You may have heard of ‘Normal People’, a novel by young Irish writer, Sally Rooney, that almost everyone either read or heard about someone they know reading in 2018/19. It is undoubtedly an exceptional read, even for those who generally aren’t readers. Now, after almost a year of waiting feverishly for the release after the news that BBC would be adapting Rooney’s second novel for the screen, it has finally aired, and it is beautiful.
The BBC adaptation of Normal People was released exclusively on Stan (for those in Australia) yesterday and we honestly couldn’t be more thrilled. After watching just two episodes, the tension and unspoken, raw, connection between Connell and Marianne is everything we’d hoped and dreamed it would be, as is Connell’s perfect, stupid Labrador like beauty.
BBC’s portrayal of the drizzly, plain Irish town of Carricklea is achingly BBC, as is the casting, bringing the story we’ve been pining over, to life. For some context, (if somehow you’ve steered clear of the internet for the past two years) Rooney’s revered second novel went viral in 2018, and follows the painful story of Irish teenagers Connell and Marianne’s fractured relationship, touching on themes of friendship, coming-of-age, love, intimacy, family violence and belonging as stages of their lives together and apart are quietly chronicled.
The series has been aired as 12 half hour episodes and despite only being two episodes in, I never want the perfect portrayal of the two’s exquisite, on again off again relationship to end. So much so that I had to turn the TV off last night to keep myself from watching all 12 episodes in one go. It's rare to see such a flawless and impactful novel rendered so faultlessly on-screen, and I will be clutching onto every re-lived moment with the same fervour I had when reading the book.
Image: Instagram user normalpeoplebbc