Netflix’s latest romantic sensation One Day has been breaking viewers’ hearts as they react to the tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers.
The 14-episode series follows the journey of Emma Morley (played by This Is Going Hurt’s Ambika Mod) and Dexter Mayhew (played by White Lotus’s Leo Woodall) as they become good friends and eventually fall in love over a decade later.
Originally a book by David Nicholls’, One Day was first adapted into a movie featuring Anne Hathaway in 2011 and has now been made into a show for the streaming platform.
*Spoilers for One Day are in this article - you have been warned*
Emma and Dexter are both students at Edinburgh University but they lack common ground: Emma is a working-class idealist intent on changing the world through her writing while Dexter is from a wealthy background and cruises through life on his good looks, charm and wit.
The show’s format has been praised by fans as it breaks with convention, with each episode representing the same day – St Swithin’s Day on 15 July – on a different year in the pair’s lives.
However, viewers were left stunned in the penultimate episode when the young couple are torn apart by tragedy. Dexter listens to a tender voicemail left by his wife (after much back and forth between the pair, they eventually marry) – but it’s too late as Emma is killed in a road accident while she is cycling.
The final episode sees Woodall’s character feeling lost and destructive as he battles with grief and loss before a ghost of Emma joins him for some well-meaning advice as he goes on a journey towards healing.
One fan lamented: “End of episode 13 of One Day on Netflix you ruined my life.”
Another viewer wrote on X/Twitter that they had stayed awake until 2am to binge the romcom series and had only one thing to say: “Don’t ever reccommend anything like that to me again”.
It comes as the show’s lead writer Nicole Taylor said that the production team felt it was necessary to keep the ending the same as the original book.
“I interrogated it fully. I felt that was necessary,” Taylor told Entertainment Weekly. “I didn’t feel under any pressure to change the ending or to keep the ending. I just wanted to reinterview it for its place in the piece.”
Though viewers were left devastated by the twist in the series, they also praised its emotional range. One user wrote: “One Day has to be one of the best, most unsuspecting emotional series I’ve seen on Netflix. The ending just left me devastated.”
Another said the show had changed lives: “Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod walked into Netflix HQ and said we want to change lives and that’s exactly what they did.”
However, in The Independent’s three-star review of One Day, TV critic Nick Hilton wrote that the two main characters had chemistry, “but it doesn’t really fizz”.
“And, at the end of the day, even if there’s no gut punch, there’s still a poignancy to the sun setting on young love,” he concludes.
One Day is out on Netflix now.