Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Emmy Catch-Up: Normal People

Every year, I watch the six submitted episodes of every series I don’t regularly watch that’s up for one of the Emmy series prizes. This year, I’m watching the entire season of every series nominated in the top category, as well as this one, which netted a few important nominations even if it missed the main limited series race.

Normal People: Season 1, Episode 6 (B+)

The relationship between Connell and Marianne is one that’s always going to be influenced by their past, no matter what happens in the future. That said, it’s not as if Connell has changed his behavior all that much, and his refusal to touch her in public is just the latest version of their beginnings secretly hooking up during school. They’re trying to push the boundaries a little, cutely talking about naked photos they might send each other, which they both found more ridiculous than appealing. Marianne is always spot on with her analysis of how people treat other people: that men often seem more concerned with limiting the freedoms of women than having their own. Saying that being cool suggest a degree of coldness was also astute, though knowing that doesn’t help her to feel any more self-confident, especially around Connell. Getting furloughed right before exams and feeling too afraid to change anything by asking to move in with Marianne meant Connell was out of sorts, and given that he’s terrible about communication, it didn’t help things between them at all. Expressing anger at her male friends being all over when he refused to touch her was hardly reasonable, and there was something so powerful about him finally touching her outside the pool. Those two wordless shots at the end aren’t promising, and it looks like things are crumbling for both of them individually and together as the closest thing possible to a couple despite their insistence not to have that specific label.

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