I May Destroy You

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I May Destroy You
I May Destroy You intertitle.png
GenreComedy-drama
Created byMichaela Coel
Written byMichaela Coel
Directed by
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes12
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Michaela Coel
  • Phil Clarke
  • Roberto Troni
  • Sam Miller
  • Jo McLellan
Producer(s)
  • Simon Meyers
  • Simon Maloney
Production location(s)
  • London, England
  • Ostia, Italy
CinematographyAdam Gillham
Editor(s)
  • Christian Sandino-Taylor
  • Lindsey Woodward
  • Mike Phillips
  • Guy Bensley
  • John Dwelly
  • Amy Hounsell
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time28–35 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Various Artists Limited
  • FALKNA Productions
Release
Original network
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
First shown inUnited States[a]
Original release7 June 2020 (2020-06-07) –
present

I May Destroy You is a British comedy-drama television series created, written, co-directed, and executive produced by Michaela Coel for BBC One and HBO. The series is set in London and stars Coel as Arabella, a young woman who seeks to rebuild her life after being raped. The series premiered on 8 June 2020 on BBC One and on 7 June 2020 on HBO.[1]

Plot[edit]

Arabella (Michaela Coel) is a Twitter-star-turned-novelist who found fame with her debut book Chronicles of a Fed-Up Millennial and is publicly celebrated as a Millennial icon. Whilst struggling to meet a deadline for her second book, she takes a break from work to meet up with friends on a night out in London. The following morning, she struggles to remember what happened to her, though recalls the events of the night with the help of her friends Terry (Weruche Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu).

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

  • Marouane Zotti as Biagio, a drug dealer based in Ostia, Italy, who has a casual relationship with Arabella
  • Stephen Wight as Ben, Arabella's flatmate
  • Adam James as Julian, Arabella's literary agent
  • Natalie Walter as Francine, Arabella's financier
  • Aml Ameen as Simon, Arabella's friend
  • Lara Rossi as Kat, Simon's partner
  • Ann Akin as Alissa, Simon's secret lover
  • Chin Nyenwe as Tariq
  • Lewis Reeves as David, from Ego Death
  • Sarah Niles as Officer Funmi
  • Mariah Gale as Officer Beth
  • Rebecca Calder as Shirley
  • Andi Osho as Carrie, Arabella's therapist
  • Fehinti Balogun as Damon, Kwame's love interest
  • Karan Gill as Zain Tareen, writer from Henny publishing
  • Tobi King Bakare as Nicholas, Arabella's brother
  • Ellie James as Sion
  • Franc Ashman as Susy Henny, Arabella's publisher
  • Harriet Webb as Theodora
  • Shalisha James-Davis as Loretta
  • Gaby French as teen Theodora
  • Danielle Vitalis as teen Arabella
  • Lauren-Joy Williams as teen Terry
  • Pearl Chanda as Nilufer
  • Gershwyn Eustache Jnr as Tyrone
  • Tyler Luke Cunningham as Kai

Notable guests[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.Title [2]Directed by [2]Written by [2]Original air date [3]US airdate [2]US viewers
(millions)
1"Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes"Sam MillerMichaela Coel8 June 2020 (2020-06-08)7 June 2020 (2020-06-07)0.212[4]
2"Someone Is Lying"Sam MillerMichaela Coel9 June 2020 (2020-06-09)[b]14 June 2020 (2020-06-14)0.229[5]
3"Don't Forget the Sea"Sam MillerMichaela Coel15 June 2020 (2020-06-15)[c]22 June 2020 (2020-06-22)0.156[6]
4"That Was Fun"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel16 June 2020 (2020-06-16)[c]29 June 2020 (2020-06-29)0.098[7]
5"...It Just Came Up"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel22 June 2020 (2020-06-22)[d]6 July 2020 (2020-07-06)0.108[8]
6"The Alliance"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel23 June 2020 (2020-06-23)[d]13 July 2020 (2020-07-13)0.128[9]
7"Happy Animals"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel29 June 2020 (2020-06-29)[e]20 July 2020 (2020-07-20)0.102[10]
8"Line Spectrum Border"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel30 June 2020 (2020-06-30)[e]27 July 2020 (2020-07-27)0.087[11]
9"Social Media Is a Great Way to Connect"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel6 July 2020 (2020-07-06)[f]3 August 2020 (2020-08-03)0.088[12]
10"The Cause the Cure"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel7 July 2020 (2020-07-07)[f]10 August 2020 (2020-08-10)N/A
11"Would You Like to Know the Sex?"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel13 July 2020 (2020-07-13)[g]17 August 2020 (2020-08-17)N/A
12"Ego Death"Sam Miller & Michaela CoelMichaela Coel14 July 2020 (2020-07-14)[g]24 August 2020 (2020-08-24)N/A

