"The idea for “The Affair” started with Hagai Levi, the creator of HBO’s “In Treatment.” “I like to take a topic that is common and make it my own,” he explains. “What happens if you consider yourself a good person, and you lose that image of yourself?”
Levi had worked with Sarah Treem on “In Treatment,” and recruited her to help develop the concept for the new show. They honed in on the “Rashomon”-like structure, recounting the affair from each character’s perspective. “Usually you only see it from one point-of-view,” Levi says. "I thought it would be very distinct to tell it from two points of view — and only those two points of view — to be in the eye of the storm of those two people.'"
"… the idea of the show is to tell the same story from two sides or two perspectives. And each perspective has valid weight. I think that’s radical in a love story because so often the woman is written as the object and the man as the subject. But in this show, they are both the subjects of their own story and the objects of each other’s. And the story changes depending on whose perspective we are in.
As a woman, I’m very cognizant that I experience the world differently from men. And because I’m a woman who has worked in a male-dominated field for so long, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time training myself to “think like a man” in order to survive. When telling this story, I actively thought about how men and women experience the same scene differently. Which was a lot of fun and very liberating for me personally."
–"Sarah Treem: On a different path", co-creator and executive producer of "The Affair"
I have been enjoying "The Affair" on Showtime, watching the story unfold organically every week.
Kurosawa once said "memory is the basis of everything", and often times memory is also a highly subjective narrative experience. By telling the same story from two perspectives, it's endlessly fascinating to see the gender biases men and women bring to relationships and how both sides choose to remember events in ways that ameliorate their guilt.