First person

There is a big problem with One Day and it’s hiding in plain sight

It’s the number one show on Netflix and reviewers have raved about it. But for every lover, there’s a secret hater and Rowan Pelling can’t stop thinking about the crucial detail that has ruined the relationship between Dex and Emma for her

Tuesday 27 February 2024 18:13 GMT
Chalk and cheese: the couple are missing a crucial ingredient
Chalk and cheese: the couple are missing a crucial ingredient (Netflix )

Every now and then you’re forced to make a lonely stand against the cultural consensus. In 1986 I told school friends that, no, I didn’t worship Simple Minds and so would not be accompanying them to Wembley Arena.

Nearly 30 years later, I risk becoming a social pariah because I’m the only woman in the playground who feels “meh” about One Day. More to the point, I’m underwhelmed by the drama’s heroine Emma Morley. Or, as I came to think of her: the dour-mat.

I didn’t find Emma objectionable when I lapped up David Nicholl’s excellent novel on a summer holiday in 2010 – but the delight of reading is you can create your own version of a character in your head. My Emma was sparky, witty and seductively intransigent, like Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

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