Showtime Continues to Push Sexual Boundaries on ‘The Affair’

The plot of Showtime’s upcoming drama The Affair may seem obvious given the straightforward title, but the new trailer for the show proves the story is a little more complicated than you may think. The show does follow two married people, teacher Noah (Dominic West) and waitress Alison (Ruth Wilson), as they meet and eventually develop a forbidden romantic relationship. But the series, debuting October 19, examines the affair from both of their perspectives, which — as is always the case — differ greatly at some points.

The teaser gives viewers just a glimpse at their relationship, with the two of them meeting at the Montauk, New York restaurant where Alison waitresses. As the two run into each other more and more frequently, the attraction between the two of them becomes more evident. Things get increasingly heated until Noah finds himself sneaking out of his house at night to meet Allison for secret rendezvous on the beach. In the trailer, both characters are telling their side of the story to a detective, who’s investigating an apparent accident, although it’s unclear exactly what that accident is.

While TV shows centering on affairs seem to be a dime a dozen these days, the dual perspective puts a unique twist in this particular series. “Storytelling in general is driven by perspective, and there are two sides at least, to every story,” co-creator Sarah Treem explained during the Television Critics Association tour, according to the LA Times. “My feeling is that both sides are right, that the objective truth, if it exists, is something that the viewer will decide for themselves.”

But producers also insist the show is just as much about marriage as it is about infidelity. As the LA Times reports, executive producer Jeffrey Reiner explained the universal theme this way: “A lot of us didn’t rob banks or we didn’t kill anybody. Everybody knows about marriage.”

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