Award Worthy Shows – Drama: The Affair

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This programme is an exploration of realism centred around an affair. Though it handles the emotional and psychological ramifications well the over packing of style and effects often detracts from an already complicated plot and simplistic acting.

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With the dust settling over the results of the Golden Globes, we at The Edge take a look at the shows nominated for Best Television Drama, and why they are worthy of the big award. This time, Culture Editor, Natalie Fordham takes a look at winner which may not have earned its award above others, The Affair.

The Affair explores the extra-martial relationship between two seeking people, a Brooklyn novelist named Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and a waitress named Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson). Each is married to another, hence the title. Noah has four kids, a rich wife (Maura Tierney), a fatuous author for a father-in-law who he is financially dependent on, and writer’s block. Alison is married to Cole (Joshua Jackson), the tattooed owner of a horse ranch, who seems like the guy you’d cheat with, not on. Early on, we learn that Alison had a son who drowned, which is used as her motive for this taboo entanglement though it often feels somewhat superficial. Yes it’s believable but through logic, not through the acting.

The Affair becomes award worthy because of one element only. It explores the emotional and psychological effects of the relationship from both points of view. Although oddly Dominic West comes off as a villain somewhat in both, in his own he is seduced by the physically deprived Allison and in hers he’s the man who has preyed on an emotionally unstable woman. Shared experiences are often so distorted through the opposing views that it seems either someone’s memory is lacking or one of them is lying. But why? Though The Affair delivers an uncomfortable amount of realism its often blended genres: domestic fiction, noir mystery, chronology experiment and its as indie film/upscale erotica style should be incredibly powerful but it never quite delivers.

Though The Affair is interesting as it demonstrates the reality of extramarital relations it is often poorly handled and so perhaps it wasn’t the most deserving on the night at The Golden Globes though it definitely deserves a watch.

A UK broadcast date for The Affair has yet to be announced. 

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BA English student at University of Southampton and Editor for The Edge (2015-16). A deep love of reading, theatre and all things entertainment.

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