Author Topic: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People  (Read 2175 times)

BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« on: April 26, 2020, 10:51:04 PM »
The whole series is up on iPlayer now. Surprised it wasn't released with more fanfare, seeing as the book was one of the biggest hits in recent years. It predictably got short shrift over in Shelf Abuse, although I really enjoyed it. Only watched one episode so far but it was great. Flaws were a few too many shots of furtive glances and that cliched in-and-out of focus, sunshine glare kind of thing. Also thought the leads looked too beautiful and too old, but the second of those is unavoidable I guess. Apart from that, it seems so well done. Marianne isn't as much of a weirdo as in the book and I remembered Connell as being a little more awkward but I might be misremembering.

Captain Crunch

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2020, 11:15:58 PM »
One of the problems I had with this book, and indeed a lot of new fiction, is it reads like a screenplay or at least has too much of an eye on the inevitable adaptation. 

That and it was a story about two very dreary unpleasant people having feelings. 

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 11:52:20 AM »
Is no-one watching this? I'm 5 (of the 12X30m) episodes in and it's so good. The guy who plays Connell is brilliant. Could do without so much of that breathy folky John Lewis music (although it was nice to hear Elliott Smith) but some of the scenes have been absolutely gut wrenching.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2020, 07:43:04 PM »
I’m watching but I’m old fashioned and watch stuff as it’s broadcast, so I’m only on ep 2. Found it quite engaging so far.

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 11:01:18 PM »
Just watched final 3 episodes. *sobs*

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2020, 02:03:56 AM »
I'm struggling with this. Not because it's bad, far from it, but because it really touches a nerve. Haven't read the book - I'm a philistine, I only ever read non-fiction - but the dramatisation captures the utter agony of being a sensitive young person falling in love for the first time.

Marianne reminds me of myself and everyone I've ever been in a relationship with. Lockdown and lack of sleep have exacerbated my anxiety; this beautifully-made piece of raw emotion television isn't helping.

I am 45 years old.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2020, 02:28:37 AM »
Now worried that the above post makes me sound creepy. My point is that Normal People reminds me of how I felt at that age. Cheers. Phew.

Shaky

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2020, 03:11:09 AM »
Yes, I want to watch this but I'm a bit worried it will crush my soul and fuck me up something rotten.

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2020, 11:00:45 AM »
Yes, I want to watch this but I'm a bit worried it will crush my soul and fuck me up something rotten.

No more than life in general will.

Can't stop thinking about Connell.

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2020, 08:58:04 PM »
Why are more people talking about Vand Der fucking Valk than this?

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2020, 01:17:46 AM »
I mostly enjoyed the book, found some of the writing a bit self-consciously stylised but definitely some very relatable/recognisable stuff there.

5 episodes into the adaptation. Agree that they've downplayed Marianne's outsider weirdness and lack of self-worth, and also (so far) her home environment which might have led to that, which as far as I remember felt more brutal in the book - the TV character comes across more as just bit of a kooky bookish type.

I also really hate the obvious 'unpopular plain girl[1] puts on a bit of makeup and everyone suddenly sees her true beauty' trope and I think they managed to avoid that in the party scene.

Paul Mescal as Connell was spot on as how I imagined the character, so painfully understatedly good-hearted, but with that undercurrent of insecurity and terror that he's going to fuck everything up (at least, that's how I saw it). Incidentally he also looks a little bit like someone I was seeing a few years ago, who had some similar qualities, so this is mildly fucking me up emotionally as well.

Thought this was a bit unnecessarily mean-spirited: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/05/sally-rooney-normal-people-hulu-bbc-soap-opera
 1. I think Daisy Edgar Jones is very pretty, but I just mean the stock character

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2020, 02:35:56 PM »
Ach, that Guardian piece is just shitty clickbait. It's a couple of years since I read the book and am tempted to go back to it but it would be a very different read now I think. I hope Paul Mescal deserves every award possible next year, I can't remember a performance as natural and warm and vulnerable as his portrayal of Connell. I refuse to believe that Mescal isn't one of the nicest men on the planet.

the science eel

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 11:17:31 PM »
I think it's wonderful (another one watching in real time or whatever the fuck you call it). The two leads are exceptional. I've bought into the whole thing completely.

ZoyzaSorris

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2020, 10:02:17 AM »
I enjoyed it against all my original inclinations of being ready to hate it. Being the prude I am found all the sex stuff a bit cringing but overall it did that underrated thing of making a simple and age-old idea engaging by the simple act of being believable. Basically anything can be good if you can make your audience buy into it.

And yeah have to echo the leads being great actors which helps a lot.

