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TV - Oct 2, 2015

The Affair: Season Two

The jigsaw gets an upgrade: two distinct truths become four distinct truths! So now whom do you believe?
Dominic West – trustworthy or not? (Photo by Mark Schafer for Showtime.)

The Affair

Season Two premieres October 4, 2015, on The Movie Network – and is available on demand at The Movie Network On Demand (Channel 309) and online at RogersAnyPlaceTV.com

What makes The Affair such a fun ride is that we, the audience, are charged with the responsibility of being judge and jury. We alone must decide the truth. The first half of every episode in Season One was told from the man’s point of view, the second half from the woman’s. And Season Two fractures the viewpoints one step further.

It’s a clever tactic that not only tests our sense of reasoning, but also questions our intuition, loyalties and gender bias. By mathematical deduction, roughly half of what we see, and possibly more, is not quite the truth. Seeing everything twice, from different angles, makes for curious storytelling.

It also makes for very playful, addictive, Golden Globe-winning television. The first season took home the Globes’ Best Television Drama Series honours and Ruth Wilson (who’d previously blown us away in the 2010 TV series Luther) was awarded Best Actress. Her co-star, Dominic West (whom we’ll always love for his five years as Jimmy McNulty on The Wire), was also nominated for a Golden Globe – for his slightly more level-headed portrait of Wilson’s slightly more believable counterpart. Or is that just my gender bias speaking?

While we’re completely accustomed to this dual-interpretations technique in novels, television is a much more literal experience and we instinctively want to believe whatever we actually see happen. On the surface, there’s nothing too complicated about this classic story of adultery. He’s a novelist with two kids; she’s a waitress grieving the death of a child. Both feel trapped in their marriages. Yes, it takes two to tango, and there are always two sides to every coin, blah, blah. But The Affair doesn’t ask us to pick sides exactly. Instead, we yearn for a middle-ground truth.

In Season Two, we get to choose from two additional perspectives – those of the aggrieved spouses, played by Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson. Each episode will still feature two sides of the story, but those sides will now alternate among four players instead of between two. And to add to the fun, timelines – along with the increasingly murky truth – will also be distorted in Season Two. Bring it on!

The Affair has already been renewed for a third season. Season Two episodes will become available one day after they air – at The Movie Network On Demand (Channels 309 and 355) and online at RogersAnyplaceTV.com.

• Broadcaster: The Movie Network (Channels 301, 312 and 550)

• Broadcast premiere: October 4, 2015

• Regular timeslot: Sundays at 10 p.m. ET

• Number of episodes in Season Two: 10

• On demand at: The Movie Network On Demand (Channels 309 and 355) and online at RogersAnyplaceTV.com