Critic Consensus: I May Destroy You is at once brave and delicate, untangling the trauma of sexual assault with dark humor and moments of deep discomfort all held together on the strength of Michaela Coel's undeniable talent.
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as Arabella Essiedu
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Coel's a great talent - no doubt about that - but this can be an aggravating, unfocused sprawl at times. The power and horror of Arabella's ordeal is the unintended casualty.
"I May Destroy You" is moving and, despite the subject matter, at times very funny. It should inspire plenty of conversation about very sensitive subject matter with ever-increasing complexities.
A writer less volcanically talented than Coel might struggle to weave one of these themes into a 12-part series; that she's able to explore so many different layers of power while creating such a compulsively watchable show is striking.
It's tricky to call an actor mesmerizing, for fear of making her power seem magical rather than the result of craft. But Coel here is magnetic and memorable, for sure, and you won't be able to take your eyes off her.
"I May Destroy You" is fascinating TV, taking a dark subject and turning it every which way. It can be shocking, it can be fun (which is also somewhat shocking), it can hurt and maybe even heal. No matter what, it's an unsettling revelation.
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