Normal People, the BBC’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel, is a story about two ordinary people falling in and out of love – but it’s received an extraordinary response from viewers across the world.
The 12-part series about two Irish teenagers (Marianne and Connell) has become the lockdown binge of the moment, and has even inspired social media accounts dedicated solely to Connell’s chain necklace.
It would seem inevitable that the BBC would capitalise on the global attention and commission a second series – but just as with Marianne and Connell’s romance, there may be a few obstacles in the way. Read on for everything you need to know about Normal People series two.
Will there be a Normal People season 2?
There could be a second series, but – and it’s a big but – we may have to wait a while.
Asked by RadioTimes.com whether he could see a second series on the cards, Normal People director Lenny Abrahamson said that he hopes to revisit the characters in “ten years time”.
“I have a fantasy of doing a kind of ten year seeing where they are in ten years time sort of thing, if I’m not too decrepit at that point,” he said.
However, for the moment the director’s attention is firmly on Sally Rooney’s other, debut novel, Conversations with Friends, which is also being adapted.
“We’ve turned our attention – we’re adapting Conversations with Friends as a television series,” co-producer Ed Guiney explained.
“It’s the same basic team. Lenny [Abrahamson] is going to direct it and is across it as an executive producer. And Alice Birch and all of us at Element [Pictures]. So that’s what we’ll be turning our attention to next. But maybe down the line we’ll come back to Connell and Marianne.”
That all being said, Normal People has since gone on to become a global phenomenon and record-breaking show for the BBC – which might just tip the scales in favour of a second series.
Normal People’s lead actors have also expressed their interest in following up on the characters.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com in a separate interview, Paul Mescal (Connell) said, “I think what’s glorious about it is that the book definitely feels final about their lives. They’re still existing in the world somewhere. I think that’s probably a question for Sally and everybody else. But I put my hand up and say I’d play Connell until the cows come home.”
“Same. Yeah, very much so,” added Daisy Edgar-Jones, who plays Marianne.
Normal People season 2 episodes: What will happen next?
*Warning: contains spoilers for Normal People series one*
The show hasn’t been renewed yet, but we can certainly speculate…
The first series stays largely faithful to the book, and ends where the book does – but for one exception. In the series, Connell decides that he’ll go to New York to pursue a creative writing degree there, while in the book his decision left to the reader’s imagination.
There’s no Normal People book sequel, so any second TV series would be breaking new territory – but if another series were to take place, it might make sense to begin with Connell’s journey in New York versus Marianne’s life in Dublin, Ireland.
However, if the second series were to take place ten years after the events of the first series, as Normal People director Lenny Abrahamson suggests, we might see two older versions of the characters, perhaps reconnecting after years apart, or else reflecting on the impact they had on each other.
Normal People season 2 cast: Who will return?
Casting is so far unconfirmed, as the second series has yet to be commissioned. However, a second series would almost certainly star the two leads, Daisy Edgar-Jones (Marianne) and Paul Mescal (Connell).
We could also see the return of the characters’ families: Sarah Greene as Connell’s mum Lorraine; Aislín McGuckin as Marianne’s unsympathetic mum Denise; and Frank Blake as Marianne’s violent brother Alan.
You can watch Normal People now on BBC iPlayer – check out what else is on with our TV Guide