Network: BBC One / HBO
Where to Watch: HBO Max
Quite possibly the most important series to drop in 2020, Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You is, simply, impressive. Fans of her E4 series Chewing Gum should be familiar with Coel's (at times) offbeat sense of humor, but where Chewing Gum packed way more of the funny, I May Destroy You examines life from a deeper space.
Arabella (Coel) is introduced as a more free-flowing writer who has a crushing deadline on the piece she's working on. Instead of staying in and knocking the work out—damn you, writer's block—she spends her first night home from her recent Italy trip going club hopping with a friend. That night turns dark, with Arabella spending the earlier part of the series concluding that she'd been raped that fateful night. From there, through a mix of comedy and reality, we piece together not just what happened that night, but the cycles of abuse and struggle that Arabella and her friends Kwame and Terry have been going through for damn near their entire lives.
As Arabella finds her strength (and, more importantly, herself), viewers are given a hard trek through the stages of dealing with trauma. And it isn't just with Arabella, although she's used as the vessel to highlight how victims of sexual assault attempt to cope and continue to live through these horrific, life-changing experiences. Coel doesn't shy away from the real, and even at its darkest, it's a series that's more necessary than many other series hitting television these days. —khal