‘The Affair’ joins ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘Homeland’

This week on TV.

‘ The Affair’ joins ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘Homeland’ (photo credit: PR)
‘ The Affair’ joins ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘Homeland’
(photo credit: PR)
An intriguing new series, The Affair, has just begun, and two beloved well-known series, Homeland and The Good Wife, have just returned with new seasons.
The Affair, which started this week on HOT 3 on Tuesdays at 10:15 p.m. and for free on HOT VOD, is well written, well acted, mysterious, suspenseful and very sexy. Who could ask for anything more in a television series? It was created by Hagai Levi, one of the producers behind Be’tipul, the Israeli series that was adapted into the HBO show In Treatment, and Sarah Treem, one of the producers of In Treatment.
The Affair does concern infidelity, but it’s much more complex than the title, which evokes soap opera, might suggest. It tells the story of Noah (Dominic West, the British actor best known as Detective Jimmy McNulty in The Wire), a New York City public school teacher, novelist, and apparently devoted family man. He and his wife (Maura Tierney) are heading to her wealthy parents’ beachfront house to spend the summer.
Noah doesn’t like his in-laws, especially because her father is a far more successful novelist than he is, and enjoys boasting to Noah. On the way, they stop at a diner, where their youngest daughter has a choking fit. Alison (Ruth Wilson), a sexy young waitress in the diner, tries to help.
Their daughter is saved, but Alison and Noah make a connection, one that moves from a flirtation to an affair.
Alison is trying to heal from the death of her son and is trying to keep her marriage together, but her husband, the volatile Cole (Joshua Jackson), is difficult to deal with.
The story is told through interviews, apparently with detectives investigating a crime, but we don’t know yet – only one episode has been released – what that crime is.
Another feature that makes the show interesting is that both Noah and Alison tell prosecutors about certain incidents – his daughter’s choking fit, their chance meeting on the beach at night – and while the general outlines are the same, key details are completely different, what people used to call a Rashomon story, after the classic Japanese film where all the protagonists have a different version of the same events.
The actors are extremely attractive, and the Manhattan townhouse and gorgeous beachfront properties (even the waitress lives in a beautiful beach house) make this prime real-estate porn. So make a date to see The Affair.
Homeland, the hit US series based on the Israeli show Prisoners of War, is back with a vengeance in its fourth season. At the end of season three, bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) faced a personal and professional tragedy. Now, in the new season, Carrie rushes back and forth among Kabul, Islamabad and Washington, DC, where her sister, a doctor who has taken on the task of caring for Carrie’s newborn baby, is beginning to realize that Carrie has no intention of raising her daughter. The scenes where Carrie tries to function as a mother, even for a day, are both comic and terrifying, as her mood swings and ambivalence about motherhood push her close to the edge of sanity.
Danes has always been wonderful as the often unlikable, workaholic Carrie, but here she outdoes herself, convincing us that she is more afraid of being a mother than she is of any terrorist.
The espionage plot, as always, is twisty and gripping, and once again viewers will wait in suspense for each new episode.
Homeland airs Mondays at 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on YES Oh and on YES VOD.
The Good Wife is back for its sixth season, and the first three episodes have been simply wonderful. This story of a betrayed political wife (Julianna Margulies) who transforms herself into a woman of tremendous power and appeal simply gets more fascinating and fun as it goes along. Some of this season’s delights so far have been seeing more of Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), the preternaturally shrewd political operative, and a little of his daughter, Marissa (Sarah Steele), who is just back from spending time on a kibbutz in Israel and whose chutzpa equals her father’s.
The Good Wife is currently available on YES VOD.