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How to watch Normal People online: Hulu release date, cast, trailer and more

How to watch Normal People online
(Image credit: Hulu)

Today's the day to watch Normal People online. Sally Rooney's bestselling novel's adaptation to a TV series has been highly anticipated, and it's finally landed on Hulu. 

Normal People is a heart-wrenching tale of first love in the roller coaster relationship between two Irish teenagers, Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who meet in secondary school (aka high school in the U.S.) and then later both attend Trinity College in Dublin. 

Normal People the show consists of 12 episodes, all of which will be released on Hulu at once, so you can binge to your heart's content.

Normal People start time, channel

Normal People season 1 is out now, having dropped at 12 a.m. Eastern, on Wednesday, April 29 on Hulu.

Rooney's 2018 novel made the long list for the Man Booker Prize and The Guardian's ranking of the top 100 books of the 21st century. Readers were captivated by the complex love story at its heart. 

In Normal People, Connell is handsome, popular and smart. He begins a secret romance with the unpopular, brilliant Marianne, whose wealthy family employs Connell's mother as a cleaner. When they reunite at Trinity College, it's Marianne's time to shine as she blossoms into an attractive and sought-after young woman. Throughout their on-again, off-again relationship, Connell and Marianne help each other process toxic family drama, personal insecurities and issues around depression, suicide and and abuse. 

The first six episodes were co-written by Rooney and directed by the Oscar-nominated Lenny Abrahamson (Room). 

Here's everything you need to watch Normal People around the world.

How to watch Normal People from anywhere in the world with a VPN

If you're in a country with geo-restrictions, you don't need to miss out on watching Normal People online. It's pretty easy with the right VPN (virtual private network), you can stream the show from wherever you go.

Our pick for the best VPN is ExpressVPN. It meets the VPN needs of the vast majority of users, offering outstanding compatibility with most devices and impressive connection speeds. You'll even get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year, or there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.

Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN, really shines thanks to its safety, speed and simplicity-to-use. It's also compatible with loads of devices - from iOS and Android to Roku, Apple TV and PlayStations.
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How to watch Normal People in the US

If you're in the U.S., you can watch the entire first season of Normal People on Hulu. It came out at midnight Eastern on Wednesday, April 29, meaning West Coast viewers got to start it at the more tolerable time of 9 p.m. Pacific.

Normal People is just one of many great shows and movies streaming on Hulu. In addition to next-day airings of current TV shows and library content from FX, Hulu offers award-winning series like The Handmaid's Tale. Other originals include Little Fires Everywhere, High Fidelity, Shrill, PEN15, Casual and Ramy.View Deal

How to watch Normal People in the UK

Normal People is actually an Irish production, so Brits can watch it live on the telly for free. It is airing on BBC One every Monday at 9 p.m. 

If you want to binge it, the entire first season was also released on iPlayer. 

How to watch Normal People in Canada

Bad news, Canadians. Hulu isn't in Canada — b ut you can still watch Normal People. Just check out our above section on how to use ExpressVPN to watch.

How to watch Normal People in Australia

It's a g'day mate, since Aussies can watch Normal People online with the streaming service Stan.

Stan's packages start at $10 a month, but if you're not sure about subscribing, you can check it out first with a free 1-month trial.

Normal People trailer

If you want to get a little taste of the drama in Normal People for yourself, you can watch the official trailer below. It should give you an idea of how many tears you'll shed while watching the show.

Normal People cast: Who's in it?

Hulu's Normal People cast is led by the two leads: Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell Waldron.

They are joined by recurring cast members, including:

  • Sarah Greene as Lorraine Waldron, Connell's single mother who is employed by the Sheridan family as their cleaner
  • Aislín McGuckin as Denise Sheridan, Marianne's single wealthy mother and a solicitor 
  • Frank Blake as Alan Sheridan, Marianne's brother
  • Eanna Hardwicke as Rob Hegarty, Connell's school friend

  • Eliot Salt as Joanna, Marianne's friend at Trinity College.
  • India Mullen as Peggy, Marianne's friend at Trinity College 
  • Desmond Eastwood as Niall, Connell's flatmate at Trinity College
  • Fionn O'Shea as Jamie, Marianne's acquaintance at Trinity College who has a crush on her
  • Leah McNamara as Rachel Moran, a schoolmate of Marianne and Connell who has a romantic connection with the latter
  • Seán Doyle as Eric, Connell's school friend
  • Niamh Lynch as Karen, a schoolmate of Marianne and Connell
  • Kwaku Fortune as Philip
  • Clinton Liberty as Kiernan
  • Aoife Hinds as Helen Brophy, Connell's girlfriend at Trinity College

Normal People episodes: How many are there?

Normal People consists of 12 episodes. Find brief descriptions below:

  • Episode 1: At a secondary school in Carricklea, County Sligo, a flame is kindled between Connell and Marianne.
  • Episode 2: Connell and Marianne's romance blossoms, but his eagerness to keep their relationship a secret puts it under strain.
  • Episode 3: As their school days come to a close, Marianne cuts Connell off after a hurtful betrayal.
  • Episode 4: As he struggles to fit in at Trinity College, Connell is reunited with Marianne, who has hit her stride at university.
  • Episode 5: Marianne doubts her new relationship as her bond with Connell grows stronger.
  • Episode 6: Connell and Marianne's renewed fling comes to an abrupt end due to a misunderstanding.
  • Episode 7: Marianne's new boyfriend Jamie is threatened by Connell's return to their lives.
  • Episode 8: Connell visits Marianne's summer home in Italy, where tensions between Marianne and Jamie reach breaking point.
  • Episode 9: While on the Erasmus student exchange programme in Sweden, Marianne finds herself in another unhealthy relationship.
  • Episode 10: Connell's mental health suffers after an old school friend commits suicide.
  • Episode 11: Connell and Marianne contemplate their future, and the abuse Marianne receives at home increases.
  • Episode 12: Happy at last, Connell and Marianne's relationship encounters another hurdle when he is invited to study in New York.

Normal People reviews

Overall, reviews of Normal People have been positive to glowing. Many critics have praised the performances of the lead actors. They also describe the numerous explicit sex scenes as intimate and passionate without being gratuitous. Here's a roundup of some Normal People reviews. 

The New York Times: "Normal People” looks and sounds like a teen melodrama about falling in love and getting it on. But more than that, it’s a double-barreled bildungsroman, an empathetic study of two young people coming, together, of age."

NPR: "It's a lovely series, not just to binge, but perhaps to dole out to yourself a couple of episodes at a time. It's also the kind of project that looks easy to do well but emphatically isn't. And for audiences who may be mostly new to both of these actors — she's appeared here and there; he is a stunning talent for someone who is genuinely just starting out in television — it's a treat to see them work so well together."

Vulture: "In its initial three episodes, Normal People sets a precedent for what will become a signature aspect of the series: sex scenes that are explicit, tender, and extraordinarily intimate ... The series leaves pretty much no body part unexposed, and yet the sex never seems gratuitous."

Rolling Stone:  "Of the show’s two young stars, much is asked, and even more is given. They are spectacular — apart, but especially together — at conveying the vulnerability and longing essential to making a love story like this work."

BBC: "It’s unusual too to find an adaptation that not only tells a story faithfully, but also builds on that story, making you want to turn back to the original source material and read it with these new images in mind."