top of page

Normal People | tv review

The rawest and most genuinely relatable series about the highs and lows of first relationships.

On a surface level, Normal People is a love story about two students in opposite classes, set in a small Irish town. Underneath all the layers, the series is about the complexities of human emotion and the experience of feeling lost in an alienating world.

It's a rollercoaster of the beauty, rawness and vulnerability of transitioning into adulthood.

What makes this series so special is how organically the relationship is captured. It truly feels as if we are experiencing a real relationship in real-time. It seems that not much development happens between each episode, yet after looking back, so much has happened. As with any relationship, it grows over time and this series doesn't shy away from the realistic nature of a blooming relationship, focusing in on the small truly human details.


I can not emphasize enough how realistic this series is and it's clearly demonstrated in the naturalistic cinematography. It's not the most visually stunning series I've ever seen, although there are a few breathtaking shots like the still below, the impressive aspect here is the choices made for this specific series.

The show feels very observational for the audience. Viewers are brought into the world of these characters through long p.o.v tracking shots and camera placement in a space. The camera acts as the viewer, situated in the environment as if one was actually there. It's unconventional for a television series but natural to the human eye.

The show is so intimate you feel as if you are intruding on these characters lives, even in some situations uncomfortable at times. Your truly experiencing every moment with the characters, highs, lows, and quiet moments. The series has some of the most beautiful close-up shots allowing the audience to completely connect with the emotions of the characters.

They specifically choose certain angles that hide some characters faces. I found myself multiple times shifting my own head to get a look from a character, due to the realistic element of feeling like I'm in space and the human need to check in on a character reaction.

The colour palette captures the natural elements of the small Irish town and the current circumstances of the scene, and character. The colours begin very softly, light, and muted in tone then smoothly transitions to pops of warm colours and play with shades of light as the relationship progresses. The uses of earth tones at the beginning of their relationship, shifts into darkness, shadow and cool tones when the characters are apart. All things the average viewer may look over, but there's a such a simplicity to the show as a whole were every technical detail has great impact.


Rather than the typical 6 episodes at an hour length, this series is more spread out with a shorter episodic time length. 12 episodes at 20-30 minutes, this gave no room for subplots or distractions and only focused on the development of the two characters. More shows need to follow this format. Straight to the point, no going off track, nothing else matters but following the story of these characters.

The scenes have a very unique pacing were they played out in real-time, with little to no editing. It captures reality allowing characters time to think, react, and process, for a naturally unique experience. There is no hiding any awkwardness and the show does not shy away from silence.


I have never seen such intimate chemistry on the screen before. It takes incredible talent to genuinely be human on the screen, which seems like a ridiculous concept but true, especially after watching Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar‑Jones in this series.

They both grounded the series making their characters feel like they truly exist because they do. This show, unlike most romance shows, captures authentic vulnerability. This show, and more importantly the performances, gave screentime and representation to what the majority of people experience with a realistic first relationship.

The show isn't only about the romantic nature of relationships but everyone's human need to feel connected and supported. It's completely normal to feel lost or alienated in one form or another, it's a universal experience everyone has felt at some point in their life. The series normalizes this fear in a 20th-century society, only successfully achieved by the performances from the actors.

The soundtrack

I've always believed the soundscape and soundtrack play a huge role in the overall elevation of a series. Besides the performances and cinematography, the essence and world of these characters are actually brought out through the soundtrack.

The soundtrack is a blend of Irish and popular American artists. The use of local Irish artists added to the realism of the space, however, the modern songs from artist like Frank Ocean, Selena Gomez, and RYX grounded the show adding to the relatability.

Rather each episode being mini music videos, the music assisted in echoing the mood, adding more realistic texture to the series. The instrumental pieces included through the series are profoundly moving and add to the overall cinematic value. It shifts the show from your normal young romance tv show to something more special.



I highly recommend this series for a truly unique and relatable experience. It has definitely stayed with me after completing all 12 episodes, which is a telltale sign of a great series. It explores the beauty and genuine rawness of relationships in today's society while normalizing our universal human fears in the most comforting way.


bottom of page