An Affair to remember

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in criticism, tv

A Slate article dishes on the Affair. My response:

I think this clever review needs a more dispassionate third perspective (like the role of the police in the show). The criticism that he’s a cad seems besides the point: the show tells us that but also has us rooting for him, giving us both the internal logic and the external perspective every good affair drama needs. The criticism that it has become trapped by its own framing device seems speculative at this point, given that we don’t know the direction of further seasons. It could become a way to deepen the insane logic of affairs into a demented pathos, (a way to underline the moral judgement the first critic says is lacking). Or it could find its way back to domestic intrigue, discarding a device it used to imbue the ordinary with heightened significance, (which the second critic likes). I found the acting compelling and understated for such high drama, and the shifts in perspective to be emotionally believable without needing to superficially reconcile them on a literal level. I suspect that the real consequences of a crime are a way to ground the shifting sand of their perspectives–a real event to help outsiders see into how these fundamentally different stories can coexist.