We all know quarantine can get boring, and it’s easy to fall into the pattern of rewatching shows with hundreds of episodes such as The Office or Parks and Rec. While those shows are fantastic in their own right, sometimes a limited series can pack the same entertaining punch in just a few episodes. Normal People’s 12 half-hour episodes, released on Hulu in April of this year, are a bingeable beauty that will leave viewers feeling breathless and in love.
The show, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Sally Rooney, follows the on-again, off-again love story of Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal).
While both well-read and intelligent, the two come from very different backgrounds in the same small seaside town in Ireland. Connell’s mother, his only immediate family member, works as a housekeeper for Marianne’s wealthy family, so the two have known each other for years. Connell is popular at school, while Marianne is more of a loner, so when they become physically involved during their last year of high school, they agree to keep it under wraps.
Of course, that can’t last forever, and the two separate until they are reunited at Trinity College in Dublin the next year. We get to watch their romance blossom, thrive and fall apart again throughout the years until they move on to their next stages in life.
One of the show’s best accolades is the realistic and delicate intimacy scenes. When Marianne and Connell first sleep together, Marianne reveals that she is a virgin. Connell tells her that if she wants to stop at any point to let him know, and she is able to have sex for the first time in a comfortable and safe way. The sex scenes show some nudity, but in a way that is tasteful and shows Connell and Marianne’s comfortability with each other. The characters also discuss using condoms and birth control, and won’t sleep with each other if one is too drunk.
Without giving away too many spoilers, one of the characters suffers from severe depression after a traumatic experience, and the show’s portrayal of mental illness is raw and honest. This character’s struggles could mirror those of viewers, and give them hope that one day, with the right help from the right people, things will get better.
Still not convinced that Normal People is worth watching? The Irish seaside provides a gorgeous backdrop to the story within, Marianne’s outfits are to die for and the soundtrack is nearly flawless. Despite some frustrating decisions made by Marianne and Connell that leave you screaming at your screen, you will learn about love, loss, friendship and how two people’s lives can be so intertwined that it must have been fate. It can be messy, but that’s life.