Dolly Alderton’s Memoir of Everything I Know About Love took book lovers by storm and went viral all over BookTok. Dolly then created a BBC adaptation of the memoir, bringing the characters to life in a funny, nostalgic yet relatable way.
One of the reasons why others, myself included, loved both books and show so much is their sincerity. Dolly does a fantastic job of creating scenes and moments from her life into something everyone can relate to. She subtly yet clearly tells us that it’s okay not to know who you are and more than okay to make mistakes.
When we are being scrutinized in our twenties, Dolly kindly reminds us that your twenties are meant to be the years where you try, fail, and mess up again and again until you are bored of your shit. Her vulnerable plunge into her personal life makes us feel human and reminds us to be present for each moment, even the bad.
As realistic as the events are, there’s also a hint of romanticism which I think Dolly intentionally adds. The nostalgic idealization of being broke and hung over in your twenties gives viewers a feel-good feeling. We are constantly retold through the show’s main character (Maggie), which portrays Dolly herself, that the world is your oyster. We watch Maggie go through open relationships with men to recognize she’s never been loved by one. We see her romance with her best friend, but we also see them grow apart.
i’m still not over this quote from everything i know about love pic.twitter.com/9G6Oafj9jA— auri? | booktwt ♡ (@luthoreads) June 12, 2022
Through Maggie, Dolly lets us know her most vulnerable thoughts and feelings. We are given a direct lens to her opinions of herself and others. As readers, it gives us room even to dislike Maggie at times, but even through this, we understand because we can relate. Although Maggie is a loud character and the party’s life, she admits to being unhappy, something we can also relate to.
Dolly has made the show the perfect mixture of hard pills to swallow and comforting realities that even when things are bad, it’s not the end of the world. Not knowing what to do with yourself at 24 doesn’t mean you are a failure; it simply means you are human.
I think the best part of this show is the realism and representation of most people in their twenties experience. It doesn’t paint a perfect picture of financial freedom and ideal relationship, but instead, it shows us the ugly truths of growing up, which more shows need.
Dolly’s awareness and wisdom of her twenties allow us to be consoled and reassured that everyone is just like you, winging this thing called life.