I May Destroy You is the latest drama from Michaela Coel, who created, wrote, co-directed and stars in the show. Arabella (Coel), is a very talented young writer, but has gotten very little work done on her latest project. She decides to pull an all nighter to try to finish what she can, but is then tempted into a night out with her friend Simon (Aml Ameen). The night seems to go okay, and the show cuts to the next morning, with Arabella back in the office finishing her work. Something is not right though, Arabella has a cut on her forehead, and becomes dizzy and confused as she starts to remember the events of the night. The first episode ends with Arabella getting home, and the image of a man violently thrusting appearing in her head. The show then follows Arabella as she comes to the realisation that she was sexually assaulted, and the effect it has on her and her friend’s lives.
I May Destroy You is fantastic, and will go down as one of the best and most important Dramas of 2020. The show tackles heavy subjects, like consent and rape, and examines them throughout the series. Often Dramas which tackle such subjects focus on the crime solving surrounding them, rather than the effect on the victims life. The events and characters of the show feel very real, and are partly based on Coel’s own experiences, who herself has experienced sexual assault.
The show is very well structured and written, with no character being one dimensional. Arabella’s friends Terry (Weruche Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) have their own stories and struggles, as they try to help Arabella through her trauma. The main characters are also fleshed out through flashbacks, which aren’t necessarily important to the plot, but help the viewer immerse themselves in the characters and the world. Millennial culture is shown in a way which hasn’t been done before, and I don’t think it has ever been better represented than this on screen.
The performances, especially given by Coel, Essiedu and Opia, are brilliant. You come to love and relate to these characters so much. They are both strong yet vulnerable, and more complex than most characters ever are, which is down to Coel’s incredible writing.
I May Destroy You takes you on an emotional journey, ranging from optimistic to soul crushing, with the story taking new twists and turns every episode. New characters are introduced and morally grey events play out. The soundtrack to the show is also worthy of a mention, and really helps immerse you in the setting of modern-day London.
I May Destroy You is truly unique and a must watch, it is both ground breaking and addictive, and though the subject matter is heavy, it is also a positive show about friendship and helping each other through the toughest points in our lives. The series is only halfway through its run, with two episodes being released every Monday on BBC iPlayer.
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