I May Destroy You - Michaela Coel

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Spoilers ahead for this thread; I’ve only watched eight episodes yet but will finish the last two available today.

Is anyone else watching this? I started watching this (never having watched Chewing Gum, which I will have to go back and watch now) but after reading this excellent NYMag piece about Coel and the series.

The episodes are short and everything moves fast, time goes back and forward and there are shifting perspectives. It’s an immensely difficult show to watch as you’d expect at times, given the subject matter, but it’s a funny one too and the detail is so well observed. The 2004 flashback was so dead on in the little details it hurt; there are more than a few scenes that I felt because they not only rang true to me but I had lived them.

And it’s a really gorgeous show as well - it made me miss London and it’s not famous as-seen-on-screen London either, but everyday living breathing London.

The music, as you’d hope, is really well selected. Everything about this show is thought through and deliberate. It’s very rare for me to lose myself so much watching something, but I found myself singing along to Something About Us on the beach scene and only being aware of it when I heard my own voice.

It’s a massive cliche to call something ‘unflinching’ but in parts that is certainly what this show is. The first scene with the clot actually shocked me (lol) even though I’d heard it before and it is relatively benign in the context of what’s shown in other scenes.

The characters are really well-observed I think; I find myself thinking about certain scenes and lines and events in a new light every time the plot shifts again and something new is revealed.

I hope others are watching this as I’m dying to discuss so much of this! And I think the last two episodes are on tonight!

scampos mentis (gyac), Monday, 13 July 2020 10:01 (two months ago) link

It's brilliant, every paragraph of your post OTM. TBH if it wasn't funny and relateable and if the characters weren't so strong it would be an extremely difficult watch (and it was a difficult sell when I explained the premise in my house) but we're hooked now.

I don't think I've seen definition-of-consent drama explored from so many different angles so well, the scene following the Italian threesome was handled so subtly, it didn't feel the need to hammer its point home, it just let it hang there. And the way the Kwame subplot plays off against Arabella's storyline is brilliant and highly affecting.

The music choices are excellent throughout as well - there's a playlist going round of the whole soundtrack and it's very on point.

When they filmed it they probably weren't expecting to inspire quite so strong a sense of longing at the scenes of these people just hanging round Kingsland Road or or Cheapside or Carnaby Street either.

Matt DC, Monday, 13 July 2020 10:16 (two months ago) link

Never seen it but my sister is raving about it!

The Fields o' Fat Henry (Tom D.), Monday, 13 July 2020 10:17 (two months ago) link

There's also a scene with a rising build-up of social media posts that I found physically anxiety-inducing, which was definitely the point but I almost had to fast-forward through it.

Matt DC, Monday, 13 July 2020 10:18 (two months ago) link

Your post, and Matt DC's addition about the music, sealed the deal. I need to watch this.

Scampidocio (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 13 July 2020 10:21 (two months ago) link

Yes, loving it. I'm enjoying the current default format for hip BBC dramas, 12 half hour episodes (though Normal People was overrated).

chap, Monday, 13 July 2020 10:41 (two months ago) link

There's also a scene with a rising build-up of social media posts that I found physically anxiety-inducing, which was definitely the point but I almost had to fast-forward through it.


Yes, the little blink and you miss it flashby of the Instagram post that’s like “LMAO HER CARD WAS DECLINED” is excruciating. It does this aspect of her fame so well, including the early bus stop selfie, it was incredibly hard to watch.

And the way the Kwame subplot plays off against Arabella's storyline is brilliant and highly affecting.

I found the party scene with him agonising, it really doesn’t give you or the characters a minute.

Where was this filmed? I thought I recognised some places around Victoria but possibly not, considering Matt’s post?

scampos mentis (gyac), Monday, 13 July 2020 11:05 (two months ago) link

Oh and I had to stop reading this because it collides with spoilers for some of the episodes I haven’t seen yet, but this article is about Kwame and is a really interesting read.

scampos mentis (gyac), Monday, 13 July 2020 11:08 (two months ago) link

They hang out in one of the parks behind the East London Line quite a bit, forget which one. There's loads around Carnaby Street, Soho, I think the publishing office is in Fitzrovia, and there are bits filmed near the bombed out church in the City and New Change.

