A short review of something I have watched:
Having announced that I have watched something on the BBC, I should elaborate a little. It's a short elaboration rather than a fully-fledged review. I binge-watched Normal People. Adolescent drama appeals to my infantile personality.
I haven’t read Sally Rooney’s book - it doesn’t sound like the kind of book I would enjoy, but the visual appeal of this television production was indeed compelling. (I understand an outside production company produced it, not the Beeb itself)
Personally, I thought the (famously choreographed) sex scenes were over-prolonged and repetitive, but even so, were tolerable as long as no embarrassing older or younger persons were in the room while it was on.
James Marriot’s lyrical review in The Times (£) is empathetic, unlike Zoe Strimpel’s grumpy critique in UnHerd, but she did rather sum it up when she said: “Marianne’s fringe and charcoaled eyes, along with her delicately picked-out clavicles and hip-bones, quite often steal the limelight.”
For me it was not so much the charcoaled eyes, (which weren’t always charcoaled by the way) and her hip-bones (I didn’t actually notice them) that stole the limelight, but the beauty of the actress who played her (Daisy Edgar-Jones, since you ask) that not only stole the limelight but stole the whole production; that and the lighting and the visuals in general. The story itself became quite dull and annoying with its stop-start-and-back-to-square-one-again of the couple’s relationship.
Perhaps the book attempted to explain the somewhat incongruous persona of Connell’s mother. In this production she was an articulate, libertarian, slightly intellectual bohemian with a loving, warm-hearted nature; oh, and a cleaner. Marianne’s mother, on the other hand, was cold. Her brother was a jealous, vicious bully and her father impliedly far worse, which accounted for our heroine’s ‘damaged’, insecure personality.
Not to worry. The visuals were captivating. No wonder it was such a hit. It even has its own Twitter timeline.