The Lying Life of Adults 2023 / A subtle yet intriguing coming-of-age series that’s also a portrait of 90’s Naples


Based on a novel, The Lying Life of Adults might feel, at first, like a standard Netflix coming-of-age series, complete with vintage styling (the 90’s, this time) and teenage shenanigans, like skipping classes, preoccupation over sex, and rebelling against parental disapproval. Sure, the show does go through these moments, but the writing of original novelist Elena Ferrante, with the assistance of the writing team and showrunner Edoardo De Angelis, elevates this template through its subtleties, as Giovanna visits her estranged aunt Vittoria, and compares and contrasts the way she lives, with the way her parents approach life. It’s both a portrait of a divided family, but also one of a divided city, and it makes Giovanna’s coming-of-age a more nuanced journey that we haven’t seen before.

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