second season? Probably, and I can see another book being written and then another TV show season of Marianne and Connell as world champions of being together apart.
Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.