Sally Rooney's Normal People was a massive success when it was released in 2018. The novel sold over 500,000 copies in just the UK, was adapted to 25 languages, and was shortlisted for and won a number of awards.
Now it is coming to the small screen and the early indications are that it could be an even bigger hit than the book.
Normal People will be aired as a 12-part series, with all episodes dropping online on BBC Three this Sunday. The show will also on Hulu in the US, while RTÉ will broadcast two episodes each week starting on April 28th.
The story is based around two young people, Marianne and Connell, from Sligo beginning in 2008, directly after the financial crash. She is a shy girl who comes from a wealthy family, while he is a popular sports star in their school.
The two spark up an unlikely relationship which they attempt to keep secret, largely down to Connell's fear of what his friends would think. The two end up going to Trinity College, where that social dynamic is flipped and Marianne becomes the one who easily fits in.
Unsurprisingly, all of this has a major impact on their relationship. You can watch the trailer for the show below:
The early reviews have been encouraging. Ed Cummings of The Independent, who gives the show a five-star rating, said that the timing of its release has worked out perfectly:
Normal People was one of the final series to wrap before lockdown, so it could be the last piece of new programming for a while. We’re lucky it’s so unusually good.
Caroline Framke of Variety was hugely complimentary of Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal in the lead roles, while also saying that the tv adaptation is just as effective as the original book:
With its trifecta of elegant writing, directing, and acting, Hulu’s “Normal People” is just as bleak and uncompromising as Rooney’s novel — a feat, and one that takes several episodes to fully absorb.
In fact, it took me until about halfway through to understand just how much it was affecting me; when I finally stepped away, it took a couple hours to blink away the weighty cloud of malaise the show inspired.
We are certainly looking forward to this one.