LAST NIGHT'S episode of Normal People was one of the most eagerly anticipated one yet, for a number of reasons.
For one thing, the drama, which is aired every Tuesday on RTÉ, has proved a massive hit since it was first launched on BBC earlier this month, and word-of-mouth and the massive praise its been getting has had new audiences tuning in each week.
For another thing, the episode had already gained notoriety before it even aired in Ireland due to a Dublin Bishop exclaiming that it was "morally wrong" for RTÉ to air the episode, which would include 'the longest-ever sex scene to be aired on Irish television'.
Not only that, but the 'longest-ever sex scene' would also include some full-frontal nudity.
As Bishop Michael Cox put it, "Showing a grown man fully naked on TV? It would offend any right-minded human being".
But despite Bishop Cox's call for RTÉ to ban the series completely, last night's double episode went ahead as scheduled, and while nobody seemed to be as outraged as Bishop Cox expected them to be, it did get people talking.
"It's Ireland's longest sex scene, I understand" #NormalPeople pic.twitter.com/BsPxFkBBJx
— Seán Keany (@SeanKeany_) May 12, 2020
"Connell and Marianne flat out for the two episodes tonight and I watching it with the mother," one man, Evan Comerford, wrote on twitter. "Never again."
"My mother is 73 and LOVES Normal People," Rachel Carson Pilkington wrote. "And that has nothing to do with Connell's appendage."
Irish satire outlet Waterford Whispers News penned a piece stating that a Vatican plane had doused RTÉ in Holy Water following the episode, while journalist Brianna Parkins said that "Irish men heading abroad for the next ten years need to thank Normal People for turning GAA jerseys and silver chains into a full blown fetish".
The recurring theme from audience's Twitter reviews, however, was how eagerly they were awaiting today's episode of Liveline with Joe Duffy.
Last week, a number of outraged viewers got in touch with the radio show to express their disgust with the amount of-- er-- love scenes within the programme after having watched the first episode on RTÉ.
The fiery debate became viral across Ireland and around the world, with outlets as far away as America reporting on the fury from aghast viewers who described it as "something you'd expect to see in a porno movie".
"Hope Joe Duffy gets a good night's sleep, he is going to need it after that," Emma Jane Hade wrote. "RTÉ could sell tickets to tomorrow's Liveline."
James Kavanagh shared the sentiment, saying "To say I'm absolutely BUZZING for the drama on Joe Duffy's Liveline tomorrow would be an UNDERSTATEMENT. I hope they get an irate Bishop Cox involved".
Even RTÉ themselves got in on the joke, Tweeting that "Liveline will be busy tomorrow- we hope Joe Duffy has the phone lines ready," along with a now-famous photograph of Duffy during last week's show.
.@rteliveline will be busy tomorrow - we hope Joe Duffy has the phone lines ready...enjoy! #NormalPeople pic.twitter.com/FLZg6LFkcD
— RTÉ (@rte) May 12, 2020
It seemed like most of the country was waiting with baited breath for the show to begin, with some joking they had wine or popcorn at the ready-- but there was widespread disappointment when Duffy announced at the beginning of the show that there would be no outraged callers today.
Me @ my desk ready to get my absolute life from #Liveline discussing #NormalPeople again ....
Then Joe announcing there’ll be zero NP drama pic.twitter.com/rl4y4nbpZD
— TinyDavyQ (@tinydavyq) May 13, 2020
Some considered calling into the station themselves to "get the ball rolling"...
me calling into #liveline to get the ball rolling on normal people pic.twitter.com/mutCCUoiXY
— reb🐠 (@gorebmaithagat) May 13, 2020
But overall it was just a normal-- pun not intentional-- episode.
Was so looking forward to some LiveLine Normal People outrage. Instead we got talk about dentists and oozing ear infections #liveline pic.twitter.com/HRsFOgQUiS
— /C H R I S T I N A\ (@chrreia) May 13, 2020
There's always next week.