Episodes nine and ten of Normal People aired on RTE last night and fans have praised Paul Mescal, and the series in general, for the treatment of sensitive topics such as suicide.
Though many have already finished watching Normal People by now, there are those who have been sticking to the RTE scheduling and watching the programme episode by episode, week by week - an achievement in and of itself as the show is addictive watching. The penultimate pair of episodes of the series aired on Irish TV last night and fans have lavished praise on the programme once again, this time for its portrayal of grief and the treatment of difficult topics such as suicide and mental health.
Episode nine caught viewers up to date with Marianne, detailing her life over in Sweden where she finds herself feeling "detached" from the rest of the world. However, it was episode 10 that really resonated with audiences, who were particularly impressed with Paul Mescal and his portrayal of a grief-stricken Connell. Showing the impact that losing a loved one to suicide can have on friends on family, fans have described the episode as "stunning" - adding that Paul is deserving of every success in the world for such a performance.
Perhaps it’s the effect of having just become a Mammy to a son, but I cannot shake this week’s #NormalPeople....Stunning performance from @mescal_paul with pitch-perfect direction by Hettie MacDonald 👌🏻🙌🏻
— Maura McElhone (@maurawrites) May 27, 2020
Making the decision to seek help following the death of his close friend Rob, Connell finds himself in a therapist's office where he reveals to her that he is struggling. Highlighting the importance of reaching out and showing that it's ok not to be ok, onlookers have also congratulated the show for breaking down gender stereotypes and tackling the idea that "men shouldn't cry".
#Normalpeople Now that's how it's done! Ridiculous stereotypes have now been broken! As a woman, I've always hated the way men are boxed in! Men can cry too! They have feelings, as they are human beings! @mescal_paul You sir, deserve an Emmy for that performance! Thank you!! 🥰
— Preetha (Preethe Awesome) (@preetha_1987) May 26, 2020
It’s okay to ask for help.
In an episode of Normal People that perhaps in some ways was the most “normal” or true to life in this excellent series, we see this young man reach out. #normalpeople #normalpeoplebbc #reachout #goodtotalk #mentalhealth @NormalPeopleBBC pic.twitter.com/51sZDGyhx1
— McElwee totalhealth Pharmacies (@PeterJMcElwee) May 27, 2020
Love how films and shows like #TheHalfOfIt and #NormalPeople are elevating supposedly cliched plots by exploring the depth of human relationships. Heartfelt portrayals of flawed, complex individuals - reflections of our own imperfect, all-too-human selves.
— Aruni (@aruni_sunil) May 27, 2020
So hard to watch the scenes with Connell in counselling tonight but so important to see them. Mental health is still not discussed or supported as well as it could be in Ireland. It's ok to not be ok. Talk to someone if you can - @PietaHouse @samaritans #NormalPeople
— colettebond_ire (@colettebondire) May 26, 2020
And with issues such as mental health and suicide brought to the fore thanks to the series, Paul has been using his platform to raise much-needed funds for Pieta House, raffling off one of his personal chains for the occasion. Read more about that here.
Anyone affected by the issues raised in Normal people this week can contact the following numbers for help:
Pieta House - 1800 247 247
Samaritans - 116 123
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