‘The Lying Life Of Adults’ Episode 1: Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Did Giovanna Want To Meet Aunt Vittoria? 

Netflix releases coming-of-age dramas with every sunrise and sunset, it seems. Any day, any time, a new young adult show is ready for you. Their latest addition, “The lying life of adults,” is adapted from Elena Ferrante’s (pseudonym) novel of the same name. This, of course, isn’t the first time the author’s work has been adapted with movies like “Nasty Love” and recently “The lost daughter” and a previously done show as well from her Neapolitan novel called “My Brilliant Friend” all being reason for more of her work to be adapted for screens. Strong female leads are what her novels are known for, and we’re expecting no less from “The lying life of adults.” Watching just the first episode has us wanting to take a trip to Naples instantly.


Spoilers Ahead

What Happens In ‘The Lying Life Of Adults’ Episode 1?

The first episode of “The Lying Life of Adults,” titled “Beauty,” begins with a young girl swimming in green water in what seems like a search for a bracelet when the credits roll in. A scene plays out with a bunch of boys dancing hip-hop in an abandoned street, with a voice-over by Giovanna, our lead, saying that her father called her ugly, not literally but metaphorically. A conversation between her parents about how she’s failing in most subjects at school leads her father to say that it is not adolescence that is causing her to be unintelligent but her resemblance to his sister, her aunt Vittoria. Vittoria is someone the family refers to as a monster who lives apart from them and doesn’t mingle with them. Giovanna, of course, is just reaching her teenage years and takes this conversation very seriously; when some friends come over, she asks them if they think she’s ugly, and they say not physically, in appearance, she’s beautiful, but there’s something dark lurking in her mind which is making her seem ugly.


The next day she goes through a bunch of old family photographs, and her father has scratched out her aunt’s face in all the pictures because, apparently, he hates even the sight of her face. Owing to her tomboyish appearance, Giovanna tries on some makeup; her mother teaches her to apply it gently, and she asks her about her aunt Vittoria. She confesses that she heard her father say she looks like her aunt and that she wants to know what she looks like. Giovanna’s mother explains how Vittoria is a resentful sister who does not like Giovanna’s father because of his achievements. He tried to save her, but she paid him back by being as mean as possible, but he is not ordinary like everyone else in her life. Giovanna says that she has to see her aunt, and her mother reluctantly agrees and tells her where she has to find her. When her father arrives, he tells Giovanna she has nothing in common with her aunt, but he will take her to see her. Giovanna and her friend skip school to attend a concert (huh? Wonder why she has bad grades?).

At the concert, some young people harass the two girls by calling them rich and fascist and things escalate from there causing Giovanna to get a bruised eye. Giovanna’s father drives her to Aunt Vittoria’s house and waits for her downstairs. Giovanna is slightly afraid to see her, but she tells her father not to interfere. She walks into an alleyway of destitute people and knocks on her aunt’s door. The first thing Vittoria tells her is not to call her aunt. As Giovanna returns to her father, he asks her what she did up there. She only says she was given some orange juice that she spat out because it had seeds in it and that she doesn’t want to see her aunt again. In actuality, Vittoria told Giovanna a lot about her life. Vittoria had left a bracelet and a letter for Giovanna in their mailbox when she was born. Giovanna has no recollection of this bracelet. Vittoria tells Giovanna that she herself is very different from her father and doesn’t believe in material things, but the one thing that she thought was important in her life was that bracelet. Vittoria tells Giovanna her love story with a man named Enzo, who was “erased” by Giovanna’s father because he was better than him. They dance together on the roof, and Vittoria tells her about her life with Enzo and gives her warm hugs. Giovanna tells her she wants to see Enzo, and Vittoria tells her she can at the cemetery.


Episode 1: Ending Explained – What Does Giovanna Truly Feel About Vittoria? 

It seems Giovanna believes Vittoria is a misunderstood adult. Giovanna immediately finds solace in the arms of her aunt, who is the only adult she sees being truly honest with her. Giovanna feels drawn to Vittoria’s free-spiritedness because it is similar to her own and because she wants to breakdance and not study. The fight between Vittoria and Giovanna’s father may be futile and, at best, a small feud due to a difference in opinion that has kept them apart for so many years. Vittoria tells Giovanna that her father is a monster, the same thing her mother told her about Vittoria. Who should she believe? The new person in her life who tells her everything as it is, or the people who raised her to be a certain person but talk behind her back because she hasn’t turned out as they expected?

Vittoria and Giovanna are both very interesting characters who long for affection and a true heart-to-heart connection. Giovanna finds herself drifting from her mother, who in appearance is both perfect and intelligent, both of which she finds herself not to be, and Vittoria looks to her like a mentor she didn’t know she needed. We’re excited to see how their relationship develops in the next episode of “The lying life of adults.”


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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