There are few certainties in this world: death, taxes, and a Taylor Swift fan’s compulsion to look for clues in everything. A recent addition to the list is the unyielding love of TikTok Normal peopleConnell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones). It’s officially been three years since I first laid eyes on the beautiful, tortured couple, and they’ve been haunting me and my For You page ever since.
Normal peoplean adaptation of Sally Rooney’s second novel, follows Connell and Marianne’s fluctuating relationship from their intense beginnings in high school to their tumultuous reunion in college. Over the course of 12 episodes, viewers watched the Irish teenagers mature distressed young adults, as they face challenges with mental health, family and feelings of belonging.
Kendall Roy is the Internet’s babe
If not well edited to a heartwarming song by the likes of taylor swift or Phoebe Bridgers (who is, above all, Mescal’s ex), moving scenes are published, and there are many of them, in Tik Tok raw, not even properly formatted, just a phone recording a greasy laptop screen. Still, thousands of likes and views are pouring in.
The fanfare doesn’t end with him television adaptation, Rooney’s novel has almost as much air time. I’ve seen the quote, “I’m not a religious person, but sometimes I think God made you for me,” rather than my own reflection.
On TikTok, the hashtag “Normal People” currently has 7 billion views. It’s not a series that will ever get a second season, and the recent adaptation of Rooney’s first novel, Conversations with Friendswas missing Normal peoplethe cultural impact. So why can’t TikTok let Connell and Marianne go?
“It’s a show I still think about a lot. The show and the book really influenced the way I look at modern relationships,” Pete Rouse, a 22-year-old publishing assistant in the UK, tells Mashable. Rouse began to do Normal people edit after graduating college in 2022, two years after originally watching the show, to learn editing software.
For young people like Rouse, Normal people it is a mirror through which to see yourself more clearly. Eliot D’Silva, a doctoral candidate in English at UC Berkeley, explored the popularity of Normal people in a course he taught, titled “Sally Rooney: Popularity and the Popular.” He says: “Reliability is what makes people stick to Sally Rooney. [Her] the characters feel like they could be any young person today who is negotiating the same kinds of challenges and changes that we all are.”
It helps that the actors who played these characters have become stars in their own right. of Mescal performance in 2022 After the sun earned him a nomination as best actor in the oscars, and his public relationship with the singer-songwriter pointers caused a lot of speculation on the internet. Edgar Jones has starred ever since fresh i Where the Crawdads sing and while she hasn’t found the same level of success on screen as Mescal, she’s still adored Normal people ventilators The pair hang out regularly, feeding fans more content that they can then use to make speculative edits of Connell and Marianne.
With edits, fans regularly remix the show. By now, all 12 episodes are packed with a return to favorite moments and re-contextualized based on the songs with which the scenes are combined. The new music that has come out in the past three years makes the scenes feel new again. By connecting the new lyrics to the characters, fans are re-immersed in the emotions of the show. For example, Taylor Swift released the 10-minute version of her iconic breakup song “All Too Well” a year and a half after the release of Normal people. And edit(opens in a new tab) covering the whole The length of the song now has over 1.9 million views on YouTube.
“With montages you can relive the best scenes from the show, but with the most heartbreaking music and the sickest transitions. Normal people she edits Taylor Swift songs for real hours, connecting the lyrics to the scenes,” Konstantina, a self-described 24-year-old medical lab assistant in Greece. Normal people edit “addict,” says Mashable.
“The songs will immediately remind me of Connell and Marianne, and then I plan an edit to match the lyrics,” Julie, a 20-year-old student, tells Mashable. He didn’t watch the show until last year and now he creates and publishes Normal people edits on TikTok. A video combining clips of Connell and Marianne with Bridgers’ “Waiting Room” garnered more than 803,000 views and 145,000 likes. Another set of New West’s “Those Eyes” received over 80,000 likes.
Normal people editions exist as part of “sad girl culture” a niche corner of the internet where disaffected youth worship at the altar of Sally Rooney, Fleabag, Bridgers, Swift, and anyone whose art can effectively send you through a depressive episode. It’s called a whole universe The multiverse of sadness(opens in a new tab) was created by fans connecting favorite girls, and both Mescal and Edgar Jones are central figures, the pair even dressed up as Fleabag and the hot priest for Halloween. “The connections with Paul Mescal, Phoebe Bridgers, Fleabag and Taylor Swift kept Normal people popular,” explains Konstantina.
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“A lot of Phoebe Bridgers’ music really lends itself Normal people because many of these songs are about growing up, and Normal people it’s about growing up or falling in love and trying to figure out where you are in the world,” Rouse says. “It helps that it’s a beautiful-looking show. The images really lend themselves to edits.”
Normal people ends ambiguously with Connell and Marianne continuing their cycle of miscommunication. It’s a conclusion that could leave viewers unsatisfied and begging for a happy ending for the couple. “Normal people There weren’t that many episodes, and you never really understand what happens to them next, so the editions that continue Connell and Marianne’s story have a huge fan base,” Julie explained. “The editions are a way to keep their love for the show. “
Fans can also be particularly fixated Normal people by when he came out: a month of confinement. In 2021, The Atlantic(opens in a new tab) reported on a subculture of young people dedicated to awakening nostalgia for the early days of COVID-19. I wrote about how Viral TikTok songs of Spring 2020 elicited strong emotional responses from users, and perhaps the same can be said of the television programs we watched at that time. Normal people it’s a touchstone where people have to go back to gauge how they’ve changed over the past three years.
Just a month into the pandemic, she became a staple for a new algorithmically generated persona, the online sad girl. There’s a strange comfort in watching it now: an ambiguous ending to an ambiguous moment in time, our FYPs forever dragging us back to Connell and Marianne.
TikTok has become of the most popular social media platforms today, with over 1.5 billion users, and having a major impact on how people consume and interact with media. However, what is interesting about the app is that ‘normal people’ rather than influencers, continue to reign over many areas of the app.
The reason behind this trend can be attributed to several key factors. First, TikTok is the perfect platform for ordinary users to showcase their creative talent by uploading short and humorous clips. The app has also seen a rise in user participation. People often create videos on topics they find interesting and share experiences in the form of videos. Thus, TikTok creates an environment where users have the freedom to express their creative side and break the traditional boundaries set by other social media platforms.
Additionally, the app’s algorithm ensures that every user can have a similar chance at success. Even though influencers may have more followers, the algorithm is designed in such a way that everyone has an equal opportunity to get their content viral.
At Ikaroa, we believe TikTok is an ideal platform for users to showcase their creativity in a variety of ways. With continued innovation, the app has become a powerful medium for users to express themselves and gain recognition in the process. By continuing to support the ‘normal people’ rather than influencers, TikTok is paving the way for a unique and wonderful form of creative expression.