Friday, August 28, 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 10 (B+)

This episode completely flipped the dynamic from the previous one, with Marianne no longer devastated and miserable but Connell instead experience those feelings. Losing a friend to suicide sent Connell to a dark place, and he opened up in a way that we haven’t seen him do before to the therapist. There was such an intensity and power to the very long hug that he shared with Marianne when he saw her at the funeral, and it wasn’t even anything romantic. It’s easy to understand why Helen would be upset, though there was no way that sharing her feelings was going to go well. Connell apologizing that the funeral wasn’t fun was appropriately passive-aggressive, and he pointed out that every fight seems to turn into something about Marianne. Their relationship was never going to last, and it’s good that Connell didn’t just jump back into things with Marianne. Instead, it was extremely touching to see them communicating over Skype and have her offer to stay on with him as he went to sleep. There’s such a closeness evident even in that distance, and the way that they relate to each other is going to endure no matter who they’re dating. Marianne has had bad luck in the past with the men she’s chosen since being with Connell, and he’s never gotten the timing right. With just two episodes left, I hope that there’s still a chance of them finding happiness together. It might even be more moving if they don’t get together, but of course a happy ending would be most ideal.

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