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Thread: SHOWTIME's The Affair

  1. #1

    Icon15 SHOWTIME's The Affair

    Is anyone else watching this? I've been hooked since episode 1. Dominic West and Ruth Wilson play two people involved in a extramarital relationship and eventually in a murder investigation. It looks clichéd on paper, but the show is amazing. Every aspect of the project has garnered rave reviews and, as an added bonus, the song that plays over the main titles is written and performed by Fiona Apple.



  2. #2
    I haven't seen Episode 3 yet but I LOVED the first two episodes. It's a fantastic idea that they are executing very, very well, at least so far. I love that a show ostensibly about a "romance" has such a menacing, tense atmosphere. There's a sense of doom that hangs over the whole thing that makes it very engaging, to me.

    And, what a great cast! I fell in love with Ruth Wilson after seeing her in Luther and I'm glad to see her get such a high-profile lead on an American program. She's brilliant and I want her to be a star. (Also, I'm glad to see Maura Tierney on screen again. She's extremely underrated as an actress and doesn't work much these days).

    One of my favorite things about the show is the ongoing thematic ideas about truth, stories, memory, and narrative (encapsulated by Noah's occupation as a novelist and Alison's fascination with novels and reading). I heard that this gets turned up even more in Sunday's episode. Can't wait to watch tonight.

    I've heard some people dismiss the show as "boring," an accusation that was also leveled at another show I loved from earlier in the year, The Leftovers. I don't get it.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The Markness View Post
    And, what a great cast! I fell in love with Ruth Wilson after seeing her in Luther and I'm glad to see her get such a high-profile lead on an American program. She's brilliant and I want her to be a star. (Also, I'm glad to see Maura Tierney on screen again. She's extremely underrated as an actress and doesn't work much these days).
    They really have a killer ensemble, don't they? Wilson is just extraordinary. I actually hadn't seen her work before this and I was blown away. She does such a good job connecting the various threads of Alison's personality from all three narratives and creating a seamless, whole character. The flirty girl from Noah's perspective, the broken, grieving mother in her own narrative and the manipulative, enigmatic suspect that's beginning to emerge in the present timeline.

    I also want to give a shout out to Joshua Jackson, who is consistently great. He has a scene in Episode 3 that will definitely move you, and he plays this really tough, mysterious character so well, without losing sight of the man's pain and desperation.

  4. #4
    I thought the scene between Alison and her mother-in-law (bonus Mare Winningham!) in Episode 2 was chilling, to say the least. You get the sense that Alison is kind of adrift in this tight-knit matriarchal family she married into, even more after the loss of her child, and then we get that scene where her mother-in-law seems to be offering her sympathy and understanding but really in the end, it's clear that her intention is control. (But again, this is all from Alison's POV, so the "truth" is suspect).

    I also like that there are little things each episode that don't really get explained. In the first episode, don't they show Alison pick something up from the floor after Noah's daughter starts choking in the restaurant? And what was going on in Episode 2 when she stopped by...wherever that was, and chastised that guy about keeping the door closed? We as the audience are definitely being steered away from the complete picture by both these characters' versions of the events.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  5. #5
    Wow. Finally got to watch Sunday's episode and wow. I love everything about this show. I wish more people were watching it...it's going to be the kind of thing that people get obsessed with after the fact and lament they weren't watching it while it happened.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  6. #6
    Anybody else still following this? It's continued to be excellent. I really hope that Ruth Wilson gets some awards love because she's KILLING it.

    I read that it got renewed for a second season, but I'm curious about whether it will continue with this same cast and plot or if they might go "anthology" with it. I love the show, but I'm not sure the current plot/situation is sustainable in the long run.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  7. #7
    I LOVE this show! I remember seeing the trailer for it a while ago and thinking it didn't look like anything special, but I've been hooked since episode one and it honestly keeps getting better and better. All the actors are fantastic, even the angsty teen daughter. I really enjoy the two perspectives as well, it's so interesting to see the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between both of the characters' stories/memories, and it keeps the show from becoming typical, at least in my opinion. And I've never seen Ruth Wilson before in anything, but I'm loving her as well and pray she gets nominated come award season. She's also really beautiful.

    I really liked the episode with Ruth's mom, too. But the last episode was my favorite. Glad to see someone else is enjoying it here, and that it has a second season!! And I agree, I really have NO idea what they're gonna do for Season 2, it should be interesting...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mike_P's Avatar
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    I love this show so much. I think each episode is better than the last. I love trying to find all of the differences in Noah's and Alison's perspectives - from big things like actual events/locations to small things like what Alison was wearing or the wallpaper in the hotel room. The show is just so well put together and thought out. I've found the whole thing with the detective to be pretty interesting too.

