‘Normal People’: Why Isn’t There a Season 2?

Normal People was among the most acclaimed breakout television hits of 2020. The series tells the story of a young high school athlete named Connell and his girlfriend, Marianne. Fans loved the series, itself based on a 2018 book of the same name. However, those who are looking forward to a second season are likely to be disappointed. 

What is ‘Normal People’?

Normal People press tour stage featuring cast members
The Normal People press tour stage featuring cast members | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Normal People, a co-production between Hulu and BBC Three, tells a teenage love story that’s less concerned with giving a hyper-stylized, CW-style version of high school and instead dives into the more mature aspects of a relationship. Following a trend set by shows such as Euphoria, Normal People is a touching, uneasy, and sometimes beautiful portrayal of love, sex, and the psychology of the young people coming into adulthood.

Focusing on the teenage love experience beyond the stylized Hollywood spotlight, so many films and series go for, Normal People doesn’t pull any punches in its portrayal. The show has been equally lauded and degraded for its explicit sex scenes featuring still teenagers. However, they are not shot under the lustful gaze of Hollywood. 

Normal People isn’t about the visual stimulation of its erotic sex scenes, but the motions, thoughts, and circumstances that put the characters there. While the New Yorker notes how many feel the show is pornographic, it shows the characters through a non-judgmental lens meant to give the audience a look into their psyche. 

From class warfare to typical teenage angst, Normal People is a more nuanced take on a genre often accused of exploiting the adolescent experience to a larger, more adult audience. Instead, it aims to make people better understand the teenage experience through its lens of a high school setting. 

Will there be a season two? 

While fans adored Normal Season, the makers fell into a problem. It’s based on a 266-page book with no sequels, prequels, or spinoffs. While author Sally Rooney has a breadth of other material, such as the upcoming Conversations with Friends adaptation, it’s hard to milk this story any further. 

While a second season has been spoken about, Connell’s Paul Mescal believes it lives and dies by another book. However, the actor spoke to Deadline about how it could happen while acknowledging that the keys are still in Rooney’s hands. After all, it was her groundwork that helped make the series so successful, and losing her input could lose the magic, too.

“Connell, I believe, would potentially get married to somebody else. It’ll destroy lots of people’s lives along the way because ultimately, they’re going to be drawn. But they will consciously resist the idea that they’re supposed to be together. It’ll be a long process of discovery until they finally find each other permanently, I think… I really need them to be together. If Sally ever decides to do the second book or second series, I need them to be together,” he told the publication.

Now, fans will have to wait and see if another season will occur. Luckily, those who want to explore or re-explore the series do not have to move to England. 

Where can I watch ‘Normal People’?

For American audiences, they don’t need to search far for Normal People. After all, it airs on Hulu, and while it may end as a miniseries more than a show, the hype behind it is genuine. Teen dramas, be they sexual or sterile, have rarely been tackled with the nuance that Normal People pulls off. As such, it appears to be the start of something special. Whether that something leads back to its universe, however, remains to be seen.

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