Hi All! This week I come to you bookless again, and now I’m an even prouder Hulu supporter. I am shocked by this development, as I’ve been a die-hard Netflix only streaming-service consumer for years. This is the second week I come to you praising Hulu, this time with two shows, both vastly different. Each has stolen my attention this week, and completely obliterated my motivation to attend Zoom University.
First up, Little Fires Everywhere. I’m not quite finished with the series, and although I’m not yet convinced it’s god-tier, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon have kept me intrigued long enough to keep watching. The first episode gives you some immediate insight to the end of the show, which makes you the detective right off the bat, trying to anticipate the “little fires everywhere”. Trying to put together the flashbacks, the stories, the story lines of each sibling and student is not inherently difficult, but just enough to keep you coming back to see how it all unravels. I’m now guessing that description was just the baseline of any semi-suspenseful piece of media you’ve ever consumed, but even so, I think Little Fires Everywhere is worth a watch. If for nothing else, I recommend it out of my love for Kerry Washington. From what I hear, and unfortunately I came into viewing the show with some acute knowledge of the ending, the final moments of Little Fires Everywhere are all too improbable to bear, but I’m sticking it out to the end to see if that’s the case. And I’m only about halfway through it, already recommending you do the same.
Next up, Normal People. This one, my friends, is god-tier. I first discovered Normal People when writing last week’s Entertainment Week in Review, where I first wrote it’s praises having had zero context as to what the show was about. Set in a small town in Ireland, the show beautifully unravels the lives of two, well, normal people from their last years of high school to their last years of Trinity College, in Dublin. The juvenile parts of Connell and Marianne, the two main love interests, are at times painful to watch. You go between loving and hating Connell, or at least I did, and holding out for Marianne to find her way. The normal aspect of the show highlights how hard open and honest communication can be as well as the importance of mental health, specifically in maintaining a relationship, be that romantic or otherwise. Normal People reminds us that parts of us are just like everybody else (que Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson) and that those same parts of ourselves that feel so isolating are often a shared experience with people all over the world. I honestly think the show gets off to a bit of a slow start, but once you start to see how a budding romance, a dying romance, a budding friendship, a dying friendship (wash, rinse, repeat) plays out, you’ll see why I speak so highly of Normal People.
So for the grand summation, I think this week’s recs come from two very different places, each equally important. Right now, the comfort of the shared experience of isolation is at times hard to hold on to, but something to try to hold on to which I think Normal People reminds us of. Little Fires Everywhere simply makes you appreciate your mom a little more, even when you can relate to the scorned daughter archetype that Izzie, or Isabelle as her mom will not-so-lovingly remind you, fits so well. And if you haven’t already, take this as your sign to buy Hulu. Really, if you take anything from this, it should be to go get Hulu.