I May Destroy You is the education you should have had on sexual consent, but probably didn’t.
Sexual consent. It isn’t something that is talked about a great deal, but is definitely something that should be. It’s something that is explored on-screen even less. It’s heavy, intense, awkward, but so very necessary. Michaela Coel’s newest series is a harrowing but equally brilliant drama to remedy just that; exploring consent, the consequential trauma, and everything in between. It’s an education we all should have had already, but too many of us haven’t. And for that reason, it’s our spotlight series of the week.
The complex drama follows Arabella, a Black, flawed, messy, emerging writer who tries to navigate through the London scene “learning how not to be sexually assaulted”. While the context sounds harrowing - it is - Coel also has the brilliance to blend the serious and the sardonic in a way that is rarely achieved.
While another BBC favourite of ours, Normal People celebrates consent, I May Destroy You looks into how consent can be taken away. In more ways than a simple “yes” or “no”.
Raw and refreshing, at one moment you’re taken into a police station to witness a report of rape, and just as quickly you’re laughing at Arabella’s down to earth, dark quick wit.
"I didn't add humour, humour is always there; at every party, funeral and war, although often uninvited, she's always there," Coel said in a recent interview.
I May Destroy You offers an insight into the complex layers of sexual consent and is a must-watch for so many reasons, not only for its brilliant and beautiful education into what it means to give and offer sexual consent.
I May Destroy You is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Some resources about consent are available below:
- Consent myths and facts
- Disrespect NoBody: free teaching resources on sexting, consent and preventing relationship abuse