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Forget Normal People! Millennials rave over new edgy BBC drama I May Destroy You

With scenes of threesomes, drug use and sexual assault, I May Destroy You is the ‘brilliant’ and ‘dark’ drama millennials are watching now that Normal People is finished.

The 12-part BBC1 series fearlessly dives into hard-hitting issues affecting the lives of young London-based writer Arabella (Michaela Coel) and her close group of friends, including struggling actress Terry (Weruche Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu), an aerobics instructor.  

It follows Arabella as she comes to terms with a sexual assault after her drink was spiked at a nightclub, a storyline based on the harrowing real-life experience of Coel, 32, who also wrote, co-directed and produced the series.  

I May Destroy You fearlessly dives into hard-hitting issues affecting the lives of young London-based writer Arabella (Michaela Coel) and her close group of friends, including struggling actress Terry (Weruche Opia). Pictured, the friends on a drug-fuelled night out in Italy

The series follows Arabella as she comes to terms with a sexual assault after her drink was spiked at a nightclub, a storyline based on the harrowing real-life experience of Coel, 32, who also wrote, co-directed and produced the series. Pictured, Arabella in episode 4

The series follows Arabella as she comes to terms with a sexual assault after her drink was spiked at a nightclub, a storyline based on the harrowing real-life experience of Coel, 32, who also wrote, co-directed and produced the series. Pictured, Arabella in episode 4 

The unapologetic take on life for a group of 20 and 30-somethings finding their way in London has won praise from viewers, who say it is the ‘next Normal People or Fleabag’. 

One fan wrote: ‘I just watched the first 4 episodes of i may destroy you and omg it’s amazing. intense, dark and harrowing, while also being insanely witty and funny.’

Another posted: ‘I May Destroy You is just brilliant. It’s clever, it’s dark, it’s moving. If you liked Fleabag/Normal People you need to watch this next.’ 

A third tweeted: ‘I May Destroy You is BLINDINGLY GOOD – some of the best TV I have ever seen. @MichaelaCoel’s writing is so tender, dark, sharp and witty.’

The unapologetic take on life for a group of 20 and 30-somethings finding their way in London has won praise from viewers, who say it is the 'next Normal People or Fleabag'

The unapologetic take on life for a group of 20 and 30-somethings finding their way in London has won praise from viewers, who say it is the ‘next Normal People or Fleabag’

This week’s episodes, which are released back-to-back on a Monday night, were praised for their depiction of gay sexual assault and discussions surrounding consent. 

In one harrowing seen, Kwame engaged in a threesome with a bi-curious friend, and was left alone with the stranger when his friend left. 

Kwame then tried to leave but was forced back onto the bed and raped by the stranger he just had consensual sex with.

Dozens of viewers applauded the programme for tackling the ‘difficult’ subject in such an honest way. 

This week's episodes, which are released back-to-back on a Monday night, were praised for their depiction of gay sexual assault and discussions surrounding consent. Pictured, Arabella and Terry (centre) buy drugs from dealer Biagio (Marouane Zotti), left, while in Italy

This week’s episodes, which are released back-to-back on a Monday night, were praised for their depiction of gay sexual assault and discussions surrounding consent. Pictured, Arabella and Terry (centre) buy drugs from dealer Biagio (Marouane Zotti), left, while in Italy

Michaela Coel's new hit drama about consent, I May Destroy You, is fast becoming the must-watch series of the year. Pictured: Michaela Coel as Arabella visiting a sexual health clinic

Michaela Coel’s new hit drama about consent, I May Destroy You, is fast becoming the must-watch series of the year. Pictured: Michaela Coel as Arabella visiting a sexual health clinic 

Meanwhile, in a flashback episode, Terry had a threesome with two men she meets on a drug-fuelled night out in Italy. 

On the same night, after taking a cocktail of drugs, Arabella attempted to have sex with a dealer she had bought drugs from earlier that day, after telling him she was menstruating. 

The graphic scene, which shows a blood clot, a used sanitary towel and a used tampon, struck a chord with female viewers in particular, who praised the programme for showing something rarely addressed on screen.  

Raj, from London, wrote of the scene: ‘I May Destroy You has given us the realest period sex scene I’ve seen. This is the modern day SATC no one else has been able to make (don’t @ me with that 4 More Shots Please, it doesn’t deserve the reference), with sexual consent at it’s core. Only Michaela.’  

One scene in particular which caught the attention of fans was one in which the main character character has sex with a man she just met while on her period

One scene in particular which caught the attention of fans was one in which the main character character has sex with a man she just met while on her period 

Vanessa, from Bristol, agreed: ‘F*** me. I May Destroy You may be the smartest, nuanced, funny, devastating exploration of sex and consent…. ever??!! I am in awe. A level of specificity and astuteness I’ve never seen on tele, never mind AN ACTUAL PERIOD INDUCED BLOOD CLOT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SEX SCENE.’ 

The show’s intimacy coach, Ita O’Brien, hailed the show’s sexual scenes as ‘ground-breaking intimate content’. 

Speaking of the show’s third episode, she told FEMAIL: ‘As an intimacy coordinator, I feel it is important to show all forms of intimacy, and a woman’s menstrual cycle is part of it, so it is important to show within our storytelling

‘Also we have not seen this on our screens before, or hardly ever, so it is ground-breaking intimate content.’

I May Destroy You is streaming now on BBC iPlayer. 

Intimacy coach reveals how to film a sex scene safely

Ita O’Brien is a British movement director and intimacy coordinator for film, TV and theatre. She coached the actors in the BBC Three series Normal People and BBC One’s I May Destroy You and Netflix’s Sex Education. 

In 2017 she released a set of Intimacy On Set Guidelines outlining procedures to keep actors safe while filming scenes of nudity or sex. 

She told FEMAIL: ‘Working with an Intimacy Coordinator will start in pre-production, during the rehearsal process. 

‘A production brings in an intimacy coordinator to choreograph the intimate content. I will first talk with the actors and director about the scenes, about the characters and storyline and what the creative vision is. 

‘Then I will talk to the actors and establish agreement of consent and touch and most importantly, where is the “no”. 

‘With this knowledge of boundaries, we are able to create a safe structure within which to choreograph the intimate content, the beats of the scene, the shapes, and the actors are then free to do what they do best: act.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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