Matt DC, Monday, 13 July 2020 11:15 (two months ago) link

Ridley Road Market featured in one. Her flat is in Shoreditch, I think.

chap, Monday, 13 July 2020 11:35 (two months ago) link

They hang out in one of the parks behind the East London Line quite a bit, forget which one.

That little one behind Haggerston?

chap, Monday, 13 July 2020 11:36 (two months ago) link

I thought her flat was just off Carnaby Street? They play fast and loose with location a bit - which makes sense on the night itself.

The shy guy that Kwame meets lives in those amazing flats on Colombia Road.

Matt DC, Monday, 13 July 2020 11:44 (two months ago) link

I was wondering where they were, they were stunning.

scampos mentis (gyac), Monday, 13 July 2020 11:45 (two months ago) link

I thought her flat was just off Carnaby Street?

Her flat is definitely described as being in Hackney. No way could she afford to live as central as Carnaby St!

chap, Monday, 13 July 2020 11:49 (two months ago) link

Her flat is Artillery Street, which doesn’t exist. Maybe that’s why I was thinking Victoria, I was thinking Artillery Row.

scampos mentis (gyac), Monday, 13 July 2020 11:51 (two months ago) link

There's definitely a bit where they leave her flat and turn a corner and then they're right out in Soho but Hackney seems much more likely you're right.

Matt DC, Monday, 13 July 2020 12:28 (two months ago) link

Oh God this postcoital scene with Kwame and the white girl, im going to die

scampos mentis (gyac), Monday, 13 July 2020 12:36 (two months ago) link

Also very minor but important character detail but Kwame is a genuinely excellent wearer of hats.

Matt DC, Monday, 13 July 2020 13:25 (two months ago) link

Good finale - glad the urge was resisted to call Arabella's novel "I May Destroy You".

chap, Monday, 13 July 2020 21:33 (two months ago) link

I love kwame, felt so sad for him in this

Brilliant series, vegan/environmentalist bit was interesting and thought-provoking for me. Want to talk about the ending but probs best to hold off on that for now

Boris the Spreader (NickB), Monday, 13 July 2020 22:02 (two months ago) link

was wary of this solely because of how much i loathed the few episodes i saw of the last 2 mega media hyped bbc shows (fleabag and normal people) but it really is excellent.

tbh none of the situations or characters are that relatable to me and exist p much entirely outside of my lived experience but as drama and art it's excellent.

found kwame to be the one i had the hardest time finding a way into but by the end i was onboard. also thought the ending was good and the removal of the last 2 post its and arabella's smile in the garden with ben were beautiful.

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 15 July 2020 13:45 (two months ago) link

Amazing last episode.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 15 July 2020 13:57 (two months ago) link

Finale spoilers from here

Has been difficult to process finale in a coherent way, cos all I can think is “wow”.

Last time I hadn’t seen episodes 10 or 11, so a bit on that as well.

10 is fascinating. Even before Nick (the brother) says she wouldn’t learn basic Twi you know exactly what the situation is, but the details in this series, as ever, kill me.

(My friend was tickled that the flashback Twi is clearly phonetically read whereas the rest is fine).

I really love when people do family drama well and this is so good - auntie Leonora, the contrast between Arabella’s wilful ignorance and how watchful Nick is, the scene with her mother. Also, Nick otm re plantain.

I really liked Kwame in this episode as well, that montage of hedonism running head on into the calmness of Tyrone. It felt cathartic without being judgemental I thought, but others may interpret it differently.

11 is great. Susy Henny is very well observed, her little “cheery” asides are needles and she doesn’t miss anything. This one is a real rollercoaster, there’s initial devastation and then finally it’s the catalyst she needs to start writing.

I liked Terry and Kai’s scenes as well. The unease about the Italy threesome is finally resolved - this show does not believe in loose ends - and Kai is a really sweet character who’s grounded and real and, again, so well written.

I was a bit ??? at Bella inviting Zain back to help at first and at him even going but I guess she was at rock bottom at that time. I really liked the mapping and her disappearing inside the book as she thought through it.

