What was that about a head gash and a black out? Should I have mentioned that I May Destroy You — Michaela Coel’s new 12-episode series — explores the psychic fallout from a sexual assault? Should I have first established that this is the story of a young woman who is spiked, raped, and facing a rocky road to recovery? Journalistic conventions seem to require me to do so, but, in this case, I would rather not. As much as I May Destroy You is about consent, it is also about context; therefore, any attempt to contextualise it would seem to lessen its impact.
Imagine having to play connect-the-dots on a multi-substance hangover and you’ve got Arabella’s dilemma and the driving arc of the series. The focus is not the what of the rape, but the how, and Arabella’s lack of context is part of what makes her situation horrifying.