Normal People will go down in history as one of the defining TV shows of lockdown. Alongside our obsession with Tiger King and that weekend where we binge-watched White Lines, Marianne and Connell’s story – and the romance, emotional turmoil and sexual tension that came with it – was the perfect escape from everything that was going on in the world.
If you’re still reeling over the end of the series (anyone else think they could have watched another 12 episodes?) you might just be in luck – Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal are returning to our screens this Friday for two special ‘follow-up’ episodes of the series. But it might not be the sequel you imagine.
The two new episodes, titled Older Normal People will air as part of RTÉ Does Comic Relief in Ireland on Friday, and instead of imagining what happened straight after the end of the original BBC series, these episodes will catch up with Marianne and Connell 40 years after the show finished.
The director of the BBC series Lenny Abrahamson has returned to direct the two episodes, which is great news for those who fell head over heels in love with the original series.
Appearing on RTÉ Radio 1 to discuss the follow-up episodes, Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis hinted at what fans can expect come Friday.
“There’s a beautiful piece called Normal Older People, which is imagining what would have happened to Marianne and Connell 40 years from now,” he said. “I promise you, there are two very special bits.”
He added: “It’s so much better than anything we’ve ever made. I mean I can’t even say all about it because there’s a guest star in it. But it’s really, really beautiful.
“One of the things about Comic Relief is it just gives opportunities for things to happen that would never happen. I can’t imagine any context in which they would have allowed this little sort of extra special into the world of Normal People.”
There has been a lot of discussion over whether or not there should be a season two or Normal People since the series was first released. Although Abrahamson had previously said he hoped to revisit Connell and Marianne in “10 years’ time,” fans of the show were divided over whether or not a second season would ruin the show’s “perfect ending”.
Because the show is based on a stand-alone novel by Sally Rooney, any sequel to the series would be created in a similar way to The Handmaid’s Tale, where the show’s writers took fans beyond the pages of the original book.
No matter where you stand when it comes to a season two of Normal People, one thing’s for sure: we’ll be intrigued to see whether Connell and Marianne are still together so many years after that fateful final episode.
While the special episodes will be broadcast live on RTÉ One from 8pm on Friday, we suspect they’ll be streamed online at a later date. That’s our weekend entertainment sorted, folks.