BBC Three's Normal People is receiving wide critical praise, why? In this brief review I share my thoughts on the adaptation of Sally Rooney's best-selling novel.
Normal People was a show that defied my expectations. I’d heard about the incredible reviews and was excited to watch. After the first episode I was confused, the show seemed good but somewhat unremarkable. Prettily shot but little else. But I carried on, and my god I’m glad I did. The show is incredible at exploring the quiet moments, it almost actively avoids all ‘big moments’ we identify with modern dramas. This results in a show that powerful and moving in a way I’ve never seen before.
The performances of the two leads, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, are captivating. They explore and capture the vulnerability and tenderness of their characters beautifully, and they portray what feels like a genuine connection.
"It feels grounded, intimate and ultimately very human"
The movement of the camera throughout the show is incredibly interesting. The show frequently uses ‘in-camera editing’ to add a dynamism to the scenes, and enable the show to maintain the tight close ups that develop the real sense of intimacy that makes the show work so well.
It’s a show all about subtlety, exploring the highs and lows of a very complex on and off relationship. It feels grounded, intimate and ultimately very human. The title, therefore, is very apt. We see very normal people, they feel normal yet the show is entirely abnormal. It’s exceptional, defying convention and expectation. It’s the best TV show I’ve watched since Fleabag, and that pretty damn high praise. So please watch, I promise you won’t regret it. 9/10.