Michaela Coel is one of the best young Black creators in the industry right now. The British actress/writer/poet has been questioned about her next original project since the end of her sitcom, Chewing Gum back in 2017. Her latest series of 30-minute tales is a different exploration of sex in a young woman’s life. Chewing Gum was a fun, bright jaunt following Tracey’s quest to lose her virginity and find love.
I May Destroy You takes from Coel’s own sexual assault experience, which she revealed in her 2018 James MacTaggart lecture, to tell the story of Arabella, a writer trying to put her life back together after being attacked during a night out with a friend. I took a hiatus from social media because of the overwhelming violence seen in videos from Black Lives Matter protestors. I escaped reality with TV, but unfortunately, Coel’s depiction of the aftermath of victims was too much for me after episode four. Now, my mental health is good, my hiatus will be ending soon and I will resume watching I May Destroy You now airing on Mondays instead of Sundays on HBO and also available on HBO MAX, whatever that is.
Episode 1 – “Eyes, Eyes, Eyes, Eyes”
After visiting her aspirational long-distance boyfriend in Italy, burgeoning writer Arabella returns to London, where she’s greeted by a deluge of frantic messages from her literary agents. With a matter of hours left to finish a draft of her second book, she plans to pull an all-nighter – but is soon tempted to join a friend on a night out.
Episode 2 – “Someone Is Lying”
Lunch with Terry gets Arabella thinking about the hazy events of the previous night, prompting her to probe Simon for answers. Growing increasingly desperate to put together the pieces, Arabella drops by Simon’s apartment –and, later, finds herself at an unwelcoming doorstep. Meanwhile, Terry has a lousy audition, and a concerned Kwame rushes to Arabella’s side.