Review of Netflix’s “One Day” (Spoilers Ahead)

3 min read

Tushna Elavia ’26

Staff Writer

Netflix’s “One Day” based on David Nicholls’ bestselling novel follows the story of two starcrossed lovers, through their ups and downs, as their worlds continue to collide long after graduating from Edinburgh.

Dexter and Emma meet the night of graduation and make a mutual effort to develop this newly made yet profound connection as they navigate their starkly different lives. While the series follows a cliché friends-tolovers trope, it provides depth into the separate lives of both Dex and Em, which convinces the viewer that the two share an irreplaceable bond and complement each other perfectly. Set in 1988, Dexter belongs to a rich family and has the comfort to travel and “find himself.” He is extroverted, charming and conceited at times. Throughout the show, he fails to consider how his actions affect Emma, his mother and other women in his life. He only realizes the significant role they played in his life once they are no longer a part of it.

In contrast, Emma is a passionate socialist and aspiring writer. She is shy, humble and “always boycotting something.” The series casts Ambika Modi as Emma who plays a significant role in representing brown women as lead romantic roles in British cinema. While race does not play a central role in the storyline, Modi expresses how there is no reason why Emma could not be a woman of color in the story. Emma’s casting makes the theme of class conflict, which is mainly expressed through the relationship between Em and Dex even more evident.

Despite the two of them always finding their way back to each other, Dexter fails to be there for Emma as a friend time and time again. He runs back to her whenever he needs her, and she tries her best to be there. Dexter’s lack of accountability in relationships is not only tolerated but also encouraged at times by the people in his life.

Throughout the storyline, while both share a mutual attraction for one another, Dex fails to commit to Emma. Whenever Emma decides to move on and explore her options, he always comes back. Under the facade of romance, the show perpetuates the unhealthy narrative that true love always finds its way back, regardless of how conceited and misogynistic your lover may be.

Despite their flaws, it is hard to deny the chemistry and love they share. On the 13th episode of the series, the two meet in Paris and Emma breaks up with her partner while Dex is now divorced, and their paths finally converge again. The audience finally gets to experience the two together after a long season of their love for one another being so evident. However, just when things seem right, this episode tragically concludes with Emma’s sudden and unexpected death in a bike accident.

“One Day” hopes to portray that love transcends race, class and other barriers, including misogynistic tendencies, which are placed between Dex and Em. An anti-tale that serves as a stark reminder to celebrate friendship and love present in our lives, even when it is not the easiest thing to do, as losing it is so much harder.

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours