The HBO adaptation of Elena Ferrante's book My Brilliant Friend is arriving on Sunday, November 18, and all we can wistfully sigh is, "At last." After countless articles fantasizing about the adaptations' dream cast, we'll see the official visualization of the books that set off a little something called "Ferrante fever." Ferrante's quartet about two women growing up in post-war Naples ignited a rare kind of literary craze.
The series' foray into prestige TV seemed almost inevitable — but with a series this beloved, the stakes were high. Luckily, we can say the adaptation clings to the source material accurately, thanks in part to the interventions of the enigmatic author, who goes by a pen name. When you see Elena Greco and Lina Cerullo on screen, you'll recognize them immediately by their faces, as well as by the mountain of emotion that exists just a level below their expressions, occasionally peaking through.
My Brilliant Friend catches Elena and Lina at the start of their winding lives. They're bright young girls who recognize in one another an aching hunger to be more than what their traditional, rigid community in Naples has dreamt for them. The next three novels follow the repercussions of their ambition — and, most memorably, tracks their thorny, compelling, occasionally toxic friendship.
This is what we know you want to know about the adaptation of My Brilliant Friend.