Monday, 20 July 2015

Mack reviews Season 1 of The Affair (plus Season 2 trailer) starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson

Mack reviews The AffairFor the last few months I have been hooked on season one of the American drama "The Affair" which stars the brilliant and talented Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson.  I initially tuned in to the ten-episode long drama (which won a Golden Globe award for Best Television Drama) after seeing a brief trailer which promised to offer more than the obvious story line of an extra-marital affair.  It is an intriguing mix of passionate "Romeo and Juliet", provocative "Basic Instinct", a touch of "X-Files" mystery and the thriller-style of "True Detective".  A story of passion intermingled with tragedy, and cleverly told through the eyes of the two main characters, Noah and Alison, with the assistance of a sharp, sly yet deadpan detective who is determined to unravel the truth.  

Noah (Dominic West) is a New York City schoolteacher who is married, a devoted Dad and an aspiring novelist, who initially does not look like the "heading for a mid-life crisis" type.  However, during the family summer vacation to tranquil Montauk, his world collides with Alison (Ruth Wilson), a young, attractive waitress whose life has been struck by tragedy and is soullessly drifting through life and her marriage...that is, until she meets Noah and their lives will never be the same.  I won't completely give away the plot (which is full of twists and "edge of seat" moments (as well as "edge of bed" moments"), but instead I'll set out a few of my favourite things about the show to entice you, if you haven't seen it already, to watch it on catch-up TV on Sky.

  • Dominic West.  Ok, I saw him a few years ago portraying serial killer Fred West in "Appropriate Adult".  Brilliant actor I thought back then but  that drama did not exactly render me "constantly-Googling-everything-about-Dominic-West" like I am now.   Not seen a man ooze that much gorgeousness on TV for a long time!  Rather interestingly, this Vanity Fair article states that "Dominic West’s sexuality was so overpowering that the writers had to change his Noah character accordingly". Can't wait to see his other work! I'm off to watch him in The Wire after this.
  • British acting at its best.  Both Dominic West and Ruth Wilson bode from the east side of the Atlantic, but are very convincing in their roles as American characters. 
  • The eerie theme tune "The Container" by Fiona Apple is now my 'karaoke in the shower song' (much to my husband's dismay).
  • I love a tale told from both the male and female perspectives.  The drama ultimately demonstrates that the memories of the same events for two different individuals' can completely differ (that is, if we are to believe either or both of Noah's and Alison's stories).  However, after three episodes I did start to think "will this "half Noah/half Alison style get a bit too repetitive?".  But I am pleased to say that the creators of the drama (Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi) found a way to avoid the trap of repetition and from around episode 4, the episodes flow with without repetition as the viewer's insight into the characters' lives deepens and the twists start to emerge.
  • Joshua Jackson (memories of Dawsons Creek) and Maura Tierney (memories of ER) are superb in their roles as Noah's and Alison's spouses.   
  • It has across-the-board appeal.  Both May and Mr Mack were hooked on the drama after I raved about it to them. 
Sigh..Wednesday evenings are not quite the same now that season one is over. But I am delighted that season 2 will be on its way (probably sometime in 2016 here in the UK as it airs in the US this Autumn). Here's the trailer for season two.  Can't wait to get my next Noah-Alison fix! 

May says:  Yes, I loved this drama and I am a Dominic West fan too now!  In my post on tips for nervous flyers, I mention downloading a new TV series onto my ipad to take my mind off the flight.  The Affair would be a great series to download! 

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