Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Affair: Season Two

the affair cast

This isn't a Star Wars post, but something that's come up often in reviews relates to this. One of the biggest kudos the movie is getting is how likable the characters are and how much that was missing from the prequels. And while I totally agree with that, I think it's important to point out that it's not necessarily that they are likable, but that they are "careable." You care about what happens to them, good or bad. With the prequels, most sane people were completely indifferent to the characters and either wanted it to end or were waiting for them to become real at some point so we could give a flying fuck about any of what was happening. The point being, you don't need likable characters, but you do have to care enough to either love them or hate them. And in the best cases, it's really both. Case in point is Showtime's The Affair, which just ended it's second season.

This show hooked me as soon as I gave it a chance. I'm not sure the marketing is doing this justice, because it took some pushing from my wife to get me to watch it. I figured it would be nothing more than a soap opera about infidelity. But it's not. I mean, that's there, but there's a whole lot more to it than that. It's really a very complex show about some mostly selfish asshole human beings who happen to also be very real and relatable. It also happens to be very literary and even meta since the main character is an author and there's a book within the show thing happening. There are multiple unreliable narrators and perspectives as most of it is told in flashback and parallels. There are many layers and the second season unravelled many of them as we got closer to the present. A key factor about the central incident - a homicide - was revealed and then another layer was added to that and we are left wondering if we've actually even seen the truth. Or what exactly that word even means anymore.


I figure next season will be it. Three seasons, with a solid ending, should be enough to tell a complete story here. What I'm expecting is maybe some justice for a few, some redemption for somebody and a whole lot of none of that for the most part, because if this show is about anything, it's about how incredibly messy life is. I don't like these people. There are adulterers, selfish assholes, spoiled rich fucks, and flaky, irresponsible hippy dipshits. But among that same group, there are also good fathers, broken people, victims of horrible parenting, and basically just humans trying to live. Either way, I care to see what happens to them. Part of me wants to see a couple them get run over by a truck, maybe driven by a couple of others, but then the truck gets smashed by another, much larger, truck driven by me. But I care. I care a lot.

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