Netflix's One Day writer explains why they didn't change the divisive shock ending

16 February 2024, 17:29

Leo Woodall & Ambika Mod Interview Each Other | Netflix One Day | The Group Chat

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

The ending of One Day was heavily criticised when the original novel was first released back in 2009.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

So, you've watched One Day on Netflix and now you're deep in your feels about Dexter and Emma, and absolutely heartbroken over that devastating ending... You're not the only one.

One Day, starring Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod, has become a hit for the streaming platform in the weeks since its release. Viewers have become obsessed with the beautiful love story that unfolds between Dex and Em over the course of twenty years.

Unfortunately, that beautiful love story ends in a brutal and incredibly abrupt way, and it's one that has divided readers of the original David Nicholls novel since 2009.

Now, the head writer of the Netflix series has explained why it was important that the show did not change or adapt that shock ending twist in any way, in order to stay true to the book.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for the ending of Netflix's One Day!

Netflix One Day ending: Here's why the writer decided to not change the divisive ending
Netflix One Day ending: Here's why the writer decided to not change the divisive ending. Picture: Netflix

In episode 13, the penultimate episode, viewers finally get to see Emma and Dexter as a couple. They're married, trying to have a baby and working on buying their first family home. But the end of that episode delivers an absolutely devastating blow as Emma is killed after being hit by a car.

That awful, sudden moment is loyal to the original novel, which received quite a bit of criticism back in 2009 when it was first released.

At the time, David Nicholls defended the ending, explaining that it keeps One Day from becoming too predictable. "You need to do something shocking, or else it’s just a 'will-they-or-won’t-they' story of best friends who could be something more, and that’s the oldest story there is," he told Vulture in 2011.

When asked if he faced any pressure from Hollywood to change the ending for the 2011 film adaptation with Anne Hathaway, Nicholls added: "No one ever suggested changing the ending. I don’t think you could do it any other way."

Now, head writer Nicole Taylor has explained the thought process behind keeping that same ending in the Netflix series.

Watch Netflix's One Day trailer

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Taylor reveals that she and the writing team "interrogated fully" whether or not to keep the devastating twist of Emma's abrupt death in the series.

"I didn't feel any pressure to change the ending or to keep the ending," she said. "I just wanted to reinterview it for its place in the piece."

Ultimately, it was decided that it was necessary to include, in order for the series to maintain "structural and thematic integrity".

"Once you pull that out, you better have something just as good, if not better, in terms of the meaning of the piece as a whole and the cosmic enduring nature of love and friendship and how your whole life can be defined by a chance," she explained.

David Nicholls actually wrote episode 13 of the Netflix series, and Emma's on-screen death here is just as brutal as it is in the book.

Read more about One Day here:

WATCH: Dakota Johnson takes on a chaotic mystery interview | PopBuzz Meets

Dakota Johnson Takes On A Chaotic Mystery Interview | PopBuzz Meets