Monday, August 24, 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 8 (B+)

We know that Connell and Marianne should be together but circumstances just never seem to work out, and though we haven’t seen too much of Helen, Connell seems somewhat happy with her. Jamie, on the other hand, is the absolute worst. When Connell showed up drunk and bloody, he was the antagonist for wrongly concluding that Jamie was talking badly of him when he was actually describing his assailant, but this time Jamie’s words and actions were all his fault. It was disturbing to see Marianne blamed by her friend for bringing this on herself since she invited Connell, and it’s hard to understand how anyone could interpret this situation as anything other than Jamie being awful. His behavior started as merely impolite and chauvinistic, but then he became downright abusive, deliberately breaking something with enormous sentimental meaning to Marianne in a way that was even more cruel than a similar incident on “This Is Us” this past season. Connell was right to storm in and make sure that she was okay, and sharing a bed was purely the best option, even if it did put them back on the path towards romance and love once again, if those feelings have ever really faded. Their conversation about the wealth disparity between them was very interesting since it framed their dynamic in a way that gave Marianne the power and advantage for once, something that rarely happens in their relationship. The honesty that comes from both of them when they speak is truly wondrous, even if it’s not always easy to hear.

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