12, well. What to say? I absolutely love alternate endings and realities and here we get three, each flawlessly done. I have to say this series has made The Archandroid really sinister for me, lol, think about half the songs have been used throughout.

The various endings are great for how they tell us about how she’s working through everything: first anger, then understanding, then an attempt to take control of the situation. When both of them exit her bedroom it’s a really powerful moment.

I really need to rewatch ASAP as I’m sure this is something I’ve missed a million things on already and it’s just so majestic. I find all the Fleabag comparisons really confusing because Fleabag left me cold and I could never disappear into an episode, it was very very forced for me.

Honestly, stunning show and so happy that it was made and that Coel had the space to do the things she wanted.

scampos mentis (gyac), Saturday, 18 July 2020 09:31 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

We finished this last night, and I almost want to start watching it all over again. What were Arabella and Biagio arguing about at the start of the first episode, as she was preparing to leave Italy? That's been bugging me all the way through. Perhaps it was significant, but perhaps not. Anyhow, a staggering piece of work that I can't stop thinking about. (And when I finally get my DJ night back, I'm SO playing SFA's "Flowers".)

mike t-diva, Sunday, 2 August 2020 11:40 (one month ago) link

I've noticed Flowers being played all over the place here in East London recently!

chap, Sunday, 2 August 2020 12:23 (one month ago) link

Didn’t realise there was a thread!

At first I didn’t like the ending, but I kept thinking about it, and it wouldn’t leave me alone.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 2 August 2020 13:16 (one month ago) link

I loved the show, and I realized that the twinges of dissatisfaction I felt after watching it were largely because the show's resolute apoliticism isn’t meant to be satisfying

flamboyant goon tie included, Sunday, 2 August 2020 13:49 (one month ago) link

I totally missed this thread - there was some chat on the female showrunners one.
I feel I missed a lot and could do with re-watching - the way it evolved from episode to episode was great.

kinder, Sunday, 2 August 2020 13:51 (one month ago) link

btw in the halloween episode who saw and who missed the figure floating above her bed? I went back to watch it and she has taken up residence in my head :/ (same shot shows 'under the bed' sort of illuminated too)

kinder, Sunday, 2 August 2020 13:55 (one month ago) link

I'm gonna watch it again for sure, I was confused by a lot of it (the threesome situation in the first couple episodes especially, I didn't really get what was happening.)

The most satisfying part of the show for me was the banal-source-of-stability "token white roommate", he was the perfect balance of nondescript and nourishing, a shredded wheat of a character-- I loved that the most supportive white man in Bella's life is basically himself a bit of a houseplant.

Part of me wondered if the show had an "anti-woke" thesis-- Ep 12 depicted an unsatisfying punitive resolution, an unsatisfying reconciliatory resolution, a pipe dream "women are given men's power and don't abuse it" fantasy that was bittersweet in its beauty and "wouldn't that be nice"-ness. But the solution ends up being provided by Miss You-Think-I'm-Your-Ally-Because-We're-Both-Black-But-I'm-Actually-Your-Boss-- I gasped when Suzy said, in response to the mention of "melanin": “do you believe in multiple races as a rational taxonomy?”. Suzy's solution being: "do you grow?" and Bella's endgame in moving past her trauma is exactly this, not justice, not closure, not reconciliation, but just "growing"-- literally depicted with that *pop* moment and it's a year later and the plants are that much bigger.

It felt like it was nodding toward "woke" solutions as viable possibilities (see also: Zain's cancellation and then summary redemptive moment) but landing on fundamentally-Resilience!-style systems of trauma recovery (that is: "you're fine, stop being such a wimp and get on with it", which are nice in theory but not an option to certain people with severe or ongoing traumas.) Kwame's trauma recovery was essentially the same-- oh so to recover from a violent rape you just need to meet the right man and move on? OK! I don't disagree but that is a very pretty thought.

flamboyant goon tie included, Sunday, 2 August 2020 14:07 (one month ago) link

Part of me wondered if the show had an "anti-woke" thesis


I didn’t get that from it at all? Life is messy, every single episode drives that point home with multiple points of discomfort and pain and there are no good characters per se - everyone has flaws, everyone hurts other people at some point.

