Available for the first time in prime time on a public channel, the series adapted from the book by the young successful novelist Sally Rooney, a real phenomenon in 2020, reveals two raw talents: Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones.
A critical success in 2020 when it aired on the BBC, Normal People quickly became a small phenomenon among series lovers. Adapted from the second eponymous novel by the young Irish Sally Rooney, also author of Conversations between friends (2017) and Beautiful World, Where Are You? released in 2021, the series is co-written by two talented British screenwriters, Alice Birch (The Young Lady) and Mark O’Rowe (Boy A).
After a first broadcast in France on Canal+ last year, the series is finally scheduled in the clear from February 14 on the France 5 channel from 9 p.m. for four episodes per evening, and will also be available online for free on the same day. on the digital platform france•tv Slash.
Taking place nowadays in a small town in the west of Ireland, Normal People stages two high school students, Marianne, brilliant but solitary, and Connell, sporty and popular, whom everything seems to oppose. Both will get closer in a fortuitous way when the mother of Connell, resulting from a working class background, begins to work at the mother of Marianne as a housekeeper.
The series then weaves the beginnings of a singular romantic relationship between Connell and Marianne spread over several years, from their first secret antics in high school to their unexpected reunion during their higher studies at Trinity College in Dublin.
Simultaneously chaotic, sensual and spiritual, the connection between Marianne and Connell gives this particular tone to this drama in twelve episodes, showing how the feeling of love can be hampered by the passage to adulthood, class relations and intra-family dysfunctions.
Feeling like a fish in water in high school, Connell finds himself intimidated by his classmates at university, immersed in a bourgeois universe whose codes he does not master. He will only find his salvation in writing, an area that takes a prominent place in the work of Sally Rooney, inspired by her own life in Dublin.
Marianne, on the other hand, is a complex heroine with a quick and sharp mind but steeped in insecurities. Ostracized in high school due to her outcast personality, she gets her revenge in college unlike Connell, finding her place among her peers.
True revelations of the series, Paul Mescal (The Lost Daughter) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (War of the Worlds), nominated for the Golden Globes for her performance, seem to have been born to embody these two damaged beings who will learn to love each other so much though badly through the way everyone looks.
Sometimes dark and raw when it tackles certain themes such as suicide and sexual violence, but always delicate and sensitive in the study of the psychology of its two protagonists, Normal People is a work with a singular tone on love relationships, at the antipodes stereotypes of the genre, sublimated by a staging full of poetry.
And if the series won you over, you will soon be able to find Sally Rooney’s work on the small screen since the Hulu platform has ordered the adaptation of her first novel, Conversations With Friends, which should be released in 2022 and in which will be reunited Alison Oliver in her first screen role, Sasha Lane (Utopia), Joe Alwyn (The Souvenir) and Jemima Kirke (Sex Education).