Are You Watching “The Affair”?

The Affair IMO is one of the most gripping shows on TV right now.  I started binge-watching it through CraveTV last year and now in Season 3 I can hardly wait until Sunday nights to see the next episode!  It is a Showcase original series starring Dominic West (The Wire), Maura Tierney (ER), Ruth Wilson (BBC’s Jane Eyre, Luther), and Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek).  (For those like me who watched Jackson as Pacey in Dawson’s Creek years ago, it’s quite nostalgic to see him in a series again.)

Of the four, only Maura Tierney is American (Boston born and raised), and Joshua Jackson is in fact from Vancouver (where I am based), still spending part of the year here.  Ruth Wilson and Dominic West are both British actors, each executing quite flawless American accents IMO.  Here is a clip of Dominic West on fans’ reactions when they find that he doesn’t talk the way he does on TV and on learning his American accent for “The Wire”.

The Affair chronicles the extramarital relationship and torrid sexual encounters of Noah (West) and Alison (Wilson) and the continuing fallout from the affair.  The show has great atmosphere, starting with the theme written and sung by Fiona Apple.  I have this idea that you either love or hate her music, and unfortunately, I am more in the latter camp (fast-forwarding through the opening), but it definitely is effective for setting the mood.  Check it out here.

The scripts are well written and believably acted, following these terribly flawed characters as they use each other for their own purposes with devastating consequences for themselves and those around them.  One device that makes the show particularly compelling is that in almost every episode, parts of the story are first told from one person’s point of view and then repeated again from another’s.  No, this isn’t boring — quite the opposite in fact!  Don’t you find that we all remember the same incident slightly differently?  It makes the show really fascinating – did Noah seduce Alison or did Alison seduce Noah?  It all depends on who is doing the remembering!

Before Season 3 started, I couldn’t imagine how the writers could continue effectively tracing the impact of the Season 1 affair, but they really have!  The suspense created in Season 3 Episode 1 had me on the edge of my seat.  Without giving much away, I may never be able to wash dishes with my back to the room again!  Let me know what you think of The Affair – or if you haven’t seen it, check out the show’s website here:

The Affair – Official Site

14 thoughts on “Are You Watching “The Affair”?

  1. I had never heard of the show but had a look at the 3 seasons-trailer just now. Looks really well-made. /I really like Ruth Wilson, too, ever since I saw her in Jane Eyre.) Very dramatic. Probably too much drama for me, though – I find it difficult to get invested in something that chronicles a journey into desaster. Happy Henrietta here needs the happy ending 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A friend of mine had recommended it, and I love Maura Tierney and recently I noticed it is available on one of our free on demand channels, so I watched the first three episodes (I dislike the title music as well, lol). I agree that the perspectival technique shift is interesting (and it’s really shocking how different their perspectives on events are, to the point that I don’t always find it credible). It’s also just beautiful visually, I think. I will probably continue watching at some point — it’s in the category of worthwhile and interesting but the plot has not become super compelling to me just yet.

    And I did not know that so many actors were not American! They are very convincing, lol.


      • yeah, it’s like a train wreck. Those first scenes with the family are so compelling that somehow you feel you have to know how they are going to be destroyed. I don’t think there’s any happy ending, either, and that’s after only 3 episodes.


  3. I have liked Ruth Wilson ever since I saw her in Jane Eyre years ago and for her I always mean to watch this! But I never have so far, due to the depressing subject matter (I just don’t do well with movies about people having multiple relationships). I have heard it recommended before and I think Ruth Wilson has won awards for this. Maybe I will try an episode or two…


    • I actually don’t remember if I saw her in Jane Eyre. I’ll have to find it and see. I’ve a Jane Eyre (and read it long ago) but I can’t remember if I’ve seen that one. As for depressing subject matter, I’ll have to try to write about something happier soon!


  4. I do. WELL WRITTEN ,well played, Ruth Wilson is a convensing poor loose woman, THE SUBJECT is intersting, but overdose I mean too much sex, it is not credible.


    • There’s a lot of sex, for sure. I think it’s because the people are using sex not really for physical release but for emotional reasons — desperation, anger, hurt etc.


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