With Penny Dreadful having premiered to rave reviews, and Masters of Sex having debuted its second season to critical acclaim consistent with the period drama’s first, Showtime is having a pretty great 2014. And the premium cable network’s offerings continue to hold nothing but promise for the remainder of the year, with the just-released first trailer for its upcoming drama The Affair serving as a tantalizing introduction to what’s sure to be a red-hot series.
Starring The Hour‘s Dominic West and Luther‘s Ruth Wilson (and just like that, I’m already sold), The Affair centers on the emotional and psychological effects of an extramarital affair between two broken individuals, using the biases present in the male and female perspectives on the show to tell a multilayered story. Wilson plays Alison, a waitress in the Hamptons dealing with the aftermath of a personal tragedy and attempting to make things work with her financially stressed husband Cole (Joshua Jackson), whose struggles to keep his family ranch afloat complicate their marriage. When Alison begins an affair with Noah (West), a New York public school teacher and aspiring writer spending the summer at his in-laws’ house with his wife Helen (Maura Tierney) and kids, things get even more complicated.
At the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, writer-producer Sarah Treem (House of Cards), who penned the script for The Affair with her In Treatment collaborator Hagai Levi (both are also exec-producing with director Jeffrey Reiner), told press:
“We think of the show as more about marriage. The term affair will prove somewhat ironic if you keep watching the show.”
The show will evoke Rashomon with its storytelling, exploring the same events from Alison and Noah’s divergent perspectives. Subsequent seasons may tell stories from other points of view, but this one is about sexuality, marriage and class struggle as viewed by two different genders. And though there is a season-long mystery that the characters are involved in, star Jackson promises:
“The show is about the lives of the characters, not the mystery. Are you going to be left with your pants down like a season of The Killing? No.”
The Affair begins Sunday, October 19th, at 10 p.m. on Showtime. Check out the trailer below.