Media Review: Normal People

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Sophie Martin '21, Guest Writer

Sally Rooney’s critically acclaimed novel “Normal People,” which came out in August of 2018, has turned many heads with its unusual writing style and heart wrenching storyline. Earlier this year, it was created into a Hulu original TV series. It stars two up-and-coming actors in the lead roles: British actress Daisy Edgar-Jones (22), who plays the smart and outspoken Marianne Sheridan, and Irish actor Paul Mescal (24), who plays shy, aspiring writer, Connell Waldron. 

*Spoilers Ahead*

The story follows Marianne and Connell from secondary school (for all us Americans, this is the equivalent to a freshman or sophomore in high school) through to their undergraduate time at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Connell is part of the popular crowd at their school in County Sligo, which is located on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. From a working-class background, he is very much the opposite of Marianne who comes from an affluent family and who is on the outside of Connell’s popular friend group. But, like so many good stories about young love, opposites attract, and Marianne and Connell find themselves drawn to each other as they progress from teenagers to adults. 

It is the classic set up of “will they or won’t they” that kept me glued to my computer this summer watching the series. Not having read the book before watching the show, I didn’t know what I was in for other than that there was a lot of sex throughout, which spoiler alert, there is. It was difficult not to binge the entire series in one sitting, but I tried to restrain myself. I actually managed to make the 12-episode series last till just a week before classes began after starting it in June. For me, it was the characters that drew me in. Instead of those movies and TV shows that depict the typical boy chases girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again, and they all live happily ever after, this series really makes the audience wonder if they will end up together not to mention if they are even a good match. However, it is a raw connection that brings these two characters together and is also what makes the story come to life. If I were you, I wouldn’t want to pass this one by.