A book, a movie and now a TV series, the new Netflix show One Day has broken the publics heart piece by piece. Starring Leo Woodhall and Ambika Mod, directed by Molly Manners, the show based on the original book by David Nicholls follows the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew who meet on their last official night of university and then continue to wind in and out of each other’s eventful lives focusing around one specific day. It is a devastatingly beautiful romance but also a reflection of the lengths that people can mature and grow as they advance in adulthood.

But why was the series so gut wrenching? I am going to put it down to three reasons (spoilers incoming):

  1. The tragic ending

The series penultimate episode ends with Emma hit by a car whilst on her bike and subsequently dying on a grey day in the middle of the road. To not have been sobbing your eyes out at this moment would have been inhumane. After years of “right person wrong timing”, commitment issues and other relationships and events Em and Dex finally tie the knot, are ready to have children and have bought a house together. The show lures you into a false sense of security before dropping you into a harsh reality where Emma dies, and Dexter is left to battle grief alone. The tragic nature of Emma’s death makes it a gut-wrenching watch as you root for the couple even when they don’t know their inevitable relationship, only for it to end in such a cruel, unjust and upsetting way.

  1. Dexter's grief

Not only do we see Dexter previously in the series dealing with the robbery that cancer had on his mother’s life, now we see him utterly, utterly destroyed with grief during the majority of the final episode featuring him in a drunken state at a child’s birthday party and also sobbing in his childhood bed. It is a moment in the series in which the way and extent to which Dexter loved Emma is truly evident, he cannot handle life without her, we find ourselves crying with him because not only was Emma’s death so unjust to the potential she had and her dreams for the rest of her life, it was also unjust to Dexter, to have someone there and the next second gone for Dexter was losing the person who could always save him from drowning. His loneliness in the final episode is choking.

  1. The runaway train that is life

Emma dies, but the world doesn’t die with her, life has to continue, and it does. On the anniversary of her death Dexter is surrounded by friends and family to provide a support network, Ian, a former boyfriend of Emma’s tells him things do get better, but that is the problem with grief, it runs on its own time and enters unannounced, arguably it is not an emotion that can be controlled by the individual it can strike at any time and as a watcher this tugs and twists the heart strings. Yes, grief is an inevitable part of life but the way it sits whilst life carries on makes Emma’s presence remain in spirit, including a particularly emotional scene where Dexter imagines the conversation that he would be having with Emma.

One day is a gripping watch, the investment that it forces within these two characters lives makes it impossible not to become emotionally attached, a show guaranteed to leave the mascara running and head spinning with devastation, the sign of a brilliant TV show and epic love story.