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Sunday, 2 August 2020 14:27 (one month ago) link

I think I posted this on the other thread, but one area I'm not sure I 'got' fully was Theo in the school flashback episode (those young actors were amazing btw). It hinted at genuine abuse but seemed to turn this on its head, or was it implying any girl doing what she did probably had been exploited/abused (physically or emotionally?) at some point in her past? And then seeming to show adult Theo as a con artist of sorts. Putting herself in a position of trust to Bella by a perceived shared experience - possibly parallels there to Susy Henny early on.

kinder, Sunday, 2 August 2020 14:31 (one month ago) link

Yeah, the end of that episode (6: The Alliance) had all three of us spontaneously shouting "WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED" at the credits, and it marked the point when we stepped up from watching episodes every two or three days or so, to religiously watching one (or latterly two) every night. I just didn't know how to read Theodora at that stage, it was really disturbing. Ultimately - and this is only on balance, further down the line - I didn't think she was a con artist in adult life. She had exacted teenage revenge for the violation of the phone photos, in much the same way she'd been trained to by her mother at a younger age.

I think I twigged that the first ending (the violent/vengeful one) in the final episode was a fantasy, when I spotted Theodora's teenage pink streak was back in her early-30s hair. But I'm still not 100% sure that I actually saw that, either. There are so many little details like that - it what makes me want to re-watch.

(xpost: SFA's "Flowers" is also having a revival via the Nathan Dawe cover that's been in the UK charts for most of the year.)

mike t-diva, Sunday, 2 August 2020 14:42 (one month ago) link

Part of me wondered if the show had an "anti-woke" thesis

Maybe not "anti-woke", no, wrong choice of words, but a kind of a broadly critical gaze.

flamboyant goon tie included, Sunday, 2 August 2020 15:00 (one month ago) link

Four episodes in. I do like it so far, the music is really great and thankfully the EPs are not too long. Lots of good London detail, yes.

I think there might be too much back and forth in time. Bit too eager to impress but it's not too annoying.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 3 August 2020 12:22 (one month ago) link

The back and forth in time is necessary I think, questions of memory, comprehension, withheld information etc are all absolutely central both to the story and thematically. Also it all needs to be centered around the first night (and the night of the last episode).

Matt DC, Monday, 3 August 2020 12:31 (one month ago) link

about halfway through this, I really enjoy it though my wife is finding it hard going. Her review: "this is very rapey".

akm, Monday, 3 August 2020 14:23 (one month ago) link

"the threesome situation in the first couple episodes especially, I didn't really get what was happening" I didn't at first either (I watched the first episode, part of the second, fell asleep...then went back and rewatched a few weeks later). Basically dude's wife is open to a threesome, I think she maybe initiated the request, and he 'found' a third person, who was actually someone he was banging on the side, and she did it because she wanted to meet his wife. That's all.

it's not clear to me why his cousin was there with him at the meet though

akm, Monday, 3 August 2020 14:26 (one month ago) link

Distraction, i thought. You see how quickly Alissa flips and how unpredictable she can be.

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Monday, 3 August 2020 14:40 (one month ago) link

I'm curious

Why did Suzy so abruptly drop Bella? I thought it was because "she was asking for more money" and "she wasn't delivering the draft" and "Suzy found her irritating". Bf says "no, Suzy was trying to cover up the fact that she was still publishing Zain, it was a direct response to her inquiries about 'Della'"

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 3 August 2020 14:41 (one month ago) link

Mostly the latter, but the reliability aspect matters too. Susy is a cold-blooded capitalist through and through.

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Monday, 3 August 2020 14:49 (one month ago) link

Distraction, i thought. You see how quickly Alissa flips and how unpredictable she can be.

But then she scarcely appears again, does she? I felt there were a lot of underwritten or unfinished fragments like this, bits that seem to have no real purpose othen than perhaps to show that life isn't neat.

fetter, Monday, 3 August 2020 14:51 (one month ago) link

There’s that fairly memorable scene with Bella! But messiness definitely a factor, the Simon stuff never felt very satisfying to me.