    I was pretty majorly surprised by this latest episode. I didn't expect both Helen and Cole to find out about the affair, for some reason. Both Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson did a phenomenal job tonight (they always do but I really felt their pain and confusion). What is going on with the detective, though?! He's already looking for Noah in Montauk?! What didn't Noah and Alison tell him during their interrogations? (Or were the detective scenes from the present day/future?)

    Did Noah tell Helen about the affair the same day that Alison was in New York, but after Alison was in Helen's store with her friend?

  9. #9
    no replacement for places pb's Avatar
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    Wowza, I'm enjoying this series.
    After the first couple episodes I worried the pacing may be too slow for me, but with where we find everyone 7 episodes in, that hasn't been an issue at all and I'm finding it all very well done so far

    Spoily speak below if anyone's not caught up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_P View Post
    What is going on with the detective, though?! He's already looking for Noah in Montauk?! What didn't Noah and Alison tell him during their interrogations? (Or were the detective scenes from the present day/future?)

    Did Noah tell Helen about the affair the same day that Alison was in New York, but after Alison was in Helen's store with her friend?
    The timing of the shop meeting is open to interpretation as far as I can tell. Maybe we'll find out later? If not and for now that omission speaks to the strong writing. I like that an argument can be made for either case, that makes me more curious about Helen.

    As for the detective, seems it's possible his appearance at the end of this most recent episode maybe brought him into present time (if he were originally tasked with investigating drugs for instance) but everything else with him/his interactions thus far totally gave flashed forward vibes to me.

  10. #10
    Echoing the praise for Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson in the most recent episode. The role of the spurned spouse who finds out about an affair is a thankless role that is often written with total hamfistedness, but I think they both pulled it off.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  11. #11
    sing to the moon dAmION's Avatar
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    This show reminds me of Gone Girl a bit, or rather Gone Girl reminds me of this show.

  12. #12
    So, I really enjoyed the show at first, and I don't think the most recent episodes have been "bad," but I do have some complaints.

    1) I think the decision to end the "summer" portion of the story and jump forward a little in time was an EXTREMELY bad one. To me, it completely dissipated the knotted, bubbling tension that was driving the show forward. Things are still happening, but it all feels kind of lackluster and aimless. Keeping the narrative contained to the summer, and picking back up next season when they return for another summer, would have been much more effective in my mind.

    2) I find myself not caring about Noah's side of the story in the last several episodes. I primarily blame the writing, because Dominic West can act his ass off. They're just not giving him and Maura Tierney much to work with (though both of them are definitely giving it their all). I feel like everything they say, and everything that happens in their plot, is first-thought and stuff that I've seen in infidelity narratives over and over and over again.

    3) Another complaint about how the show is framed/conceived: I thought it was much more interesting early on when their respective narratives were framed as an unreliable reconstruction, for the benefit of the detective. Each of them painted themselves as the sympathetic one, and the other as the pursuer/predator. That has all largely disappeared, and with it, the show's central conceit about fiction and truth, and the no man's land in between, is kind of dead in the water. I still want to know what happens, but in the space of the last three episodes it's become a different show, and one that I'm much less interested in than the show we started with.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  13. #13
    I think the decision to end the "summer" portion of the story and jump forward a little in time was an EXTREMELY bad one. To me, it completely dissipated the knotted, bubbling tension that was driving the show forward. Things are still happening, but it all feels kind of lackluster and aimless. Keeping the narrative contained to the summer, and picking back up next season when they return for another summer, would have been much more effective in my mind.
    This. They really should have stayed in Montauk for the entire season. The Brooklyn relocation doesn't do the show any favors.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mike_P's Avatar
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    Hmm, all valid points but I don't agree. I think the change in scenery has accentuated the repercussions of their dalliances and I think it's really helped move the story along. I've really appreciated the momentum in the last few episodes. I'd say I'm more invested in the story and characters now that I see some payoff.

  15. #15
    Aprs moi le deluge SisterDew's Avatar
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    I thought this show had so much potential, but the last episodes and especially the finale left me disappointed. I think the problem is that it tried to do too many things at the same time and the end result is that it did not manage to pull any of the elements off successfully. There was the affair itself and its effect on the respective marriages, the his/her perspective and the unreliable narrator, the whodunnit and the flash forwards, and several random plots that did not add very much, like the drugs (what did that add to anything????), the locals versus the townies, etc. And then in the finale there were these weird sequences of noah shagging around and the bored teachers in the class room. Totally not in line with overall feel of the show. It's a pity, I hope the second season will overcome some of the problems of the first, but I am not holding my breath.

    Still, overall I enjoyed the show.

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