Wednesday, August 26, 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 9 (B+)

It’s been miserable watching Marianne suffer in relationships with other people than Connell over the course of the past two episodes, since there’s something that feels more secure about Connell being the one to hurt her because he might eventually do something tender to try to make up for it. Lukas wasn’t nearly as clearly toxic as Jamie, and we got clarification that she was the one who asked him to tie her up and treat her a certain way during sex, something Connell did not like being asked about at the bar. Contrasting the passionate sex between Connell and Helen to Marianne seeming bored even with that added kink showed how deeply unhappy she was, and Lukas didn’t understand at all that she was legitimately upset about him taking pictures of her while naked and tied up. I still can’t understand how Daisy Edgar-Jones hasn’t garnered exactly the same praise as Paul Mescal for this show since her performance is simply astounding. Helen did well meeting Connell’s parents but even she couldn’t help but frame the conversation around Marianne, asking how she did and then later pointing out how much she’s still a part of their relationship. The narrated e-mail conversation between Marianne and Connell was powerful, lending the snow-decorated scenery a timelessness as the two of them navigate romances that don’t initially seem problematic but ultimately place them with other people. I wasn’t sure at first why this show was twelve episodes long but now I wish there were many more installments than just three left.

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