This month has been a strange one so far and I have had the flu so I’ve been quite behind in writing blog posts. The good news is that this has meant that I’ve had more time to read and catch up with watching films and TV shows. One I wanted to write about is the critically acclaimed series The Affair – Season 1 [DVD]  I discovered that this series was created by the same team who worked on In Treatment – Complete HBO Season 1-3 [DVD]  which I thought was also excellent. Another bonus was that The Affair stars Ruth Wilson (one of my favourite actresses) so I thought that this show would be excellent and I was not wrong! The Affair relates to this month’s theme of violet as, to my mind, violet is the colour of romantic love and is also a sunset colour which is seen in beautiful shots on the sea’s horizon. It is also a hazy kind of colour which fits with the feel and look of this show.
The Affair is largely set in Montauk, Long Island and tells the story of the relationship between Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson) a year round resident and Noah Solloway a summer visitor (Dominic West).
Montauk is presented in a hazy, dreamy kind of way, you get the sense that this is a place that is almost a frontier land, the “edge of the world” where normal rules don’t always apply.
The cinematography reminded me at times of an Edward Hopper painting, the light is so illuminating but takes time to shine on the true nature of the characters involved. Interestingly a republished book called Montauk by Max Frisch is set to be released later on this spring, as it also concerns an affair with an older male writer and a younger woman set in the same place I wonder if this story was influential to the creators or is it just a coincidence?
The Affair is like peeling back layers of an onion, each episode is split into Noah’ s point of view and Allison’s point of view and reveals a little more with every episode (similar to the episode set up in In Treatment). One of the funniest things you instantly notice is how from Noah’s viewpoint, Alison is always wearing sexier clothes and more make up and is usually much more flirty with Noah than from her viewpoint where he is the flirty one and she is wearing much less make up with scruffier hair and plainer clothes! The second series apparently also contains the viewpoint of Cole Lockhart, Allison’s ex-husband and Helen Butler Noah’s ex-wife. I will have to wait for this to be released as a box set to view as I don’t have Sky but hear it has been getting good reviews so far.
There is a dark side however to this show that I won’t give away, the two leads are attracted to each other because although Noah loves his wife and family, as a state schoolteacher, he feels emasculated by financially relying on Helen’s obnoxious father and believes that Helen is disappointed with him. Alison is attracted to Noah because at first he doesn’t know her history, he is a visitor who knows nothing about her past and she looks up to him and makes him feel better about himself. Neither of them have ever had an affair before but are attracted to each other instantly.
Both of the leads are fantastic, especially as they are both English actors playing Americans. Ruth Wilson though in particular is exceptional, and deserves nomination and accolades for her role as she really inhabits the character of Alison and makes her believable. If like me, you’ve been sick this month (or if you haven’t and have a weekend spare) then I would definitely recommend watching The Affair as it is probably one of the best TV series I have ever seen!
Let us know what you think and feel about this show, do you want to see it if you haven’t already done so? Maybe you are following the new series? If so how does it compare to the first? Send us a comment or tweet @Cultural_LC or email us @firstname.lastname@example.org