Hannah McC’s review published on Letterboxd:
Right, time for one of my non-reviews that are mainly rambling thoughts.. I Loved the book so I was already there for the story but this series is an added piece to one of the most realistic representations of coming of age I have EVER seen. (as a lil oirish cailín)
First, an expected 'I CAN'T COPE WITH HOW MUCH I RELATE TO THESE CHARACTERS'! moment.. as if I'm the only one feeling represented HA;
I feel like something in my chest is being wrenched down to the pit in my stomach.... I've been doing a lot of heavy breathing since I finished this ... I think it's the anxiety of being So SEEN... I was a bit of both characters in school and am a bit of them both now.
There's this discussion going around about Marianne's prettiness/ugliness and the way she is perceived in earlier episodes, I don't have the energy to really analyse this right now but my established opinion is that in Irish schools, from my own experience, this prettiness or average normalcy in smart/studious, rich/middle class girls, introverted or extroverted is sort of lampooned? That, or seen as deeply forgettable and then they (not always, sometimes, often?) 'find their people' in college or wherever they end up... I don't know how to explain it.. but it's real, trust me. Also, I knew so many beloved popular yet not very vocal Connells in among the lads.
While I sat in between the two character's school experience, I have such an agonizing connection with Connell's transitioning to college/life beyond home and school experience.... oh My GOD.. ow
Connell and Marianne's casting is Perfect! The tension and passion that the two of them radiated towards eachother... five stars.
Paul Mescal's acting floored me... every little noise ("mmff".. "eh".. in moments of nervousness) and remark ("yeah it was CLASS" hahahah) he made was so, I don't know? Human? Like genuinely!
CONSENT and periods considered in a swift and sweet and natural manner
Strange, but I loved how sweaty and warm the actors looked during the sex scenes, with red cheeks and hair sticking to their foreheads, no decoration and misrepresented elegance, excellent!!
Irish tuuunes!! So excited to hear one of my favourite local band's music on the BBC! But also that Imogen Heap representation in the first episode for fuck sake, heart exploding
The Irishness in general.... it's just strange seeing a small Irish town (A Centra!!?), a national school p.e. hall, cao applications, the Debs!?, pubs, swanky dublin townhouses, in such beautiful High Definition and its nice to have a lil peak into the (aesthetically luxurious) Trinity student life hee hee
Daisy Edgar Jones did a PHENOMENAL job with the accent, and I am a harsh critic when it comes to Irish accents in film
Every side character (seen in both Sligo and Dublin) was perfectly cast..... I love Johanna <3 and Niall and want a spinoff on both of their lives and I've met so many Jamie Pricks its desperate
The length of each episode.. I can't believe how well they adapted this book... each snapshot of their lives in the series were exactly mirroring the book's format and I fucking loved that
Mental health representation .... just the entirety of episode 10; the acting, and the way it was pieced together in momentary scenes, was so despairing but seriously, seriously important.
also it was really sexy... paul mescal, I am a renewed GAA supporter hee hee
Anyway, feeling just as simultaneously deceased and animated as I felt after I read the book and that is a COMPLIMENT