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Monday, 3 August 2020 14:52 (one month ago) link

Why can't it be all of those things fgti?

Plus - Bella publicly outed another author on Susy's roster as a rapist. Which calls Susy's judgement into question. This is not the kind of publicity Susy wants. It's one thing to have a viral troublemaker on your hands, but when they don't deliver, and are trashing your brand...

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 3 August 2020 14:56 (one month ago) link

Yeah Simon and his girlfriend were really prominent in the first episode, lots of character detail (literally what they were having for dinner), camera following them home etc, and they just disappeared. I suppose it was about establishing an atmosphere of (consensual) sexual freedom early on that could lead to non-consensual situations later but they were too peripheral in the story for that to quite work.

It did create the conditions for the rape to occur in the first place though, specifically Simon being absent when he might otherwise have been there to help Arabella.

Arabella's flatmate was another narrative thread that felt under-explored.

Matt DC, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:09 (one month ago) link

Idk the flatmate kind of felt like a deliberate joke to me til the last episode, like he’s supposed to be a parody of your typically flimsy black character that gets no development and has no life of their own outside their few interactions with the protagonist.

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Monday, 3 August 2020 15:17 (one month ago) link

Like when shes talking about crafting or something and thinking “that sounds just like him!” Think it might be the only offscreen mention he gets all series.

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Monday, 3 August 2020 15:19 (one month ago) link

Yeah there's the scene where there's the house party and he's just in the bedroom on his laptop with his headphones in with people barging in on him, which is played for lols at the time but you later realise there's more to it.

Matt DC, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:23 (one month ago) link

That's what I liked about him, he was an inversion of the token black friend character

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:33 (one month ago) link

Also: the clipped Received Pronunciation with which Suzy delivers that "rational taxonomy" line, wow. I loved how it seemed as if any time Bella seemed to express a desire to speak directly to Suzy, her other associates were discouraging her. Bella saw Suzy as an ally but everybody else knew she was a businesswoman.

I wish I had the words to express this complicated (not negative) feeling I had about the politic of the series as a whole, that the path toward trauma recovery seemed like Landmark-style "new possibilities" methodology, building resilience, etc.

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 3 August 2020 15:40 (one month ago) link

I've seen a few ppl who had been expecting ~twist~ the flatmate to be the rapist, although it's really not that kind of show. It was kind of obvious to us who it was likely to be, right, although I'd probably need to watch ep1 again to be not distracted by the Simon storyline? (which I agree seemed quite focal then... not)

kinder, Monday, 3 August 2020 17:30 (one month ago) link

Yeah it was obvious who it was but not who that guy was, as the audience we get the full picture that she herself is just wading through.

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Monday, 3 August 2020 17:46 (one month ago) link

Susy was the one character who felt maybe a little too cartoonish for me, mostly because her phrasing and supercilious facial expressions seemed lifted directly from Alan Johnson in Peep Show. But we see her through Arabella's eyes so maybe that's OK.

Matt DC, Monday, 3 August 2020 18:03 (one month ago) link

Yeah in a way it made her less frightening.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 3 August 2020 18:19 (one month ago) link

I don't know - based on my interaction with aspiring actors, I think Suzy is pretty spot on.

Darin, Monday, 3 August 2020 19:43 (one month ago) link

Wait a sec - sorry I'm mixing up characters.

Darin, Monday, 3 August 2020 19:43 (one month ago) link

i am three episodes short of finishing this so am avoiding reading the thread but this article touches on some of the larger themes I've run into so far:
https://www.thecut.com/2020/08/sarah-schulman-conflict-is-not-abuse.html

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 3 August 2020 20:21 (one month ago) link

Wait a sec - sorry I'm mixing up characters.

Oh yeah, I definitely didn't mean Terri, she's brilliant.

Matt DC, Monday, 3 August 2020 20:26 (one month ago) link

xp to FGTI a new, agented author would always be discouraged from independently getting in touch with their powerful publisher by their agency while technically in breach of their contract, and British literary culture is very funny about directness. If a writer has burned through her signature advance, it is especially infra dig to ask one’s publisher to release more funds, and the richer the publisher the more offended they’ll be.

