Recently, we watched the first episode of The Affair. It’s a drama from the U.S. that got fantastic reviews. It stars two British actors pretending to be Americans, and the program revolves around the fact that they are having an, well…. I think the title is rather a giveaway.
I’m not sure what I think of it yet. I’ll keep watching it. My initial take is it seems to be mostly about how to concoct a drama that justifies extended sex scenes.
No shock that, really. After all, it’s from cable’s Showtime.
During, I think, the second episode, as “action” was underway yet again at one point, I have to confess my mind wandered a bit. I recalled my grandfather. (Stay with me here.) He had subscribed to HBO shortly after it first appeared in the 1970s.
When my young cousins and I were sleeping over during a family gathering weekend, I remember being packed off to bed with him declaring, “You kids need to go to sleep now. The adults are going to watch cable.”
As for dialogue. One would think that is not unimportant to a drama. One Affair line that grabbed my attention was the well-to-do, pompous, novelist father-in-law wheeling out the cliché to the new novelist son-in-law that “Everyone’s got one book in them.”
Nope. Dead wrong. From where I sit, I’ve got four (at least).
I was back at it yesterday. The third one is coming along. With each day, Distances is ever more a novel and not merely a mishmash.
What does referring to The Affair have to do with my own writing? Well, once again, there is some sex. But it’s not, err, “cable.”
You may remember “The Far Side” single panel comic strip. The essence of it was – based on one cartoon I’ve never forgotten – that a lion, having just boarded an elevator (as lions do), is casually standing with his rear end to the closing doors. However, his tail is sticking out between the doors. Meanwhile, humans already in the elevator stand non-chalantly, utterly unconcerned and, not seeing where his tail is, await the elevator to continue on its ho-hum journey.
What’s funny is not a lion devouring people when the elevator doors surprise him by closing on his tail. Rather, it’s the tension we feel in seeing that situation. What’s in our mind is what makes that scene.
That’s one explanation why my novels leave “certain matters” largely to readers’ vibrant imaginations. Adults know what happens after the elevator doors slam shut. That’s not what’s really intriguing (to me, anyway) in exploring relationships…. including in an affair.
However, as I think more on that here, I’m wondering? I hope that doesn’t disappoint you? Maybe I’ll have to add more “action” and perhaps even release the lions? 😉