Today marks the premiere of Hulu’s original series Normal People, an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Sally Rooney. The series focuses on two teens with very different backgrounds and in very different social standings who somehow manage to find each other and begin a long, complicated relationship.
Right from the beginning, it becomes very clear what and who Normal People will be about. The series wastes no time introducing the two main characters and making it very clear that there is something between them. There is something to be said for a show that tells you, right off the bat, exactly what you’re getting into. At the very least, you know very early whether you’ll want to settle in an enjoy the ride or look for something else to watch.
The early going of the series (at least the first few episodes) is very much a teen drama set in highschool. Aside from the budding relationship between the two main characters, not a whole lot happens. Unless you’re heavily invested in the social hierarchy of highschoolers, there’s not a whole lot to get into.
That is of course, except for that aforementioned relationship between the main characters. Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) have a type of awkward charm and easy chemistry that will make you smile without even realizing you’re doing it.
The series doesn’t really allow for other side characters to come into play all that often, except to push one of the two main characters in one direction or the other regarding their relationship. For example, in the first few episodes, Connel, who is a popular jock type in school, refuses to publicly acknowledge his relationship with Marianne, who is more of an argumentative intellectual and therefore a bit of a social outcast. Thanks to the ridicule of some of their classmates, a strain is placed on their relationship. However, we never really get a look into the lives of those classmates.
While that may seem as though it would be something that works against the series, it’s actually more of a positive than anything. It allows the show to really dive deeper into Connell and Marianne’s relationship and keep the viewer focused on them without any distractions. It’s this undivided attention that gets you truly invested in their lives.
One other thing this series does very well is the music. Both the soundtrack and the score tie in perfectly to each and every emotional note the show hits.
At the end of the day, Normal People is a teen romance/drama with a major focus on sex. That’s obviously a niche audience to target, but it is also very well done to the point where it might right a tad beyond. There’s not a whole lot to the story, besides the growth of a relationship between two young people in highschool. Eventually the series does move on, with both characters going off to college and moving away fromm home, but even then not much changes besides the dynamic of their relationship.
There are certainly a lot of people out there who would look at something like Normal People and decide it’s not for them. However, it’s one of those shows that is so well done, that those who end up seeing some of it by association (whether it be a significant other watching it or any other way) could easily become invested.
You can watch every episode of Normal People on Hulu now.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”