Normal People

Normal People ★★★★★

What’s not to like about you?

Sally Rooney’s Normal People is one of my favorite books of the past decade, so when I heard it was being made into a miniseries, my expectations felt unreachably high. Luckily, Abrahamson & Macdonald exceeded them on all counts. I’m not sure where or how they found Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones, but my goodness, what a triumph of casting (the entire ensemble, really). They *are* Connell and Marianne: both of them with their beautiful, glassy doe eyes that speak volumes before either one ever utters a word. Their vulnerability as performers is staggering.

This is the blueprint for what modern book-to-screen adaptations should be. It doesn’t rush or overstay, it simply walks us through the pages with an acute sense of completeness that feels so, so right (I almost couldn’t believe how note-perfect episode 8’s Italian holiday was)—its only modifications, utterly proper (them Skypeing through the night in episode 10, the way they approached the finale... 😩). It’s devastating and beautiful and I couldn’t stop myself from watching it all in just over 24 hours, no matter how badly I wished I could have some self control and space it out further to savor it for longer. It’s truly as if the novel—or at least my vision of it—came to life.

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