Centering on an affair between two married people — Noah (West) and Alison (Wilson) — this show takes a strange approach by showing each event from the two different points of view. “We wanted to play around with how differently two people can see a situation,” series creator Sarah Treem explains of the switch between Noah and Alison as the point-of-view character.
While both Noah and Alison are going through roughly the same events, they remember it differently when telling the tale at some later date. Gender roles are part of these differences as well as self-perception. “They remember it differently. I think that people remember situations differently, especially when panic takes over,” Treem adds.
This results in subtly different stories as well as details — like the color of Noah’s shirt — that change from story to story. Meanwhile, the one remembering various incidents seems to see the other as more attractive than themselves.
At no point is there ever an omniscient viewpoint that comes in to tell the “true” story either. Even when another point-of-view appears, it’s questionable whether or not it’s any truer. As for the spouses played by Tierney and Jackson, they don’t tell the stories and are therefore seen in drastically different lights at different times in the show.
“The Affair” premieres Sunday, Oct. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.