Everyone in British publishing knows a Susy Henny and it was hilarious to watch UK writers on Twitter fully cringe when faced with the character.

santa clause four (suzy), Monday, 3 August 2020 21:30 (one month ago) link

one notable thing in the school flashback episode was how well the young actress channelled the older version of Terri. Quite remarkable. I think it was just about the only thing I liked in that episode, tbh, although I did appreciate the series on the whole.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Monday, 3 August 2020 21:43 (one month ago) link

You didn’t appreciate Babycakes on the soundtrack?

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Monday, 3 August 2020 22:13 (one month ago) link

oh yes! haha.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Monday, 3 August 2020 22:18 (one month ago) link

@ suzy ahh ok that makes sense. Yeah I couldn't read if the conversation about houseplants that preceded Bella getting dropped was ingenuous or not-- if Suzy was "having a moment" before letting her go, or if her decision to let Suzy go was strictly to try and cover up the fact that Suzy had kept Zain on. Agree with Tracer Hand that it's likely all of these things put together.

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 3 August 2020 22:54 (one month ago) link

just finished the last episode and bawled through most of it. this is an immensely rare thing Coel has made, utterly devastating and terribly clever, funny and painful and sharp and complicated and totally unique. I'm really kind of in awe. So I guess now I'll read the thread and some of her interviews.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 04:49 (one month ago) link

Morning, I wrote this https://t.co/2q5K7ZWzxJ

— Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) August 4, 2020

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 16:30 (one month ago) link

Ignoring what is clearly a cry for help, Biagio has rejected Arabella’s impulsive visit and manipulatively locked her out of his home.

Bella has travelled cross country unannounced, broken into Biagio's home, ordered food to be delivered and is telling him that she has no immediate plans to leave. Invert the sexes in this circumstance and "a cry for help" becomes a horror show. Coel's willing empathy to show Biagio as a flawed but mostly sympathetic character are emblematic of what made this show so special to me.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 16:39 (one month ago) link

that episode just filled me with dread, start to finish.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 16:42 (one month ago) link

Watching it tonight, in for a treat :)

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 16:46 (one month ago) link

i think it's pretty reasonable to describe that episode as an emotional breakdown for Bella moreso than a cry for help.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 16:50 (one month ago) link

When she sheepishly states that she has left her passport in his apartment, he wordlessly, coldly slides it to her beneath his door. It’s a moment that slices into sinews. In response, she jolts, physically rocked by his rejection.

“Wow,” she says, in a moment of quiet, stunned realisation. And, as if this is not enough, she chases it with “Rah.”


she then tries, at length, to kick down his door while screaming that his mother is a whore! arguing in bad faith is a weird way to start an argument.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 18:30 (one month ago) link

Your invert the sexes point makes no sense when the show has done its best to show everyone’s side, even the rapist’s. Biagio is a prick too, he blamed Bella for her rape!

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 18:41 (one month ago) link

He also fucked her when she was off her face and he was stone cold sober.

That said I'm not surprised in the slightest that he kicked her out of his flat.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 18:43 (one month ago) link

Oh yeah totally, he’d been ghosting her for ages!

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 18:47 (one month ago) link

She was imagining this grand love story where none existed because it suited her to believe that, because nothing else was going right, because it was Italy, because he came through and delivered evidence, and she latched onto that like it was some highly significant token of his love, when from the very beginning we've seen that he doesn't really give a shit. It's true that he called... what, a couple of times? I guess when he was bored or lonely himself. But that was it. And yes everything ulysses says - I was shouting at the TV, like 'OF COURSE THIS HAPPENED! JESUS!!!'

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 18:54 (one month ago) link

When you see how she deceived herself about her father as a child...

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 18:55 (one month ago) link

He was calling her repeatedly in earlier episodes, though. She was initially totally ghosting him. All of which makes me keener to remember what they were arguing about right at the start of Episode 1.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 19:34 (one month ago) link

Your invert the sexes point makes no sense when the show has done its best to show everyone’s side, even the rapist’s.

