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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Criticism: “One Day”

Another Netflix show that made me shed a tear
Art+Critic+Theresa+Lozano+says+Netflix%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9COne+Day%E2%80%9D+isn%E2%80%99t+another+adaptation+down+the+drain+%28but+it+is+one+that+made+her+cry%29.+%28Photo+via+Netflix%2FIMDB%29
Art Critic Theresa Lozano says Netflix’s “One Day” isn’t another adaptation down the drain (but it is one that made her cry). (Photo via Netflix/IMDB)

Rating 8.7/10

 

Spoilers ahead for “One Day.”

Netflix is back at it with another adaptation, and boy were my expectations wrong. Based on the 2009 David Nicholls novel “One Day,” the 2024 show follows a couple over the span of 20 years and their ups, downs and everything in between. 

Starring Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall, the 14-episode limited series was released Feb. 8. Twenty to 35 minute episodes made it a quick watch and an easy binge. Each episode begins with the date July 15 and a different year, specifically showing the importance tied to the couple’s timeline and why it stands out. 

Personally, I’m a bit of a romantic, so this show definitely sparked my interest upon seeing the trailer. Starting July 15, 1988, leads Emma and Dexter meet on their college graduation night, spend that night and then half the next day together, then split their separate ways, remaining friends. With a title like “One Day,” of course these leads were not going to get together when there’s still 13 episodes left to watch! I’m a fan of almost any romantic arc, slow burns being one of my favorites — although sometimes I can become frustrated, impatient and want more because as soon as we’re fed a piece of romance, that’s the end. That’s exactly what happened here: we got what we’ve been waiting for and it just got snapped away from us. 

I really liked this series because it allowed us to watch the tangled lives of Emma and Dexter and how no matter how far they strayed from each other, they still somehow managed to come back together like magnets. We know and saw in this show that life is not easy, especially when you’re trying to find yourself. These characters had to find themselves, grow and mature enough to finally earn a good life with the other. Their attitudes and habits changing with age and experiences built them as individuals; they had to deal with the storm to have the rainbow.

There were many details I enjoyed. The soundtrack was great and fitting, giving me new tunes to add on Spotify. Their rooms, apartments and wardrobes showed the person they were, or were trying to be, especially displaying character development. Although we didn’t get as many scenes of them together as I would have liked, a part of me was okay with it that way. It allowed them to shine as individuals and have separate lives, and was not just another show reducing these characters to simply “what-if”s” tied to another person. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t glad we got some moments of them in the finale that weren’t shown earlier on! 

I didn’t rate “One Day” a solid 10/10 because — bluntly — I didn’t get the ending I wanted. It was so bittersweet. Once we finally got the two together and their lives were just getting started and looking hopeful, that fire was quickly extinguished. When Emma got hit by the car, her eyes told me enough even though I didn’t want to believe it. I did cry during the last episode; I was just so sad for Dexter and how he finally was on a good path and had the person he didn’t deserve but needed, then boom she was gone faster than he got her. His way of healing and coping was a major character turnaround. That was one of the only nice things about the ending: his way of remembering and coming to terms, still figuring out the peace part. 

Another part I didn’t like was what I stated earlier: Dexter did not deserve Emma (at least for the most part; she wasn’t perfect either). There were times where he called her for validation and hung up right after he got it, was extremely snotty and took advantage of their friendship. Granted, he had personal problems and later on had potential to truly do something fulfilling for himself. Emma was the good influence he needed to turn things around. I think what irked me was Dexter being the golden boy and having things handed to him, yet he still wasted so many opportunities. Life is almost never going to be easy, but how many chances does someone deserve? There were points where he was trying and there were specs of potential, but he just couldn’t get there fully without Emma. But I can’t say too much… I loved how happy, harmonious and always there for each other Dexter and Emma were once they were finally together. 

There’s honestly a lot more to unpack with this show, and — although similar but definitely not the same as 2020’s “Normal People” — Mod and Woodall displayed unique, beautiful and magnetic performances, giving us intimate and realistic moments between their characters. There’s a possibility I’ll rewatch it in the (distant) future, but for now I’ll just stop and end the show with five minutes left in episode 13. The wound is still fresh.

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About the Contributor
Theresa Lozano
Theresa Lozano, Life & Arts Writer
Howdy! I'm Theresa Lozano and I am a journalism major. I love living life with those around me. Gig 'em!!!
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