Total Affair of The Heart (Episode 1)

Watching the pilot of Showtime’s new show “The Affair,” a couple things struck me. First it seems McNulty and Rawls are doomed to forever be at odds, with their actors now a Father/Son-in-law who maintain a tense atmosphere around their shared career choices and different values.

You are a gaping asshole McNult-I mean, Solloway...
You are a gaping asshole McNult-I mean, Solloway…

But also, for all its (perhaps) tawdry faults, “The Affair” is an excellent example of why the 21st century has seen a melding of genres. It’s both a murder mystery and romantic escapism, but the program uses each of these to elevate the other. The romantic plot adds distraction, intrigue, and a framework for the story that it wouldn’t be able to immediately pave otherwise. The investigation’s use of he said/she said elegantly frames each character’s side of the relationship. From the pilot alone it’s unclear where it’ll take us, but it has a powerful voice

Similar to HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” what we’re seeing could essentially be boiled down to a soap opera. But it’s the presentation of the emotions, the tension of what we see and what we don’t that raises “The Affair” up to the next level.

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