“Normal People”: showing how not all love last forever

Normal People TV mini Series 2020

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The Sally Rooney novel-inspired Hulu show “Normal People” is a romantic series that was released on April 26, that follows two protagonists as they try to figure out young love. One of the characters we follow through the show is a girl named Marrianne: She is introverted, but can sometimes be feisty, and is portrayed as the smart girl who is absurdly stubborn. Marianne gets teased by the friends of a boy named Connel, whose mom works for Marianne’s family. The premise of this show revolves around the question: how many times can you go back to something you know will never work?
In “Normal People,” the two main characters swing back and forth between being together and not. As their lives progress, they continually bump into each other and repeatedly make the same mistakes causing them to split up. Once Marianne and Connell are out of high school and are attending University, their relationship changes, because after not seeing each other for so long, both of them have become different people. Marianne is no longer timid, but now is very extroverted. Whereas Connell is now quite a bit more reserved than he was in the beginning. They decide to get back together but, expectedly, it doesn’t last long. While watching, you always want them to end up together, but by the end of their story it is apparent that that just isn’t the way the world works.
At the beginning of the show, you get to experience the feelings of the main duo and you get swept up in the feeling of courtly love. Marianne and Connell’s relationship appears to be perfect and that nothing could be wrong with it. If you take a second to look at their relationship, you start to see the toxic traits peeking through. When the two first become close, Connel hides his relationship with Marianne from his friends. When Marianne and Connell see each other again in University, they act as though they didn’t have a history. They treat each other like old acquaintances, instead of the person who broke their heart. They both have this very monotone attitude towards each other. After having just seen them be lost and heartbroken over each other, as a viewer, this is almost shocking to see. After Marianne and Connell split up, you watch Connell crying and having these panic attacks. Then only minutes later, the couple ends up together. They get stuck in this loop of falling in and out of love. Even when they are not together, Connel gets jealous when someone else even touches Marianne. These two slowly make the other their entire life like they can’t live apart from each other.
A common theme throughout the show of finding your identity outside of your relationship is relatable for many teens. For people, especially in high school, finding your own identity is hard and that can lead people to jumping into relationships, seeking validation. People who are looking for someone just to say that they have someone. If you can say that you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, this gives people a sense of pride and worth, something that people who have a lower self esteem long for. In high school, people can find themselves being convinced that their relationship is going to last forever. In “Normal People,” we as viewers know that this relationship isn’t meant to be, but Connell and Marianne are blind to that. They don’t see that what they have is a lost cause.
By the end of the show you have grown to love these two characters. You want them to end up together, but you know it isn’t for the best. The same thing happens in real relationships. You love your partner so much that you never want them to leave. Knowing that something isn’t going to end well, but still doing it can make the outcome even more painful. Living life and trying to squeeze someone else into it can cause people to become obsessed and possessive of their significant other. These unhealthy relationships can cause things like your grades dropping, increases in anxiety and depression, and other mental health problems.
Though I love this show, I did get lost multiple times while watching. A moment that I felt wasn’t fully expanded on was the friends of the characters. They play very crucial parts in the show, but they are not given enough screen time for you to feel any type of investment in them. They just kind of get thrown in whenever the chargers need them. Another part of the show that lost me is when the characters get so separated from each other, it feels like it’s two different shows. This happens a few times throughout the show.
I wanted these two characters to be together, because that’s what viewers almost always want. People want the star crossed lovers to end up together and live happily ever after. When I came to the final episode, I wasn’t prepared for this story to end. I was left with a feeling of emptiness I didn’t understand. The question of ‘how many times can you go back to the same broken relationship?’ wasn’t fully answered in the show. However, the answer that I came up with is you can’t go back to a broken loop unless you are willing to let it hurt you. Marianne and Connell knew that their fates didn’t align with each other; it just took them a few years to figure that out. The want for it to work is what kept them coming back to each other.
Overall, this show is amazing and is one of the many great shows that came out in 2020. It does contain mature content, so if that is something you don’t want to see, this show isn’t for you. It’s a great show to watch if you enjoy becoming emotionally invested in a show, just to have it shatter your heart into a million pieces. The story is so encapsulating that by the end of the show you want to watch it again and again.