Conversations with Friends S01E01-02: Wandering Souls in Dublin

Foto credits: Element Pictures / BBC / Hulu

Na Normal People appears with Conversations with Friends another film adaptation of a book by author Sally Rooney (the two books are separate in terms of storyline). Normal People revolves around the puppy love between two Irish teenagers – which follows the story all the way to college; in Conversations with Friends the characters are a bit further along in their lives. Ironically it was Conversations with Friends Rooney’s writing debut and she wrote Normal People after this. So on television they appear in the reverse order. And the difference is obvious from the start: Conversations with Friends is more mature, but also calmer. The series misses the pit Normal People, but it just flows nicely.

The story revolves around poet Frances (debutant Alison Oliver looks like a cross between Maureen Tierney and Jessie Buckley) who lives with her ex Bobbi (Sasha Lane from American Honey) regularly performs a spoken word act in Dublin. Their performance is noticed by writer Melissa (Jemima Kirke from Girls), who invites the women to her home, where they meet Melissa’s partner (and theater actor) Nick (Joe Alwyn). What follows is, as the title suggests, a lot of eloquent conversations. About art, the meaning of life and the fact that not many people of color live in the Irish capital – according to Bobbi, who comes from New York.

Introverted Frances develops a crush on introverted Nick (the writer falls in love with the man who isn’t as talkative because he’s used to reciting someone else’s lyrics); Bobbi has an affair with Melissa (Frances’ extroverted ‘muse’ falls for the extroverted writer this time). The characters yearn for each other in Conversations with Friends and the camera follows eyes that wander into a pastel mise-en-scene. The first episode is directed by Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Alice Birch also says Normal People again act the presence. The result, as mentioned, is perhaps less romantic and whimsical.

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Conversations with Friends is more thoughtful, doesn’t seem to be heading straight for a target. It’s television that sometimes isn’t about anything. Perhaps daydreaming; about wandering souls. The television drama is in that respect – and that is a compliment – ​​complementary to Normal People† Teenagers have turned into their twenties and thirties, who experience the zest for life in a different way.

Conversations with Friends S01, starting May 15, 2022 weekly on HBO Max


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