HBO has released the official trailer for “I May Destroy You,” its hotly-anticipated topical new TV series from Michaela Coel, the BAFTA-winning creator of “Chewing Gum.” Coel executive produces, writes, co-directs and stars in the series, which the network promises will be bold and candid, exploring the question of sexual consent in the present day given how much the landscape of dating and relationships has changed. And given Coel’s previous work, as well as the look of the trailer, it likely will be provocative.
HBO is certainly no stranger to envelope-pushing series. And “I May Destroy You” will likely fit in perfectly on the network that Zendaya’s “Euphoria” — or any number of its hard-hitting documentaries — call home.
Previously titled “January 22nd,” the official synopsis for “I May Destroy You” reads: “Set in London, where gratification is only an app away, the story centers on Arabella (Coel), a carefree, self-assured Londoner with a group of great friends, a boyfriend in Italy, and a burgeoning writing career. But when her drink is spiked, she must question and rebuild every element of her life.”
The nature of sexual assault on film and television remains a dominant topic post-#MeToo, and there are so many angles that still remain unexplored. Coel herself revealed during her MacTaggart lecture at the 2018 Edinburgh International Television Festival that she was sexually assaulted during the writing of “Chewing Gum,” opening up about the “life-changing” experience during her keynote speech.
In addition to Coel, the main cast for “I May Destroy You” also includes Weruche Opia (“Inside No9”) and Paapa Essiedu (“Kiri”), who play Arabella’s best friends Terry Pratchard and Kwame Acheamong, each of them with their own life struggles.
Rounding out the supporting cast are Aml Ameen (“Yardie”), Adam James (“Belgravia”), Sarah Niles (“Catastrophe”), Ann Akin (“Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams”), Harriet Webb (“Plebs”), Ellie James (“Giri/Haji”), Franc Ashman (“Peep Show”), Karan Gill (“Flesh & Blood”), Natalie Walter (“Horrible Histories”), and relative newcomer Samson Ajewole.
“I May Destroy You” is produced by Coel’s FALKNA Productions, and Various Artists Limited. It is executive produced by Coel, Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni and the BBC’s Piers Wenger and Jo McClellan for BBC One.
The series, with 12 half-hour episodes, is set to debut on HBO on Sunday, June 7 at 10:30 p.m.
Check out the official trailer: