The Affair – dangerously charming

As I read the news that Ruth Wilson (‘Luther’) and Dominic West (‘The Wire’ and ‘The Hour’) teamed up in a TV series together, I immediately started looking forward to it. Not a lot was revealed regarding the plot of the show before it started, and even 7 episodes in, a lot of questions remain unanswered in this 10 episode season arch. The title of the show obviously hints at an affair between the two main characters, that of married man Noah Solloway (West) and married woman Alison Bailey (Wilson), the former a teacher and writer of one published book leaving the big city for the summer with his family, and the letter a waitress at a diner in the Hamptons. So, what is the TV series about? How can a TV series about an affair keep our interest for a whole season?

"What the f*** did I do?" - Dominic West might as well have used one of his punch lines from 'The Wire'
“What the hell am I doing?” – Dominic West as Noah in ‘The Affair’

Well, there’s more to the show than “just” an affair obviously. We learn early on that there’s been an incident in the midst of all this. Although not much is revealed early on about what has happened, you definitely get the vibe that whatever it is… it’s not good. ‘The Affair’ is a classic case of a TV show (or movie) where the less you know about it before you watch it – the better. With that in mind, I’ll give you a few reasons to watch the show without spoiling any of the fun.


 Noah and Alison

Curiously enough, both Dominic West and Ruth Wilson are British, although their characters on the show, set in the US, are both American. Dominic West proved in ‘The Wire’ that he can master the American accent, and they both do a good job with their accents in ‘The Affair’. Ruth Wilson gained a lot of praise for her character Alice in the brilliant BBC drama ‘Luther’, and does a wonderful job yet again in this captivating drama. There’s a great spark between the characters, not only due to the writing, but because of Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. Good old McNulty from ‘The Wire’ is made for this role, balancing perfectly between the author turned charmer and the out-of-his-depth husband and father of four. Ruth Wilson is great, but Dominic West has a way of talking which would probably make you believe anything. His acting seems so effortless and natural, and I honestly think he couldn’t get enough praise for the way he plays Noah in ‘The Affair’.

Noah and Alison are both married - if only it were to each other
Noah and Alison are both married – if only it were to each other

Great supporting characters

Joshua Jackson is very good as Alison’s husband Cole, as is Maura Tierney as Noah’s wife Helen. John Doman plays Helen’s father, who is a successful writer and constant pain in the ass for Noah, who is trying to find the inspiration for the follow up to his first book. Also, if you ever watched the sitcom ‘King of Queens’, you’re in for a surprise casting as well…

The mystery

What is actually going on here? After the first episode you’ll definitely want to come back for more. The TV show is not set up like your regular TV drama, and it’ll leave you puzzled and intrigued already from the start. And who doesn’t like a bit of a mystery?


Here’s a little teaser that doesn’t give away too much, though there are aspects of the show being revealed here that I haven’t touched on above. Watch at own risk:

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