"Making fiction about rape is a high-wire act, fraught by controversy and opportunities for hurt feelings," says Josephine Livingstone. "That’s true even or perhaps especially if it has happened to you. Coel has said she was drugged and assaulted a few years ago, and that the two-and-a-half-year writing process on I May Destroy You was 'cathartic,' but the stakes are high: If the show had been a flop, or some other kind of failure, it could have been a personal catastrophe. On a human level, Coel’s achievement with I May Destroy You is an expletive-worthy triumph. But if we focus on moments like the existentialist Google search, the rape itself fades away to reveal a television show that is not only an embodiment of, but a creative work about, Coel’s genius. Bella’s entire journey so far (I haven’t seen past episode six, of a total 12) has been about the long slog to the center of herself. That journey is literal in some ways, since she is investigating a crime with herself at its center, but it is also an odyssey into Bella’s subconscious. Memory is a particularly fruitful theme for Coel. In an evidence-collecting interview, for example, Bella asks a police staffer, 'How could you know, when I’m the one it happened to, and I don’t know?' On a technical level, beyond the diamond script, I May Destroy You stands out for its music—a blend of vintage U.K. garage hits and contemporary releases—and cinematography. The camera has a gaze with a force of its own and never flinches when horrible things happen, giving the viewer of I May Destroy You a role as witness. Then again, so much is left out. Six episodes in, for example, we have no idea what Bella’s all-important new book is even about. In the show’s cinematography, Coel has crafted a selective gaze that mimics the tics of her own protagonist’s mind, deleting and adding knowledge as the chemistry of cognition dictates, its logic an alchemical mystery."