I had just finished embarrassingly weeping after watching Issa and Lawrence get back together in the latest episode of “Insecure” in May. As I wiped my tears, I heard singing, “Where is my shot glass? Can’t you see I’m taking shots?” It was a colorful trailer for a new series called “I May Destroy You.” I honestly had no idea what this show was about, but I saw Black characters and the brilliant Michaela Coel, so I was already sold.
The next week, I wrapped up my embarrassing weeping after “Insecure” and stayed put for the premiere episode of “I May Destroy You.” I was shocked to learn that in addition to Coel’s signature dark comedy, it also carried a darker lesson about consent.
Spoiler alert and trigger warning!
The series follows Arabella (played by Coel), a late twenty-something social media influencer-turned-novelist living in London. As she struggles to find motivation and inspiration to write her new book, her life suddenly turns upside down the night before her draft is due. After taking a break to grab drinks with friends, she wakes up with a gash on her head, a shattered phone and no account of the night before.
She sits at a meeting with her book agents with the draft she finished mere hours before. They’re confused by the ending. She rereads it and is equally confused by what she’s written. She leaves and foggily walks the streets of London in a dissociative state. People seem far away from her. She doesn’t know where she is. Someone helps her into a cab to get home. When she walks in her room, a flashback of a man standing over her and thrusting into her pops into her mind. “Hm,” she says, and then the episode ends.