Here’s why you’ll want to watch the hit new show
Hey fellow Canadians, ready to have your hearts literally ripped out of your chests? Good, because Normal People is officially coming to Canadian TV. On May 8, CBC announced the exclusive Canadian premiere of the popular coming-of-age drama, set to air on CBC Gem starting May 27 (with two episodes airing every Wednesday thereafter).
The show—which originally aired on Hulu in the U.S. and BBC 3 in the U.K.—is an adaptation of the popular 2018 novel of the same name by Irish author Sally Rooney. It follows the messy, complicated and completely thrilling relationship between two Irish teens, Connell Waldron and Marianne Sheridan, as they come in and out of each other’s lives over several years while navigating their own personal issues and trauma.
Chances are you’ve caught wind of the hype around the show; specifically praise for the characters, the intimate and safe depictions of sex and the earth-shattering sexiness of Connell Waldron (played by newcomer Paul Mescal)—and his chain. (Honestly, you can’t even describe it, you just have to watch). TBQH, the hype is all worth it. Here’s why you should be tuning in come May 27.
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Normal People is super relatable
Rooney’s book was already super popular before the series was made, with many touting the author as “the voice of her generation” for millennials. And while some may scoff at the title, the fact remains that people were drawn to the original book for its relatability. The story of two awkward young people, completely caught up in their own anxiety and worried about the future, unable to communicate with each other but so badly wanting to be together? It legitimately sounds like every young person I know. Which is what makes the book—and now the show—so engaging. You’re both yelling at the couple for their inability to speak clearly and frankly about how they feel, while simultaneously feeling for them because you know exactly what it feels like to experience it.
And not only will viewers potentially be able to relate to their own taste of first love, but as Jill Spivey Cadell pointed out in a May 7 opinion piece for CNN, the idea of searching for intimate moments of friendship while separated (something Marianne and Connell continue to do the numerous times they’re physically or emotionally apart), is something we can all relate to now, as we’re separated from those we love with only technology to help bridge the gap while physically distancing.
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The series is visually stunning
Anyone who fell in love with the way Call Me By Your Name was shot (i.e. gorgeous shots of rolling landscapes, hazy, slightly out-of-focus frames and saturated colours) will go bonkers for Normal People. With the early episodes set in rural Ireland, the series is pretty much a commercial for the emerald isle, featuring shots of the ocean and rural landscapes that’ll make you want to book a flight ASAP. Later episodes even take you to Italy, for a real nod to CMBYN.
Plus, the soundtrack is a complete banger and will give you warm and fuzzies. (It will also probably make you cry at least once).
Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones are honestly amazing to watch
Probably the best part of Normal People, though, are the leads, with Irish actor Paul Mescal and British actor Daisy Edgar-Jones in the roles of Connell and Marianne, respectively. It’s the biggest role to date for both actors, but you wouldn’t be able to tell because what comes across most is their authentic chemistry. Watching Marianne and Connell awkwardly stumble through learning about their bodies is pretty cool to watch, because it feels familiar and real (similar to watching sex scenes in 2014’s The Spectacular Now). Their sexual interactions are especially important because they emphasizes the idea of consent and mutual satisfaction from the very beginning (the actors reportedly had an intimacy coordinator on-set during filming). In the second episode, right before they’re about to get intimate for the first time, Connell sits back and clearly says that at any time Marianne wants they can stop and you can’t help but silently cheer for him (and the show), because it’s rare that that type of conversation is so frankly shown.
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And Connell’s chain will legit make you feel things
When I tell you that never before has a chain on a man been so sexy, I’m not being hyperbolic. Seriously, there have been articles written and Instagram accounts dedicated to Connell Waldron’s now-iconic chain necklace. That thin chain draped around Mescal’s thick, hunky neck is *chef’s kiss*.
It shouldn’t work, but for some reason it absolutely does!!
With only a few weeks until the series drops in Canada, there’s just enough time to read the book and fall in love with the characters (and Connell’s chain).