Created, written, co-directed and executive-produced by Michaela Coel, HBO's new British comedy-drama series, I May Destroy You, is getting a lot of buzz on social media after airing its second episode, "Someone Is Lying," Sunday night.
Inspired by her own true story, Coel stars as the main character, Arabella, who struggles to remember what happened to her after a night of drinking, which led to blacking out entirely. After waking up with a smashed phone and a gash on her head, Arabella begins to have short flashbacks from the night before — thumping sounds as a man hovers over her and a blurry ATM withdrawal — before realizing that she was drugged and sexually assaulted.
Following Sunday's episode, viewers took to social media to praise how brilliant the show is due to its very realistic portrayal of drug-induced sexual assault and its emotional and traumatic aftermath. Here’s what some viewers were saying:
The way Michaela’s character is slowly coming undone as she recalls her sexual assault is very interesting. I appreciate the reality of how it’s not as visceral to some as it might be assumed.#IMayDestroyYou— her name is cyn. (@cynfinite) June 15, 2020
I just wanna say I am SOOO PROUD of @MichaelaCoel #IMayDestroyYou— TEE FRANKLIN HAS FAILED THIS COUNTRY! (@MizTeeFranklin) June 15, 2020
You are SO STRONG. I’m truly sorry that you’ve gone through what you have, no one deserve that.
You’re inspiring many that’ve been sexually assaulted to share their stories on pen/pad. Including me.
#IMayDestroyYou is gonna be the show that unapologetically rips the lid on how we treat sexual assault. Those affected, guilty & complicit. Our gender biases, definitions of consent and self-preservation won't save us, and just maybe we deserve what's coming.— SPΞCS.CΔDET (@_simplySPECS) June 15, 2020
I’m fully invested in #IMayDestroyYou you got black mental health, a black woman recalling her sexual assault and it’s Michaela Coel she’s amazing.. I wish I could stream the whole thing at once.. it’s brilliant! It’s so good it’s on HBO.. it’s just.. omg I’m floored..😮 pic.twitter.com/5kV8lQvBXr— Shayla Marie Anderson Parker (@batmom85) June 15, 2020
#IMayDestroyYou is written really well but it's hard to watch. Not just because it's about sexual assault but also how realistic it is.— Natalia Tyndall (@TaliaTyndall) June 15, 2020
Watching Arabella have flashbacks, disassociate, go into denial, and her realization that she was drugged and raped is heavy.
While I May Destroy You is not the first television show to tackle sexual assault, Coel's ability to create a series with a very realistic depiction of how sexual assault survivors process their encounter is not only inspiring viewers who are survivors themselves, but it is also opening a larger conversation.
Only two episodes of I May Destroy You have aired, but the show is already shaping up to be one of the must-watch shows of the summer.
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