Release[edit]

The series premiered on 8 June 2020 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.[3] The first episode had already premiered in advance on 7 June 2020 on HBO in the United States.[13]

Production[edit]

Coel stated in a lecture at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe that she had been sexually assaulted while writing Chewing Gum, and that the experience provided inspiration for the series.[14]

Originally titled January 22nd, the series is produced by Coel's production company, FALKNA Productions. It is executive produced by Coel, Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni, and Jo McClellan for BBC One.[15] Coel is also co-director and writer for I May Destroy You.

Critical response[edit]

Early reviews of I May Destroy You have been overwhelmingly positive, with many critics praising Coel and the show's willingness to push boundaries.[16] The show holds an 84/100 score based on 20 reviews on review aggregator Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim".[17] On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 96% with an average score of 7.96/10 based on 46 reviews. The website's critical consensus is, "I May Destroy You is at once brave and delicate, untangling the trauma of sexual assault with dark humor and moments of deep discomfort all held together on the strength of Michaela Coel's undeniable talent."[18]

Writing for The New York Times, critic Mike Hale called the series "touching and quietly hilarious."[16] In her review for Time, critic Judy Berman noted the show's unique and complex telling of a story centered around sexual assault after the Me Too movement.[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Episode 1 first aired in the United States on HBO, while episodes 2–12 first aired in the United Kingdom on BBC One.
  2. ^ "Someone Is Lying" was first released on BBC iPlayer on 8 June 2020, ahead of its broadcast on television.
  3. ^ a b "Don't Forget the Sea" and "That Was Fun" were first released on BBC iPlayer on 15 June 2020, ahead of their broadcast on television.
  4. ^ a b "...It Just Came Up" and "The Alliance" were first released on BBC iPlayer on 22 June 2020, ahead of their broadcast on television.
  5. ^ a b "Happy Animals" and "Line Spectrum Border" were first released on BBC iPlayer on 29 June 2020, ahead of their broadcast on television.
  6. ^ a b "Social Media Is a Great Way to Connect" and "The Cause the Cure" were first released on BBC iPlayer on 6 July 2020, ahead of their broadcast on television.
  7. ^ a b "Would You Like to Know the Sex?" and "Ego Death" were first released on BBC iPlayer on 13 July 2020, ahead of their broadcast on television.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obenson, Tambay (26 May 2020). "'I May Destroy You' Trailer: Michaela Coel's New HBO Series Promises to Be Bold and Provocative". IndieWire. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "HBO's New Half-Hour Series "I May Destroy You," Executive Produced, Co-Directed, Written by, and Starring Michaela Coel, Debuts Sunday, June 7". The Futon Critic. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "I May Destroy You – new drama by Michaela Coel for BBC One". 11 May 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  4. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (9 June 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.7.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  5. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (16 June 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.14.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (23 June 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.22.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (30 June 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.29.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (8 July 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.6.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (14 July 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.13.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  10. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (21 July 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.20.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  11. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (28 July 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.27.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  12. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (4 August 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.3.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  13. ^ a b "'I May Destroy' You Is an Explosive Account of Life After Rape". Time. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  14. ^ White, Peter (22 August 2018). "Michaela Coel Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted During Writing Of 'Chewing Gum' – Edinburgh MacTaggart". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  15. ^ "I May Destroy You". HBO. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  16. ^ a b Hale, Mike (4 June 2020). "Review: Michaela Coel Is Riveting in 'I May Destroy You'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  17. ^ "I May Destroy You". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  18. ^ "I May Destroy You: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 8 June 2020.

External links[edit]