Why we love everything about the millennial romance ‘Normal People’

In light of a New Year’s resolution to rediscover the love for reading I had as a pre-teen, I decided to start looking for accessible reads to tackle in 2021.

By Rhea Swain

In light of a New Year’s resolution to rediscover the love for reading I had as a pre-teen, I decided to start looking for accessible reads to tackle in 2021. I had watched the BBC Three and Hulu series “Normal People” when it came out in the spring of 2020 and found the raw realism of the romance refreshing.

A few weeks ago, I read the book, which was first published in 2018 by Irish novelist Sally Rooney. Surprisingly, there is little distinction between the heart-wrenching love story on paper and on-screen.

Rooney is a 29-year-old author and screenwriter, who has earned both critical and commercial success since her debut novel “Conversations with Friends” in 2017. Rooney has been hailed as “the first great millennial novelist” for her ability to make readers think deeply and feel intensely about their fragile humanity and relationships. Continue reading

‘Normal People’ Star Daisy Edgar-Jones Is Having Her Big Break From Home

As the lead in the Hulu/BBC drama and one of the year’s most anticipated TV shows, the rising British talent is having a major career moment, one that she’s been experiencing from the confines of her London flat.

by Alex Ritman | Hollywood Reporter

Having your big Hollywood break in the middle of a global pandemic is a curious experience.

Whereas many rising stars about to be jettisoned into the public eye thanks to a TV show or movie might expect to be shepherded by teams of publicists between late night talk show sofas, photographer’s studios, magazines and newspaper offices, hotels for press junkets and perhaps even a few long-haul flights, for Daisy Edgar-Jones the COVID-19 lockdown has seen the usual media circuit stripped back to whatever can be achieved from her bedroom.

Not that it’s made the promotional work any less hectic for the star of the 12-part Hulu/BBC drama Normal People.

Thanks to the phenomenal buzz surrounding the show, based on the word-of-mouth sensation that was Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel about the four-year on-and-off romance of a young Irish couple, the 21-year-old has been conducting near back-to-back interviews over the phone and via Zoom from her shared flat in the north London borough of Haringey. And while there may be less pampering and travel, promoting the show from home is certainly making things a little less complicated when it comes to getting herself ready for each video call.

“I only have to dress up from my upper half, because that’s the only thing onscreen,” she says with a laugh. “It’s jogging bottoms on the lower half … it’s great.”

Normal People - Publicity still 2- EMbed -2020
Edgar-Jones plays the awkward and bookish Marianne in ‘Normal People,’ based on Sally Rooney’s bestselling second novel.

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Review: “Normal People” Sally Rooney’s love story is a small-screen triumph

This BBC/Hulu adaptation of the hit novel about the on-again, off-again relationship between two Irish teenagers captures the beauty and brutality of first love perfectly

Inevitably, people will come to the television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People in one of two ways: as avid fans of the book, which to a certain demographic and sensibility has become tantamount almost to a sacred text, or as detractors to whom the Irish wunderkind’s work reads as barely more than top flight YA and who have been mystified by the plaudits, awards and – in Normal People’s case – Man Booker longlisting it has garnered.

In the end it won’t matter. The rendering of the on-again-off-again relationship between sixth-form and then university students Marianne and Connell for the small screen, by Rooney herself with Alice Birch, is near-perfect from whichever direction you come at it. Continue reading

The best TV series to binge-watch in lockdown

As many of us face quarantine, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong picks the world’s most diverting shows, including a Japanese romcom and a drama from Brazil.


By Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

A third of the world’s population is now living in lockdown with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, searching for hope and ways to connect – but also just something to do besides follow the news. When watching TV to fill our time, we can also build our empathy with other countries going through the same thing: closed borders don’t apply to culture. Here are 11 shows to watch in quarantine that will uplift or distract you, while also opening your mind and heart to other cultures.

(Credit: Netflix)

Call My Agent! – France

A group of Paris talent agents scramble to keep their business alive after the unexpected death of their firm’s founder, while also competing with and betraying each other, in this three-season dramedy that premiered in 2015. There are fun machinations, office politics, and inside-showbusiness references (a plotline in the pilot hinges on a Quentin Tarantino movie). Call My Agent! is frothy while still being engaging, with plenty of beautiful shots of Paris. Available on Netflix. Continue reading