The Affair

It is next to impossible to be comprehensive in television viewing now, and we have to admit that we’re out in the cold on The Affair, too. The win for this show, in the Best TV Drama and Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama for Ruth Wilson, came as a surprise. But we’ll take it as encouragement to give a long look to the Showtime series.

The series follows an affair between characters played by Wilson and Dominic West after the two meet in Montauk, and also focuses on the many and varied ramifications of their dalliance. The storytelling is fractured and based in the divergent perspectives of each character; it has been compared to Rashomon for fairly obvious reasons.

Showtime recently renewed The Affair for a second season, which will premiere later this year.

The Honourable Woman

Originally broadcast on the BBC in the UK, this ambitious miniseries came to the States via SundanceTV. (The two companies co-produced the show.) Maggie Gyllenhaal, who won for Best Actress in a TV Miniseries or Movie, stars in the eight-episode show as “an Anglo-Israeli businesswoman” who heads up her family company, and whose personal principles and standards are severely tested as she navigates the political and economic space between Isreal and Palestine.

That’s part of it, at least. In fact, the show is fairly difficult to sum up in any sort of brief, especially without giving things away. Strongly character-oriented and with a plot deeply researched and tangled enough to intrigue those hungry for the experience of an enthralling political novel, the show is anchored by a terrific performance from Gyllenhaal. There is a tendency to go heavy on the thematic development, but with performances like Gyllenhaal’s lead work, that’s hardly a deal-breaker.


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