Lockdown has created a seemingly new dawn for television.
In a time when teenagers have pivoted from terrestrial telly to YouTube, it has taken an international lockdown for us to return to the box, as it were.
However, in this new era of choice – only the cream is rising to the top.
'90s reruns have been relegated – and in some cases, re'woke'd – to the internet, with room made only for series which centre themselves around the truly modern phenomena of consent, cancel culture, slut-shaming and revenge porn.
Hitting all of these is the explosive new show by British actor Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You.
Described as a “consent drama” – or rather, a drama about what happens when consent is removed from the equation – I May Destroy You follows lead character Arabella (Coel) who aims to piece together her vague memories of a night in which she was spiked and attacked.
Following the show's premiere on the BBC last week, Coel has subsequently shared that the story is based on a personal experience in which she was sexually assaulted at age 28.
The description makes I May Destroy You sound unwatchably heavy, but the beauty in the series is in its lightness. It showcases London like an invigorating fantasy by way of neon-hued nights out, female friendship romance and messy short-term flings.
However, it is this lightness that is recurringly punctured by the nonlinear healing progress that Arabella goes through.
The show also boasts an incredible soundtrack, featuring a number of excellent black, female musicians, including Little Simz, Sampa the Great and Abra.
Picture Perfect by Little Simz
OMG by Sampa the Great
Malamente by ROSALÍA
Nightmares by Easy Life
Pull Up by Blanco
Something About Us by Daft Punk
Give Me Your Love by The Bricks
Rapper by Hardy Caprio
Strike a Pose (feat. Aitch) by Young T & Bugsey
Scrappy by Wookie
Flowers by Sweet Female Attitude
Sunshine (Wookie Main Mix) by Gabrielle
Love Shy by Kristine Blond
Babycakes by 3 of a Kind
A Little Bit of Luck by DJ Luck & MC Neat
Girls Like Us by The B‐15 Project
Shesha by De Mthuda & Njelic
Memories by Kamikaze
Ye by Burna Boy
The 12-part series has received rave reviews since its release, with The Guardian's Lucy Mangan calling it a "breathtaking achievement", and it could be the year's best drama.
"This is going to be a rave review, because I May Destroy You is an astonishing, beautiful, thrilling series - a sexual consent drama if you want the one-line pitch, but so, so much more than that. It works on every level," her review read.
"It is, in short, an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement without a false note in it, shot through with humour and with ideas, talent and character to burn at every perfectly plotted turn."
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