TV Review: Showtime’s ‘The Affair’

Created by In Treatment veterans Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi, The Affair tells the story of Noah Solloway (Dominic West, The Wire) and Alison Lockhart (Rush Wilson, Luther) who have an affair while Noah and his family are on vacation in Montauk. The series, which debuts on Showtime on Sunday at 10 p.m., shows the sometimes very different perspectives of the two leads. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

The Affair may become absorbing as a detective story. It may be titillating as an adultery story. But its theme is already compelling: The more you know about people, the more complicated their truth becomes. And sometimes the more you know about people, the less you find that you actually know them.”
James Poniewozik, Time

“But the first episode, at least, is terrific, with a distinct, involving tone, and it does very right by its leads. [...] this is a fine start to what promises to be a very messy story.”
Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“Striking the right balance with such a character-driven construct can be perilous, but with the casting and initial tone, The Affair appears well ahead of the game, to the point where many will find further attendance compulsory.”
Brian Lowry, Variety

"I’m going to stick with The Affair, at least for a few weeks, because of its apparent commitment to complicated, life-based storytelling."
Andy GreenwaldGrantland

The Affair might be an exercise in literary gamesmanship if the acting and writing weren't so strong, or the setting so evocative.”
Verne Gay, Newsday

“The mystery of the show, and the fun of it, is figuring out whose version is closer to the truth, while making allowances for tendencies dictated as much by gender as self-interest.”
Alessandra Stanley, New York Times

“The performances are extraordinary, as they must be to complete the process of retelling a seemingly similar story. West has never been better as a man who has convinced himself that his life is so secure, even his in-laws’ dismissals can’t rattle him. Wilson is mesmerizing, skillfully flirting as much with the audience as she seems to be with Noah, allowing us to see just a few telling pieces of her interior character at a time."
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle