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.
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.