Tag Archives: carl sagan

‘The Affair’ 1.08 or Meet Me Hereth, I’ll Be Thereth or DNR

the affair 108Last night’s episode of The Affair was brought to you by the letter G. G stands for Genre. We’re all familiar with the term, but what we are more familiar with are the genres themselves. What genre would you categorize The Affair under? Mystery? Romance? Melodrama? Comedy? There are certainly elements of all these within it but, as Prof. Solloway rightly points out to his high school English class, it is clear when the story shifts in genre, much like “Romeo and Juliet”, and it always always means something. The Affair has shifted from what we believed a series titled The Affair might be about, to something much different: murder in a small town. But is it really about who killed Scotty Lockhart? Or is there much more to be answered?

You’ll have to excuse my personal bias towards American high school English teachers, but I think that among them lie some of the most magical people, possibly because within them lies the story of storytelling. The audiences expectations are part of the effectiveness of the story, I know that, perhaps you knew that, and certainly the writer on this show know that. So are they messing with our expectations? Just as this romance turned into a mystery, will this mystery turn into… something else? I’ve heard a lot of people wonder how long the series will be able to maintain “the affair” at the center of the story for three seasons (that’s how far in creator Sarah Treem has mapped out the series, FYI) without having the audience lose interest. If I had to guess, the answer lies in genre. Just some food for thought.

Oh and one last side note while we are on the subject (and before I get into last night’s episode): has anyone noticed or read any discussion on why Carl Sagan’s science-fiction novel Contact is in the opening credits of The Affair? It’s quick, blurry, and well hidden, but several pages from within that book can be seen (yes, there was lots of pausing and a few quick Google Book searches). I have not read the book but the 1997 film on which it is based is one of my favorites, and it could not be any more different than The Affair. It tells the story of a female scientist who builds machines to communicate with other planets, travels in time, fights religion, embraces technology, then questions it all. It’s a story about a father and daughter, too. Totally random? Or could there be more to this?

Alright, on with the episode after the jump. (And for those still keeping score with me that’s: Noah 7 – Alison 1)

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