What EVERYONE is learning about IRELAND from Normal People!
With most of Ireland still restricted, most people have taken to Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime to catch up on the latest trending movie or series. By now, most of us have seen, or at least heard of Tiger King, and are learning more and more about Michael Jordan’s last dance. But there is one series that is taken Ireland by storm: Normal People. Normal People has captured our country’s attention for its authenticity of the growing pains our generation has faced in yearning for requited love as our bodies and actions are manipulated by our heartstrings. Oh, and because of Connell’s chain, of course.
Normal People is an adaptation of the best selling novel of the same name by Irish author Sally Rooney. Having been published in 2018, the BBC and HULU collaborated on a worldwide release for the book’s adaptation, enriching the lives of all the people stuck at home. Here are 3 reasons why you should watch Normal People:
Authentic Irish Lifestyle
When showing people around my hometown on my Ennis Walking Tour, I am often asked about high school in Ireland. I find this very challenging to answer as for me, it was simply normal. I would typically explain that although my high school was a Catholic school, it was also public. In Normal People, they do such a phenomenal job at painting a realistic view of high school in Ireland. From the stress of the Leaving Cert exams to the pressure of who you will ask to the high school prom, from the simple drama of your team’s recent Gaelic football performance to the murky rivers of dating Normal People has it all.
Connell and Marianne
One half of the show’s leads is a 24 year old Irish man, Paul Mescal. He is as Irish as they come. One of the smartest kids in school, he loved playing Gaelic football, a popular Irish sport. Throughout the series, his acting skills are nothing shy of Golden Globe worthy. His ability to show every emotion, repressed or otherwise as is typical for the character, is quite amazing.
Marianne is played by the 21 year old Daisy Edgar-Jones and wow, what a talent at such a young age. She plays a complicated character who, as is typical in Ireland, is mocked for being unlike the others before blossoming as she becomes acquainted with university life.
These talents play the characters so well that you love them both as they tear each other down and raise each other up in equal measure. They’re the same characters that you grew up with, and that you kind of actually are, if you grew up in Ireland.
Another question people ask me during my Ennis walking tours is “how many Irish accents are there?”. Throughout this show, you will hear a vast variety of our accents. That being said there were two Irish accents that stood out for me. Firstly, the rural Irish accent and secondly the south Dublin accent. Although today you couldn’t accurately judge a person’s wealth or status from their accent, traditionally in Ireland a rural accent would have meant a poor farming background whereas a south Dublin accent represented wealthy land owners. The class differences depicted in this show are further highlighted by these two very contrasting accents.
If you enjoyed PS I Love You or Leap Year, I truly believe you will thoroughly enjoy Normal People. As we are completely unable to travel right now, all the talk is about Virtual Tours. If virtual tours are not your thing, but you still wish you were travelling to Ireland this summer, grab yourself some popcorn and get watching. Then pop over to Ollie’s Tours because it’s my guarantee that you will become further enveloped in Irish life and customs and will want to pop over as soon as you can. We can’t wait to have you!