Paul Mescal, star of “Normal People” on Hulu, tells Stephen Colbert what the crew did to help make filming the show’s infamous sex scenes much less awkard.
The stars of the twelve-episode series adapted from Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel discuss young love, miscommunications, and the language of tea.
By Anna Russell
Recently, a woman named Mary called into the popular Irish radio show “Liveline” with a complaint about “Normal People,” the television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel by the same name, now airing on Hulu and BBC 3. “I imagine it was like something you’d expect to see in a porno movie, certainly not for family viewing,” Mary told the host. “But anyways, that’s my opinion.” Soon after, the tabloid newspaper the Sun claimed, somewhat breathlessly, that “Normal People” included forty-one minutes of sex scenes, making it “the BBC’s raunchiest drama ever.” In Ireland’s parliament, the tourism minister explained that a promotional video made to encourage fans to visit County Sligo, where much of the show’s filming took place, was “selective” in its use of clips from the episodes. It’s true: the video features majestic shots of Ben Bulben, a flat-topped rock formation which dominates the landscape, but no nakedness. Continue reading
Normal People’s treatment of nudity and sex is a gateway to so much more .
By Abby Robinson
Sally Rooney’s hand is felt throughout Normal People, the BBC Three and Hulu co-production based on her critically acclaimed novel of the same name. The characters move and breathe as they do in all 266 pages of the book, the story of Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) as captivating on screen as it in Rooney’s written word.
Even if you didn’t know that the Irish writer was an executive producer or co-wrote six episodes – Edgar-Jones described her as “very involved” and “overseeing everything” to Digital Spy and other press – you’d know anyway, because it shows.
Normal People is beautiful. It sweeps you up in its arms, capturing the very essence of the book – that all-encompassing love between Marianne and Connell that transcends the physical, the pair fascinated by the way each thinks and how they see the world.
It’s a series that would, without the perfect casting, have fallen flat. But Edgar-Jones and Mescal are breathtakingly good and there’s no other pair on earth that could have exceeded their performances.
As WWII looms, a wealthy widow (Carey Mulligan) hires an amateur archaeologist (Ralph Fiennes) to excavate the burial mounds on her estate. When they make a historic discovery, the echoes of Britain’s past resonate in the face of its uncertain future. THE DIG stars Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin, and Ken Scott.
In Select Theaters January 15 and on Netflix January 29
BY HEATHER HOGAN
Two of my top ten all-time favorite TV shows are Derry Girls and Great British Bake Off, so when Netflix dropped the holiday crossover special this week — which apparently aired in January in the UK and is why Sandi Toksvig is still bringing her gay joy to the tent — I hit play as fast as my fingers would go. I was not disappointed! In fact, I giggled so much out loud that Stacy was like, “I have never heard you giggle so much out loud in my entire life.” Which may or may not be true; 2020 has been stingy with the laughs. The episode features Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Erin), Nicola Coughlan (wee lesbian Clare), Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Michelle), Siobhan McSweeney (Sister Michael), and Dylan Llewellyn (James), and they play off each other in real life as well as they do on the series. Siobhan McSweeney even Jim Halpert-ed the camera better than Jim Halpert himself. (Although, I guess in the UK you call it Tim Canterbury-ing the camera?)
“See, in Ireland, we love slime,” Siobhan explains when Paul and Prue say her trifle looks like an aquarium. “It’s traditional that we have slime for the New Year. So, please don’t dis the culture of my people.”
The signature trifle challenge is followed by a technical challenge of salmon and beetroot blinis and a showstopper of 3D cakes based on 3D cake based on their favorite decade. Jamie-Lee O’Donnell trying to coax a fondant Amelia Earhart to life is one of the most hysterical things I have ever witnessed. But listen, don’t just believe me. Twitter, too, has spoken!