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My Brilliant Friend

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Pseudonymous author Elena Ferrante has written four mega-popular Neopolitan novels that explore the complicated intensity of female friendship. "My Brilliant Friend" is the first in the series, and also the first to be adapted for television. Filmed in Italian, the eight-episode drama centers on 60-year-old author Elena Greco, who learns that the most important friend in her life, Lila Cerrullo, has disappeared without a trace. It causes Elena to reflect on the early days of her friendship in 1950s Naples, Italy, when Elena and Lila are two very different girls at the top of their class. The story goes on to cover more than 60 years of their lives as Elena tries to describe the mystery of Lila.

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Elena is struck with inspiration and begins to write her first novel; she gives the manuscript to Pietro Airota before returning to Naples.
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In reading Lila's private diaries, Elena, now an accomplished college student, realizes how much her friend's new role has changed her.
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Elena plunges headfirst into her academic future, while Lila tackles problems of an entirely different nature.
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On Ischia, an agonizing rift begins to form between Elena and Lila.
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Elena agrees to a holiday in Ischia with Lila, knowing that Nino Sarratore will also be on the island.
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Lila continues to hold a grudge against Stefano as the shoe shop opens and she goes to work at his new grocery store; Elena brings Lila to a party at her teacher's home.
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A photograph of Lila on her wedding day is exhibited at a shop in the center of town, triggering admiration and gossip throughout the neighborhood.
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Newly-married Lila grows profoundly resentful of her husband and finds new ways to carry on seeing Elena.
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The disappearance of her old friend, Lila Cerrullo, causes 60-year-old author Elena Greco to reflect on the early days of their friendship in 1950s Naples, when Elena and Lila are two very different girls at the top of their class.
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With sales of Cerullo shoes lagging, Stefano cuts a business deal with the Solaras; after Elena gets kicked out of a class for voicing her opinion, Nino encourages her to write an article about her experience for his magazine.
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Elena returns to Naples to find Lila has made a romantic connection with Stefano, despite the looming presence of Marcello.
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On the island of Ischia, Elena runs into the Sarratore family, reigniting her childhood crush on Nino; Lila's resistance to Marcello's pressing courtship reaches a breaking point; an unexpected encounter leaves Elena shaken on her 15th birthday.
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Elena grows tired of Gino, while Lila rejects two potential suitors at a cost; a rare outing into the city turns violent; Elena worries about not being there for Lila after accepting an invitation to spend the summer away from the neighborhood.
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Entering high school, Elena vows to stay ahead of Lila, academically and romantically; promising a better future for the neighborhood, Stefano Carracci invites Elena, Lila and their families over for New Year's Eve.
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Elena grapples with the onset of puberty, her studies and her friendship with Lila, who now works in her family's shoe-repair store; as the girls' encounters with the opposite sex become more frequent, Lila takes a stand against the Solara brothers.
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As fourth grade draws to an end, Elena and Lila fight with their families for the chance to continue their education; a trip out of town becomes a day Elena will never forget; a death changes things in the neighborhood forever.

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