It's not about sex, love and nudity at all, Joe. It's all about class, capitalism and change.
The 'Liveline' wouldn't light up if the discussion went that way with Joe Duffy.
Hailed as the voice of the millennials, the world created by Sally Rooney is about a lot more than sex scenes and is instructive to our current political dysfunction.
The author of 'Normal People' is a self-professed Marxist. Her ideology doesn't interfere with a cracking narrative or touching dialogue. She describes herself as a novelist, not a polemicist.
Yet her politics seeps through her writing. It's no accident the central protagonists of the book that has captured the nation's imagination are the rich girl living in the mansion and the poor boy whose mother works as her family's cleaner. The TV version glosses over the discussions around 'The Communist Manifesto' and the feminist bible 'The Golden Notebook'.
Rooney's characters, like her, were born into the social change of the 1990s of a country which is almost unrecognisable now. It was the decade we elected our first female President, the rule of the Church waned, contraception became widely available, homosexuality was decriminalised and divorce was narrowly passed in a referendum.
All huge at the time but now appearing to be minor steps.
'Normal People' is set against the backdrop of post-economic-crash Ireland of the early 2010s. Marianne and Connell didn't start out in Rooney's head as Leaving Cert students in Carricklea. She says they featured in a short story, that was never finished, as a couple in their mid-20s heading to a political rally. She doesn't mention if Marianne was carrying an anti-water charges placard, flying a rainbow flag or wearing a 'Repeal' jumper.
Rooney and her contemporaries and characters alike came of political age in a decade when change happened fast and in an uncompromising fashion.
Over the course of the 2010s, changes that couldn't have been foreseen came about.
The old world of the Civil War parties' dominance and the two-and-a-half-party State of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party was replaced by a more diverse and fragmented political system.
A left-wing firebrand was elected as President, twice, and the gay son of a migrant became Taoiseach.
In the defeat of water charges, policies were overturned as old fashioned street protest became mainstream.
Social changes did not just creep across the line, as the referendums on same-sex marriage and abortion were overwhelmingly passed.
Compared to previous decades when little enough happened, suddenly all was changed and changed utterly.
From home-to-vote to 'MeToo', grassroots activism came into its own on a domestic and global scale. The 2010s were the decade when seismic shifts happened rapidly.
It's a double-edged sword. The flip side of this social-media pop-up-style campaigning was reflected in the election of Donald Trump and the passing of Brexit, where sentiment overrode fact.
Our relationship with our closest cultural allies has been altered as we are embarrassed by our neighbours' behaviour.
Coming into a new decade, societal issues of climate change and housing were poised to dominate, driven by the demands for reform of young people. The question of national unity is suddenly viewed as not altogether radical or something for the generations to come to aspire to.
Already in this country, the largest number of votes in the general election was won by a left-wing party led by a woman.
The shocks just keep on coming. Then the coronavirus struck, bringing about societal and economic changes we are not yet sure are temporary or permanent. But they still represent change.
The climate agenda has been pushed off centre-stage for now but it is no longer a niche issue confined to what economic circumstances allow.
Talking about 'Normal People' with books editor Kishani Widyaratna at the London Review Bookshop this time last year, Rooney presciently predicted a radical shift in the way that we live as a result of a civilisation and environmental collapse.
A year on and in the midst of a global pandemic altering and threatening our way of life, it doesn't seem so far-fetched. Nor are her views completely 'out there'. Living through the inequity of the housing crisis, her jaundiced view of social systems are representative of many.
Belief in the overwhelming necessity to tackle climate change is not the preserve of any particular brand of politics. Hence the growing popularity in green movements, although they are not the only parties to show a genuine interest in this area of what has become a social policy.
From the economic, political and social transformation of the last decade, there is an impatience for change from those younger voters who now view rapid and spontaneous change simply as the norm.
The public was often ahead of the politicians on those changes and that hasn't ended.
Taking rapid change for granted and being impatient for more is a form of political privilege at the crux of our current impasse.
The Green Party is caught between these two worlds of old politics and new politics.
Eamon Ryan shows the compromise view of needing to be in government to initiate some change and implement some of your policies. Catherine Martin represents the new world order of not yielding on your principles and not settling for incremental change.
Imagine the temerity of a party leader's position coming under pressure from senior figures in a crisis. Critics of the Greens' internal machinations so easily forget Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin were both involved in attempted putsches against their leaders a decade ago as the country was in the midst of the economic crash.
The Greens are not the problem. Satisfying the demands of new voters for rapid reform is reflective in their internal struggles. The argument for a government being needed now is weighed against the desire for a government that will actually make a difference.
Meanwhile, the cogs of State threaten to grind to a halt. The impasse around the formation of a new government is showing no signs of abating.
The caretaker government can't pass any more legislation and will hit a financial wall in July, virtually unable to rule.
The list of legislative measures needing to be addressed grows by the day. The Offences Against the State Act, which protects the citizens against domestic and overseas terrorism, is in danger of running out and not being renewed.
Among the bizarre proposals being discussed amongst ministers and officials in Government Buildings is for the Taoiseach to be voted back in temporarily with the agreement of other parties in the Dáil to allow the appointment of Senators to the Seanad. These 11 Taoiseach's nominees would be divvied up across all the parties. The Seanad sitting would allow laws to be passed and buy a bit more time. How exactly ministers would be appointed under this new Taoiseach-by-unpopular-acclaim system is not at all clear as ministerial appointments must be approved by resolution of the Dáil.
"We are now gone into a scenario that is beyond farce," a minister observed.
In the meantime, ordinary citizens with no electoral mandate, as they lost their seats in the general election, continue to masquerade as ministers in the Dáil chamber
The talks on forming a government that nobody voted for, nobody wants to be a part of, and nobody particularly wants to see governing the country, continue.
The fall-back plans of the Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael-Green Party alliance are already being lined up. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would then approach Independents and Labour. Failing that, eventually Fianna Fáil would have to approach Sinn Féin.
The plain people of Ireland who ate their dinner in the middle of the day have been replaced by the normal people.
The old-school political parties are still playing catch-up.