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Everything I Know About Love review: A love letter to women in their twenties – ★★★★☆

4 mins read

Dolly Alderton’s bestselling book Everything I Know About Love has been turned into a new BBC One series, with all episodes available on BBC iPlayer.

Set in 2012, the seven-part series focuses on twenty-four-year-old writer Maggie (Emma Appleton) and her childhood best friend Birdy (Bel Powley). They move into a surprisingly spacious London flatshare with fellow graduates Amara (Aliyah Odoffin) and Nell (Marli Siu). Directed by China Moo-Young, the show is packed with wild nights out, dodgy landlords, situationships, empty bank accounts and the struggles of finding your feet as a graduate and has been dubbed as the Sex and the City for millennial women.

The main character Maggie is a wild party girl who has to learn the hard lesson of taking responsibility and accepting that she must become less dependent on her best friend, Birdy. Perpetually single Birdy then finds love in mature and somewhat boring Nathan (Ryan Bown), much to Maggie’s disappointment and jealousy. As Birdy becomes closer to Nathan and begins to lead a life of her own, Maggie starts to spiral, realising that she may be losing her friend to a different life path.

Last year, Alderton expressed: “I am so excited that my TV show Everything I Know About Love is being announced today. It is a semi-fictionalised adaptation of my memoir of the same name.

“It’s a messy, boisterous, joyful romantic comedy about two female best friends from childhood and what happens when they move into their first London house share and move into their first phase of adulthood, and I cannot stress enough how thrilled I am that it’s being made by Working Title and the BBC.”

Image Credit: BBC

Everything I Know About Love provides a fresh perspective with conversations about race and white privilege through the character of Amara, something which was sorely missing from the book. Many criticised the book due to the author writing it from a place of privilege, with Dolly (and now Maggie) being a white, middle-class, heterosexual woman. The show tends to emphasise this privilege and makes no attempt to hide it; at one point, Maggie spends £200 on a taxi in a drunken adventure to visit her friend halfway up the country. 

I have to say that I enjoyed the ups and downs of Dolly’s real-life experiences in the book, along with all the extra details and stories we don’t get in the show. Although fictionalised, the TV series still delivers a relatable account of being a twenty-something woman. I was someone who had read the book in the summer of 2019, excited for my upcoming twenties. Now twenty-two and ready to graduate, this show describes precisely what’s happening around me, people getting into relationships, the crushing feeling of loneliness, some friends landing their dream jobs, and others still finding their passion. It reminded me that people drift apart sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that the love between them has disappeared. Everyone has their own path to follow, and life can get in the way sometimes.

All episodes are now available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Featured Image Credit: Dolly Alderton on Twitter / @dollyalderton

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