I'm not arguing that the show presented this poorly, I'm saying that the linked essay did. The show presented it, as it tended to do throughout, amazingly introspectively and in the most considered fashion.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 20:02 (one month ago) link

Bf pointed out last night that “James, the rapist” existed entirely as fantasy— Bella never actually positively identified him, except in fantasy. His identity, personality characteristics (and even his specific culpability) are all projections. I felt the point was that Bella played out a few scenarios and then opted, instead, to stop trying to find him— going to Ego Death every night was not an act of healing.

I didn’t think Biagio/Bella was a gender-role inversion. The couple just had a different dynamic— Biagio as low-key nice guy with a sober-predatory edge and an outdated attitude toward rape culpability— I remembered being told by Italian friends that culturally they generally have an “it’s your own fault” attitude toward over-consumption and it was normal practice to abandon a male friend if they got too fucked up in public— and Bella believing they had a major connection that was part her own continental fantasy, part escape-from-trauma, and part entitled fixation.

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 21:44 (one month ago) link

Can't go by
A man from
Ostia

Hey Ninetto

Remember that
Dream
We talked about
It
So many times

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 21:56 (one month ago) link

I kept thinking about that mainly because I didn't know exactly where Ostia was and that was my sole Ostia reference.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 21:57 (one month ago) link

Still waiting for some context on brain grass and long long eye gas over here

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 22:10 (one month ago) link

Yes, it was not even mentioned.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Tuesday, 4 August 2020 22:13 (one month ago) link

Alphie did you finish this in the end?

let them microwave their rice (gyac), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 11:06 (one month ago) link

Yes I finished it last saturday at like 1am or something. Have scrambled thoughts I might put down sometime.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 11 August 2020 11:09 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

This just ended in the U.S. last night. Amazing final episode.

jaymc, Tuesday, 25 August 2020 17:39 (one month ago) link

yeah, it fucked me up and i think about it fairly regularly.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 25 August 2020 17:43 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

far and away the best show i've seen this year. i love how deeply we got to know arabella, and how the show explained her behavior but never apologized for it. and i appreciated how, after all the things she tried to cope with her assaults, the thing that finally put her on the right path was good old-fashioned talk therapy.

also the soundtrack was cool as fuck.

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:06 (one week ago) link

lol as someone for whom talk therapy has helped overall, that was not the conclusion I took from that.

scampo italiano (gyac), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:24 (one week ago) link

idk, bella a clear attitude/outlook attitude shift after that moment that allowed her to step outside herself a bit and be more open with the poeple in her life.

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:31 (one week ago) link

It's much more complex and muddier than that, I mean one of things that puts her on the path to getting her book written is literally sitting down and talking about the writing process with her rapist and I don't think many people would recommend that as an approach.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:34 (one week ago) link

Show is fairly explicit that writing through it is a big part of thinking and rethinking and processing it all.

scampo italiano (gyac), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:35 (one week ago) link

xp oh for sure, the show definitely doesn't posit anything as a panacea, and all three main characters process their assaults and resulting traumas in healthy and (mostly) unhealthy ways. i think i just really liked that scene and how coel's performance shifted afterward.

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:38 (one week ago) link

Yeah it's unclear how much of even the penultimate episode actually happens or whether it's part of her own writing process.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:39 (one week ago) link

I think I liked that it resisted any kind of takeaway. There was some painful processing of experience, but ultimately stuff got done -- that she needed her rapist to take away her writing block I realise quite a brutal expression of what it is to do stuff, sometimes -- life goes on and we keep muddling through the disaster.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:48 (one week ago) link

i think this show will come to define its year which is a hell of a feat for something filmed prior to and without mentioning covid.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:02 (one week ago) link

I always think this show is called "Allow Me to Destroy You" because of this fairly obscure track from 1981, which I think about every time it comes up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7bOImSiE1A

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 22:21 (one week ago) link

But the real title is interesting, nonetheless. I May Destroy You (It's up to me).

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 22:23 (one week ago) link

I think there is a lot of delusion in there. People have a go at destruction but they fail at that, or end up being used more than using.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 22:45 (one week ago) link

i thought it was a comment on how any close personal connection can eventually end in intense pain

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 22:47 (one week ago) link

I May Destroy You (It's not up to me).

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 22:55 (one week ago) link


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