6 Shows to Watch If You Loved ‘Normal People’

It’s crazy to think that, just a few short months ago, we met two people who changed our lives.

We’re talking about Connell and Marianne, of course, the two brooding, melancholy heroes at the heart of the Irish romantic drama Normal People. The BBC series, which streams on Stan in Australia, seemed to strike at the heart of what it means to be young and in love, yet also alone, and it simultaneously broke our heart and put it back together again.

We binged the show in a weekend, of course, and have been casting around for series to watch ever since. These are some of our favourites.

Love Life

Streaming now on Stan

There’s a warm and generous quality to this romantic comedy, which stars Anna Kendrick and is produced by Paul Feig, of Bridesmaids fame. The concept is simple: What if you told the story of every love in a woman’s life, from first kiss to last? What would her life look like? Can you tell someone’s stories through their loves? This series is so moving, given that it follows Darby (Kendrick) through so many major life events. Everything is there: first boyfriends, one night stands, best friends’ weddings, marriage, divorce, parenthood, the works. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll fall in love with this big hug of a television series.

High Fidelity

Streaming now on ABC iView 

You might remember High Fidelity, the 2000 romantic comedy about a record store owner named Rob (John Cusack) who just couldn’t get it right when it comes to women. This reboot, originally broadcast on Hulu and streaming now for the first in Australia, is better. So much better. Starring Zoe Kravitz in the lead role – yes, they’ve gender-swapped Rob, and we couldn’t be happier – the series seems to hit on something essential about modern dating. Why is it so hard to find someone that you really click with? And when you do, why is it so hard to make it work? Kravitz is so charming as Rob, whose own insecurities and occasional obtuse moments leads to romantic failure with both men and women. If you’ve had to suffer through the Tinder date from hell, we know you’re going to find a lot to relate to in High Fidelity. 

Chewing Gum

Streaming now on Netflix

You might have heard some chatter online recently about I May Destroy You, which just premiered in the US and UK to rave reviews. Written, created and starring British comedian Michaela Coel, it follows a young woman putting the pieces of her life back together after her drink was spiked. It’s been called a masterpiece and the best show of 2020… but it doesn’t have a release date in Australia yet. What does, though, is Chewing Gum, Coel’s earlier television series following a young girl raised in a London council flat desperately trying to lose her virginity. The raunchy comedy – fans of Fleabag will adore it, basically – has such a big, boisterous heart that it’s impossible not to fall for it, and the very talented Coel, immediately.

Vida

Streaming now on Stan  

The third and final season of this sexy, sassy series just wrapped up, which means that if you never got the chance to watch it while it was first streaming, now is your opportunity. Vida follows Emma and Lyn, two Mexican American sisters from East Los Angeles, who return to their childhood home after the death of their mother. They couldn’t be more different: Lyn is a boho dress-wearing vegan with champagne tastes, while Emma is an uptight corporate shark from San Francisco who is keeping her private life under wraps from her family. The series follows both these women as they navigate relationships, family and the real meaning of ‘home’, which makes for a pretty powerful binge watch. But the real reason you need to watch Vida is for the sex scenes. Trust us, if you thought Normal People was raunchy, just wait till you watch Vida.

The Hook Up Plan

Streaming now on Netflix  

Elsa (Zita Hanrot) is 30, hates her job and is still reeling from a devastating breakup when her two best friends decide to hire her a male escort. You know, to take her on a few dates and get her out of the house, mostly. What happens, though, is that the gorgeous Jules (Marc Ruchmann) doesn’t tell Elsa that he’s an escort, and all of a sudden they’re falling in love. For real. This riotous romantic comedy, produced as a French Netflix original, is not only hilarious but beautifully shot and costumed, too. The Hook Up Plan does for Paris what Normal People did for Dublin, basically.

Crash Landing On You

Streaming now on Netflix  

The plot of Crash Landing On You, an ingenious Korean romantic comedy, is hilarious: What if a spoiled South Korean heiress was accidentally dropped into North Korea during a paragliding mishap? Would the officer who discovered her turn her over the authorities, or would he do his best to protect her? Any fans of romcoms can probably guess the answer, and won’t be surprised to learn that love most definitely ensues for this fish-out-of-water couple. What is surprising, though, is how cleverly and how sensitively the series’ producers deal with the very real political issues the show investigates.

Still obsessed with Normal People? Here are 11 books to read if you loved Normal People.

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