Eleanor Stanford, Parul Sehgal and Joshua Barone – Dec 10, 2018
This conversation includes spoilers for the first season of “My Brilliant Friend.”
When Saverio Costanzo, the director of HBO’s “My Brilliant Friend,” wanted to cut the story’s final wedding scene, Elena Ferrante pushed back, saying it was the scene she initially imagined when she wrote her four-part series of Neapolitan novels, of which “My Brilliant Friend” is the first. The scene’s inclusion makes a fitting ending to a season that has not strayed far from its source material. HBO has confirmed it will air eight more episodes covering Ferrante’s second Neapolitan novel, “The Story of a New Name.”
This week’s two episodes saw Lila secure her desired engagement and Lenù get a boyfriend she cares little for. Lila advanced her plan to make and sell expensive shoes with her brother; Lenù returns from Ischia for further adventures in school. Their friendship remains complicated by jealousy and competitiveness.
[Read our critics’ list of the year’s best TV including new series, streaming and foreign fare.]
This week, Eleanor Stanford and Joshua Barone, editors on the Culture desk, are joined by Parul Sehgal, a critic for the Times Book Review, who has written extensively about Ferrante’s work. You can read our discussion of the first two episodes here, the third and fourth here, the fifth and sixth here and the Times review of the show here.