Conversations With Normal People
Sally Rooney returns to the screen
A brand new series of Conversations With Normal People was released on Sunday and the Daily Mail - out of nothing and nowhere - asked Hill if she would review it. She was typing back thanks so much but she couldn’t possibly - she’d be too busy drowning herself - when Hell seized the keyboard and fired off another reply entirely.
‘This drama is psychotic,’ she muttered, at 4.30am next morning, clutching her head and squinting, trying to make sense of episode one. ‘So. Sally Rooney’s back, she’s got a new hair do, and she’s hit the 50 Grey-ish Shades of Dublin reunion tour hard (campus quads, kitsch kitchens, boho bars) in her natty cardigan. She stares out of the window of a piece of public transport wanting to text
Connell Bobbi - but they appear to be on non-speaks so she calls up Jessa from Girls.
‘Why did you tell Bobbi about my short story when I should have told Bobbi about my short story?’ Sally Rooney demands. ‘It is the best short story in the history of short stories. For I am Sally Rooney. Hear me roar.’
Jessa from Girls flicks her hair, and acts: ‘Are you talking to me? You fucked my husband and gave him sexually transmitted depression you fucking whore.’
‘I’m sorry,’ says Sally. ‘I think you have the wrong number,’ hangs up, phones Bobbi and starts fucking her instead.
Connell Bobbi is a girl.)
We’re twenty minutes in and it’s Christmas already. This is all a lot to compute and now we’re very worried for Bobbi - who could get infected with depression too and die. Sally Rooney is now browsing book products in a bookshop, admiring all the massed stacks of Sally Rooneys, wondering which one she will get Bobbi, when the married man she was fucking calls her accidentally on purpose. He is sitting in his car, crying, as all men do in the known Rooneyverse. He says he wants to be available to her all the time. [“All the time?” Hill asked, scribbling down the beginnings of a horror story about a man who won’t stop crying as a woman drowns slowly in his tears.] Sally Rooney leaves the bookshop, neglecting to buy Hello Beautiful World, How Are You, for Bobbi - which seems selfish considering how much it would cheer her up - goes to a park, and explains all about her endometriosis diagnosis.
End of episode - onto the next…
Even more bizarre stream of consciousness shit happens, we have flashed back to the happy time before Sally Rooney contracted her STD and started spreading it, which just goes to show not all the sex she ever had was ‘safe’ and (the moral of the story is) it very much should have been. Bobbi stays the night when she was supposed to go home - because Sally’s endometriosis is the lure and the trap by which the plot is unhinged. Then Sally pretends she’s never met the man she’s fucking behind his wife’s back at a reading of her performance poetry (which he insists he likes - so we know him for a pseud or a liar.)
‘That latter bit makes sense,’ Hill told Hell. ‘You would pretend you didn’t know the man you were fucking behind his wife’s back if you were in front of his wife’s face.’ Hell muttered that she felt two episodes were more than enough, and they were over thank God, so started to type: ‘Sally Rooney’s latest epic may go on as long as the BBC’s last adaptation of War and Peace but Conversations With Friends is no Normal People…’
Spoiler alert, for those who haven’t watched a single second, we had clicked on episode 10 by mistake.
Anyway, the real reason we have returned - as a one off despite promising to stop harassing you in this manner - is… Hill was interviewed by a journalist about Love In Late Capitalism and he asked her to send it to her ‘fans’ since she appeared to have quit social media. (‘Your fans?’ Hell raised an eyebrow. ‘Is he confusing you with someone who is on social media because they have some? Oh honey, no…’) Modern media lives or dies by the clicks and if there are no clicks there will be no more journalism so could you please do it anyway? It’s not like we’re asking you for the tenth failed time to buy and read Hill’s book or anything.
In conclusion, therefore, we hope this is the last we write about Sally Rooney because in the context of the last sentence we sound like we have a psychotic vendetta against her (and we do, we do…) but - to paraphrase - Tim Dillon:
‘These [writers] are frauds. What is wrong with you…? You’re on earth for a certain amount of time and you’re investing in that?’