Noah Solloway (Dominic West) spends his summer at his in-laws estate in the Hamptons. Whilst he is there, he meets waitress Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson). After numerous encounters, the pair embarks on a lustrous affair whilst trying to also stick to the mundane ins and outs of their everyday lives. However, between the time of the affair and the present day, someone winds up dead and both lovers are implicated in their murder.
After rave reviews and a Golden Globe for Best Actress, you’d think The Affair would be worth a watch, wouldn’t you? Erm… You’d be wrong to assume. For the past ten weeks I’ve had to suffer every single vapid episode. The sheer monotony of the whole thing was unbearable. Basically, the series is a very simple case of he said, she said, and somewhere in amongst all this somebody dies, or for added excitement, is murdered. Despite the audience’s knowledge of such an event, instead of turning into a vaguely gripping whodunit, The Affair still follows… you guessed it. I mean, I wouldn’t mind but each episode goes as follows; you get details of each of the lover’s day, and at some point they both meet up for a quick shag at varying locations, and then that’s it, for another episode at least. Beyond all that, not a fat lot else happens, and for ten episodes, that’s a long time for not a fat lot to be happening.
For a bad story, the performances were good. West put on a convincing show as Noah who, quite honestly, would take sex just about anywhere he could find it. He was so convincing in fact, that you could very easily believe that West was gagging for it equally as much in real life. However, he did try at every opportunity to end things with Alison, although he failed miserably, and you could sense the desperation in West’s performance. At the end of the day, he wanted Alison in his life, but he also wanted to cause his family as little pain as possible.
Wilson as Alison was very good. Throughout her whole life, she had been through the mill a bit, and when she met Noah, I’d imagine she was the happiest she had been in a long time. She was so willing to risk everything for him that you sort of knew that this was the best things had been for her in a long time. So, do I believe the Golden Globe went to the right person? Yes, it was certainly a worthy performance – they both were. Unfortunately, they just didn’t lift the rest of the story enough in order to make it even remotely watchable.
As I’ve said before, I really didn’t like the premise of the storyline. The fact that the love story between the two main characters took precedent over a murder where nobody really seemed to know anything about what happened just didn’t sit right with me. However what annoyed me even further was the fact that in order to find out exactly what happened regarding the murder, I am going to have to sit through another ten episodes next year. Aggravating does not even begin to describe my feelings towards this.
Overall, I think you can probably tell that I wasn’t grabbed by The Affair. It is certainly not something that I will be forcing everyone I know to watch, and I’m not going to ram it down any of your throats either.
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