The Affair was one of the most unique dramas on television that told the same story from multiple perspectives, making it feel more realistic. What starts as a simple affair in season one has far-reaching consequences on the marriages, spouses, and children of the couple involved.
While the first two seasons of the show are mesmerizing, The Affair dipped in the third and fourth seasons, before coming back and finishing strong with a perfect ending to wrap up the whole arc.
1. Quick Review
The Affair is a drama that works because of the exceptional talent on screen. The actors give potent performances in which emotions ring out, and the writers do a great job while examining the broken families and marriages.
Set in the heavenly getaway destination town of Montauk, the series is shot beautifully and will keep you hooked as it takes you through an emotional rollercoaster.
2. Info & Watch Links
The AffairAir Date: October 12, 2014 Status: Finished Studio: SHOWTIME No. of Seasons: 5 No. of Episodes: 53
3. Is It Worth Watching?
The Affair has generated a cult following with the help of Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Maura Tierney in lead roles. It also won the Emmy for Best Television Drama, and Wilson bagged Best Actress in 2015.
The story explores the effects of an extramarital relationship between Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson). Noah is happily married to his wife Helen (Maura Tierney) and has four children- Whitney, Martin, Stacey, and Trevor. He resents that Helen’s father is still feeding cash into his marriage and on his children and feels that Noah is not enough to support his family.
The Solloways take a vacation to Montauk’s coastal town, where Noah meets Alison in a diner where she works as a waitress. After the death of her four-year-old boy, she is recuperating and is trying to piece her marriage with her husband Cole (Joshua Jackson) back together.
Every episode in The Affair tells the story from two different points of view. Some parts are narrated by Noah and some by Alison. Often we see how the same incident is depicted in a different light because people remember things differently.
How certain actions mean specific things to different people and how memory bias is a big part of every relationship is one major theme of the show.
The second season extends the narrative to include the perspective of their spouses, Cole and Helen. How the affair leads to the collapse of their marriages, and the ensuing trial is examined in season two. The series progresses with various new subplots and romances being introduced in later seasons but never loses track of its overall theme and central characters.
II. Cast & Characters
The Affair proves that drama is only as good as its actors. Great acting makes the audience overlook plot holes and bear with unnecessary side plots. All the characters go through a complete arc throughout this journey of five seasons.
Dominic West is known for his role as Detective McNulty in The Wire, steps into his second major series to demonstrate his wide range of acting skills. Going from a cop battling criminals and corruption, to an author caught between women and family, the only thing common between the two roles is his habit of infidelity.
West’s performance earned him an Emmy nomination and multiple Satellite and Critic Choice Awards. The introduction of crime and other romantic interests in the series depicts how far West’s Noah has come.
Ruth Wilson plays Alison, the tired waitress, dealing with the loss of her son and her fraying marriage. She turns to Noah, who appears as a savior in her diner, and the show uses Alison to show the true nature of intimacy, love, and desire in conflict with each other.
Maura Tierney plays Noah’s wife, Helen, who finds herself betrayed after several years of marriage. She deals with the aftermath of the affair and the trial of her brother while moving away with the kids. Both Wilson and Tierney won Emmys for Best Actress in Lead and Supporting roles.
5. Final Thoughts
The Affair is an emotionally grounded show that explores themes of love, infidelity, and marriage. Brilliant acting performances support it, and while it doesn’t have a consistent pace throughout, the ending of the show takes you back to the origins and brings closure to a great tale.