22nd January 2021
I chose to watch the first two episodes of I May Destroy You on BBC Iplayer to get a sense of the series. It is powerful to watch such a modern show. Characters text each other and use slang. Michaela Coel, (protagonist and show writer), employs an informal script. As a result, there is a sense of the fourth wall breaking through this informality.
The protagonist, Arabella (Michaela Coel) , is a twenty-something Londoner. Arabella has a solid group of friends and a flourishing writing career. We find Arabella in Italy, with a holiday fling. Seemingly, her life is normal – she works and spends time with her friends. Later, she chooses to go on a night out. It is the turning point of the plot. Sadly, she experiences a blackout as she is spiked and must piece together the events of the night. Eventually, Arabella realises she is a victim of sexual assault.
Crucially, the show explores a plethora of themes including consent and racism. After Arabella’s assault, the theme of consent is an integral part of the plot. Additionally, the theme of racism is presented in a microaggression. It happens when one of Arabella’s friends is at a casting. This microaggression is ‘can we see your real hair?’ It is eye opening.
Following the night out, Arabella attends a meeting with her publishers. Cleverly, the camera captures her paranoia, roaming London streets in a stilted manner. Then, she meets a fan of her book while she is still under the influence of drugs. Due to this, the moment is a stand out as it feels so desperate, emphasizing with Arabella.
To sum up, the show is cleverly written. Coel uses a differing style to many others with moments of sadness and humour. It is well worth a watch if you are looking for something new. I recommend to individuals over 18 as it is hard hitting and distressing at times.
Watch now on BBC IPlayer.
Featured image credit: NME