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Culture > Entertainment

Why “One Day” on Netflix was a serious letdown.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.


One Day is a British romance drama on Netflix based on Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, two students who met on graduation night and rekindled every year on the same day, July 15th. It took me two days to finish this series and I am here to give you a full breakdown, review, and explanation of why I think this series was a huge letdown. Other than the millions of TikTok’s I’ve seen about this series and how everyone was so heartbroken, I went into it completely blind. I haven’t even read the book or seen the 2011 movie version. 

Episode one starts with Emma and Dexter bumping into each other unexpectedly during their graduation celebration. They found interest in each other and hit it off for the rest of the night, since then they have become inseparable. In the following years, Dex and Emma prosper on their own and grow as individuals trying to find their part in society. Both unsure of what to do with their lives they take on similar roles as performers. Dex found his passion in television hosting and Emma wanting to be a play writer faces obstacles that lead her to become a teacher. 

On one drunken night, Emma confesses that she had a massive crush on Dexter back when they were younger and ends up with an awkward ending to the night. Then suffering from dealing with his mom’s illness Dexter indulges in unhealthy habits that later sabotages many of his relationships, including his with Emma. Dexter’s abuse of alcohol and drugs is one of the many reasons why I think this series did not meet my standards. During one of his episodes, Dex calls Emma multiple times intoxicated out of his mind. Emma is on a date with one of her coworkers and never gets back to him, leading him to spiral. 

In the next couple of years, they both move forward in life; relationship and work-wise. Almost forgetting each other, until Dex invites Emma out to the bar where his selfish behavior and addiction lead to them ending the night with a huge fight. After three years of no contact and weirdly inconvenient life obstacles, they reunite at the wedding of Emma’s best friend, Tilly. Dex reveals the shocking life updates that leave Emma doubtful of their relationship. Then when life doesn’t go as planned (again) for Dex, he runs back to Emma with more shocking news, but Emma also has some news. 

Finally, when both of them stop ignoring the obvious feelings they have for each other, they get together. They live a very normal life and are happy with each other. They even took the big steps like buying a house and even trying to start a family. Soon this happiness will be taken from them, why? MEGA SPOILER… 

Emma dies in a car accident on the way to meet Dex to see their new house. And that’s how their story ends, but not Dexter’s. He turns back to alcohol and becomes a complete mess, which is understandable. Although he is not alone, he still finds it hard to move on with life like everyone has been telling him to do, since it’s been a year since her death. 

Now that you have the main details, this is why I think this series was portrayed poorly. The actors and acting were amazing, but the storyline was way too choppy and left me and my friend with many questions. I understand the whole point of “it’s only one day,” but I still think they could’ve expanded on different parts of the story instead of always spiraling back to Dexter being an addict. The series focused so much on his addiction abuse that it became too predictable and boring. Something bad would happen, then boom Dex is back to drinking and partying and treating Emma like a welcome mat. That was the plot for at least 10 out of the 14 episodes. It’s a romance drama with only about an hour of romance between the main leads and I find that ridiculous. Not only that the amount of time that it took for them to get together just to have it ripped away from them was outrageous. There were too many chances for them together but they both had terrible communication and commitment issues. I think the ending would’ve been better if Dexter had died. Why? As I said before we all know what happens to Dex when something bad happens, he turns to substances. See how predictable and repetitive it is. I have to give some benefit of the doubt, In the end, Dex does turn his life around and decides to move on. That still doesn’t make up for all the time he wasted with Emma and spent partying and treating her poorly. I also understand addiction is hard, and you cannot force a person to be clean who doesn’t want to be. I feel as if Dexter had died, then Emma would’ve given the series meaning. She would’ve taken his death and made something of it. Yet instead, she had a horrible storyline with a horrible ending. 

Overall, this series gets a 5/10 for me because as a romance drama, it was just not fulfilling and did not entertain me in the slightest. 

Samya Settles is a member of Her Campus at IUP, she covers fashion and current pop culture topics. She wants to write about every hot topic going on in the entertainment industry. She loves any and everything to do with modeling and hopes to pursue that career in the future, along with running her own business. She is attending IUP for her bachelors in Entrepreneurship and Small Business, she also considers earning her masters in the future. She is an active member of NAACP, Management Association, and Sign Club. In her free time, she like to listen to music, watch YouTube, ride her bike, workout and learn new languages. She is obsessed with the color pink, pandas and food. One thing she is extremely good at is binge watching shows, finishing them in less than two days!