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2020, 11:47:41 AM »
I think it's wonderful (another one watching in real time or whatever the fuck you call it). The two leads are exceptional. I've bought into the whole thing completely.

Where's the weekly transmission up to? Is there a gap in the middle of the 2 episodes or do the credits just go in to the start of the next? I think it really works well in half hour episodes rather than hour long ones.

chveik

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2020, 01:28:09 PM »
the words bbc adaptation give me the fear

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2020, 01:32:16 PM »
Well, yeah, BBC3 adaptation even moreso. But it's worth it, honest.

the science eel

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2020, 03:10:32 PM »
Where's the weekly transmission up to? Is there a gap in the middle of the 2 episodes or do the credits just go in to the start of the next? I think it really works well in half hour episodes rather than hour long ones.

They're showing two episodes back-to-back, and really (and this threw me a bit last night 'cos I was in the kitchen making a cuppa) without a break at all.

We're up to episode 6 now.

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2020, 03:53:24 PM »
Yes, I want to watch this but I'm a bit worried it will crush my soul and fuck me up something rotten.

Same. My Mum keeps going on about how good it is and I'm sure it's well made but it just seems too much like my own nearby environment. Not a whole lot of escapism. "Bleak and uncompromising" is one quote I saw of it. Not right now, thanks.

greencalx

  • Never knowingly knowledgeable
Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2020, 07:38:01 PM »
I am enjoying this and am glad they’re running pairs of episodes back to back because the pace is fairly slow and I feel like we get a good chunk of story each week this way. (Yes I know I could iPlayer it but as previously noted I like the routine of a particular thing being on at the same time each week).

The leads are great but actually all the characters have something going on. Those playing Marianne’s uni friends have nailed that particular student demographic.

chveik

  • DON'T GET THAT COVID, YEAH?
Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2020, 02:32:20 AM »
Yes, I want to watch this but I'm a bit worried it will crush my soul and fuck me up something rotten.

heh, quite. I didn't expect it to be so soul crushing. I'm not sure it's a great series in itself (those fucking deep focus lenses!) but it still worked, I spose because, like people in this thread, quite of few aspects of it resonated with me. anyway I cried like a little bitch

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2020, 03:17:32 AM »
I'll get to the end of this one day, I'm sure, but it's upsetting me too much at the moment.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2020, 03:19:55 AM »
Ach, that Guardian piece is just shitty clickbait. It's a couple of years since I read the book and am tempted to go back to it but it would be a very different read now I think. I hope Paul Mescal deserves every award possible next year, I can't remember a performance as natural and warm and vulnerable as his portrayal of Connell. I refuse to believe that Mescal isn't one of the nicest men on the planet.

I would just like to say that I agree with this completely. I know how terribly pretentious this sounds, but in Normal People Mescal and Edgar-Jones have somehow managed to achieve a rare state of entirely unaffected acting. Such beautiful performances.

the science eel

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2020, 09:03:10 AM »
That's it exactly.

icehaven

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2020, 06:03:02 PM »
I'm up to episode 7 now but I think I'm out, it makes no sense to me whatsoever, I don't think I'm sensitive enough to understand why they behave the way they do. Perhaps if there were less lingering, earnest looks between them accompanied by moving music signifying the depth of their feelings for each other it'd convey the complexity of the relationship a bit more (as I'm imagining it may in the book, I haven't read it) but this hits you over the head screaming "Look!!They're so obviously madly in love!!" at every opportunity that the lengths they go to to not be together just seem ridiculous. The bit where they accidentally break up because he has to go all the way back to their home town for a whopping two months, so she gets together with some totally unpleasant friend is the plain daftest thing so far, and I can only hope it makes more sense in the book as in this adaptation it's just bizarre. Maybe I'm just too simple.

On an irrelevant note the main woman looks so much like Anne Hathaway I kept forgetting it wasn't her.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 06:18:13 PM by icehaven »

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2020, 11:28:32 AM »
Glitch King!

the science eel

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2020, 12:31:03 PM »
9 and 10 last night, so just two more to go.

I feel a bit like I'm being led to think certain things - the photography (especially the use of close-ups) and the music is dictating the mood. You're not given too much space to think for yourself.

Still enjoying it, tho'. I mean, these are thoughts that I have after watching, not during.

Fr.Bigley

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2020, 04:11:24 PM »
This is shite when compared to Wayne Rooneys candid Scouser documentary: chimp people.

the science eel

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Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2020, 10:13:49 PM »
FLOODS O' TEARS

Re: BBC3 Adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2020, 10:16:02 PM »
Haha. It ended beautifully, didn't it? My wife said that when they were interviewed on soemthing like the One Show, they mentioned something about being in talks for another series, which would just be fucking stupid.

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