Hulu’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People has its champions and its critics. The show, which follows two secret high-school sweethearts as they negotiate first love, is prime fodder for housebound debaters. The manufactured nostalgia for its millennial viewers (laid on thick with the inclusion of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” in the show’s soundtrack): visceral and resonant or unmoving? This was just one of many points of contention that polarized our Slack channel this morning.
Below are a handful of hot, hot, hot takes from a weekend spent watching the show. I, for one, had resisted reading Normal People until last week, when I impulsively bought the e-book in preparation for the show. Per Amalie’s advice, turn on a fan, brace yourself, and prepare to descend upon the comments with a take of your own. It’s about to get heated.
5. “I did not like the soundtrack. I just find it too pop-y, takes me out of the show!” —Harling
[Edith’s annotation: While the soundtrack is employed to tell you how to feel versus building up and earning your emotion—which I also find distracting—Frank Ocean’s “Nikes” playing at the college party is one redeeming moment—though Ocean’s song was released in 2016, and the party is supposed to take place in 2012 or 2013.]
4. “The shots that are super close up of their faces to symbolize emotional introspection drove me crazy, where just their noses are in focus, or just one eye.” —Edith
[Gyan’s counterpoint: I didn’t mind shots like that or the music because I preferred that they dramatize it like that, rather than add more action to the plot to make it compelling TV.]
3. “I am perplexed by all of it. I liked the book fine, but I’m curious why it inspired such fanaticism. I can’t imagine the show without reading the book.” —Edith
[Gyan’s counterpoint: “Edith?!”]
2. “A friend of mine, who has bangs, posted on Instagram that Marianne’s bangs are an unrealistic portrayal of what having bangs is actually like—I wholeheartedly agree.” —Gyan
[No opposition here.]
1. “It’s Twilight for the adult female. We’re all just horny and heartbroken.” —Amalie
??? In the spirit of agreeing to disagree, I request your hot takes below, post-haste.
Images via Hulu.