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Content Review: I May Destroy You by Arielle Williams

In I May Destroy You, we see our heroine Arabella (played, written, and produced by the enigmatic Michaela Coel), a blossoming author from London, attempting to finish the follow up manuscript to her smash hit that put her on the map in the first place. Battling a horrible case of writer’s block, she tries to gather her thoughts with a Trip to Italy.

When her literary agents remind her that she has deadlines to meet, she allows herself to be allured with drugs and drinks on a night out on the town by her friend Simon. The next day, she finds herself incapable of recalling most of the night’s memories, despite turning in some form of the draft to her literary representation. With her friend, Terry, they piece the night back together and realize that her smashed phone and unexplainable cut on her forehead are evidence of her being drugged and later sexually assaulted.

Michaela Coel uses her platform with I May Destroy You to highlight body positivity, sex, consent, and race in one of the strangest yet enlightening series of the decade. The curious and awkward pauses throughout the duration of the show feel premeditated as she echoes the nature of finding yourself in your twenties. The genuine nature of the show bares genius and simply makes it work for the black twenty-somethings who are still finding their way in the world.

The series masterfully depicts the complexity of friendships and how to cope with the growing pains of life. Coel also gives survivors of abuse the opportunity to take back their autonomy and transfer that suffering into something iridescent and transcendent. She mixes dark humor well into the show so that it truly reflects the realities of what it’s like as you make your way through the world without guidance. I would highly recommend that everyone take a look into the odd but interesting coming of age series.

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