Saturday, August 22, 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 7 (B+)

It can be agonizing watching Connell and Marianne interact since it’s so clear that Connell often says the wrong thing, and in this case that meant that how he conveyed something was misinterpreted and ended their relationship. That’s very unfortunate, and Marianne says so much every time she looks at him that he clearly doesn’t understand. The sight of her smoking and talking about the role play she does with her new boyfriend because they need the fantasy indicated that she’s become a different kind of person, someone who doesn’t value intimacy in the same way she did before because it’s with someone other than Connell. Telling Connell that she didn’t need that with him and would have done anything he wanted provoked a reaction less strong than it should have in him, and right now they’re both in relationships that aren’t nearly as fulfilling. Showing up drunk and bloody because he only knew Marianne’s phone number by heart was disruptive enough, and responding sharply to the way Jamie classified his assailant, not him, made his feelings about her new boyfriend very obvious. Marianne did not appreciate that, and the fact that he too was dating someone showed her once again that he’d rather she be miserable without him even if they legitimately couldn’t be together at the moment. This show is great at haunting final scenes, since the choice Connell made now is Helen and there’s little indication that Marianne will warm to the idea of rekindling their romance even when this relationship inevitably ends.

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