Everybody needs to watch ‘I May Destroy You’

Though the HBO series was not nominated for a Golden Globe, it’s a must watch



Released in summer 2020, ‘I May Destroy You’ delves into sexual assault and trauma.

The HBO series I May Destroy You was snubbed by the Golden Globes. 

I’m not here to whine about how it should’ve been nominated because it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that people watch it.

The 12-episode British series follows a young woman, Arabella, as she grapples with the aftermath of being sexually assaulted. 

I watched it for the first time last summer around the time it was released. When I finished the last episode, I was speechless. I remember simply sitting in my bedroom, staring into the darkness. What just happened?

Last week, I watched it for a second time with my boyfriend and was no less left in awe, maybe even more so. 

My only problem after viewing this series was that I had no one to talk about it with (besides, now, my boyfriend). It never got very popular, so few people have seen it. But I think I can say with confidence that this is the one thing I have viewed which I think is most pertinent for everyone to watch. 

The series was created, written, and directed by Michaela Coel (queen) and was inspired by her own sexual assault experience. Oh, and she also plays the role of Arabella. 

Created by an incredible Black woman and starring a nearly all-Black cast, this show certainly  brings Black voices and culture to the fore. 

But this isn’t a show about race. It may sometimes be discussed, but it isn’t the sole purpose or focus of the show. 

As the show mainly addresses the subject of sexual assault, many might say it’s basically a show about consent. But as Arabella even realizes within the show, that isn’t completely true either. It’s too reductive of a description because the series is much more than that. 

It’s about the range of human emotions that come with relationships and trauma. 

But all the same, the way sexual assault is presented is more powerful than anything I have ever seen. It shoots down the one-dimensional view people have of sexual assault: that it’s only when a man pulls a woman into a dark alley and forces himself on her. IMDY depicts sexual assault in all its varying forms and it is nothing short of heartbreaking and enlightening.

Everyone needs to watch this show because these truths Coel reveals in this masterpiece are so incredibly important I can’t even put it into words.

But what makes the show even more groundbreaking is the fact that it shows Black people grappling with the trauma of sexual assault. Too often, the only sexual assault victims that are given any attention are White women. I’m not disregarding the fact that White women are often blamed and torn apart in the media when they speak up, but people of color – Native Americans and Black people – often aren’t even given the space to share their truth. 

And so, what this show does is beyond powerful. It validates the experiences not only of sexual assault victims, but of Black sexual assault victims as well. 

Coel also shows how trauma isn’t just one emotion but is an ever-evolving process. It’s a state of transformation, during which one may feel sad, angry, hopeless, vengeful, depressed, and even numb to any emotion.  

I’m certain I’ve hardly even captured the grandeur of what this show is in this short space, but it is my hope that others will be compelled to watch it. 

And if you don’t want watch it for the reasons I’ve stated above, then watch it for the British accents and Italian rap. 

Just watch it.

Let Coel open up your mind and let yourself be with the beautiful characters. Be there to feel their lowest lows and their highest highs. I promise you won’t regret it.