A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Affair chronicles a budding flirtation between a man and woman, both of whom are married to other people. Sexual scenes aren't necessarily graphic, but there's very little left to the imagination, and you'll see brief shots of nipples, buttocks, and so on. You'll also hear unbleeped swearing ("f--k" and "s--t") and see some disturbing scenes of implied violence (including suicide and rape). There's some social drinking, too, and discussion of teen drug use.
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What's the story?
When Brooklyn writer and teacher Noah Solloway (Dominic West) arrives in Montauk to spend the summer with his wife (Maura Tierney), his kids, and his wealthy in-laws, his primary concern is starting work on his second novel. But a chance meeting with alluring local waitress Alison Lockhard (Ruth Wilson) -- a married woman still grappling with unimaginable loss -- ignites an unplanned passion he can't ignore, and THE AFFAIR that follows breeds serious consequences.
Is it any good?
There's a saying that it takes two to tango, and The Affair takes that concept one step further in an intriguing and unexpected way by telling a shared story of infidelity from two wildly different points of view. The result is an engrossing mystery that effectively hooks you with unanswered questions and inconsistencies and stirs provocative questions about cheaters, liars, and truth-tellers.
In The Affair, whom -- or what -- is to be believed often comes down to a matter of perspective, even if it's a detail as mundane as what a character might have been wearing. And it's messages such as these, in addition to edgy (albeit tasteful) simulated sex, that make this Affair a better fit for adults who can emotionally relate to the characters and mine the most value from their struggles.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Affair's use of a Rashomon-like narrative structure (referring to a classic Japanese film wherein the characters provide very different versions of the same event). How do Noah and Alison's recollections differ? In what ways are they similar? What's the purpose of dividing the story into two points of view?
Why do people choose to cheat on their spouses, particularly if they appear to be happy? Is it purely sexual or partly emotional -- and are those reasons different for men than they are for women? Is infidelity ever OK?
How do Noah and Alison's actions in The Affair affect the other people in their lives, including their respective spouses and children? Are they ultimately punished for their actions? Is there a lesson to be learned?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love drama
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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