I May Destroy You centres around writer Arabella (Michaela Coel – Black Earth Rising), living in a grotty flat with lots of notes on the wall before leaving her boyfriend to go and live in Italy for a while, in order to write her new book, telling her publisher that it just needs “a few revisions” when the look on her face clearly shows that she’s barely written a word.
Into the mix of this predominantly black cast is thrown a man and girlfriend who have threesomes, and this aspect was particularly ridiculous becausethey’re very middle class, sitting in a big bar at a surprisingly empty set of couches – like Central Perk in Friends, and drinking champagne.
Back to our heroine, though, and since Arabella can’t get any work done, it’s time to hit the bars, so you know their paths are going to cross, even though this writer would seem out of place by comparison if she went in there, because she’s got mad dyed-pink hair.
But how much writing do you think she’ll get done after a night of booze and other substances?
Arabella is rather a self-obsessed idiot, and this first episode has a whole load of weird stuff going on that makes no sense, particularly towards the end. This meant that while I initially wasn’t in a rush to check out more of this, I will check out a second episode to see if it holds together better.
UPDATE Episode 2: In an episode which introduces more of her friend, Terry, Arabella once again is seeing a weird man in the toilet in her mind…
Beyond that, I can understand the need to want to trace where she went on a night out after being completely blitzed off her bonce, because I’ve had that feeling after I’ve left a club in the middle of the night, have vague memories of getting to the bus, and then being back home, but not remembering an awful lot because of that.
However, in Arabella’s case, it was more the case that something very untoward happened that night. Is that man in her mind just a figment or her imagination, or a real man who was there AND took advantage of her? Yes, things take a dark turn very quickly, and it helps to explain why she’s got a cut on her forehead.
Overall for this episode, this is still rather bitty. I will try another episode or two, to see if things come together more. And I do feel that this drama would lend itself more to being one of those where all episodes were available at once, rather than dripping them out two per week.
UPDATE Episode 3: They go to Italy and get high, and then there’s some hanky panky with men. Erm… what is the point of this dross? I’m out.
I May Destroy You begins tomorrow on BBC1 at 10.45pm with two episodes shown each week, on Mondays and Tuesdays, and if anything is to go by from week one, both of that week’s episodes are also put up on BBC iPlayer from the Monday of that week. The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Episodes 1 Score: 3/10
Episodes 2 Score: 6/10
Episodes 3 Score: 0/10
Director: Sam Miller
Producers: Simon Meyers, Simon Maloney
Writer: Michaela Coel
Arabella: Michaela Coel
Terry: Weruche Opia
Kwame: Paapa Essiedu
Biagio: Marouane Zotti
Simon: Aml Ameen
Kat: Lara Rossi
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.