She was robbed. We’re talking, of course, about Michaela Coel’s Golden Globes nomination snub. Despite being one of the most talked-about, critically-acclaimed and important shows of the past year, Coel’s I May Destroy You was overlooked in every single category when the Golden Globes nominations were announced earlier this week. Emily in Paris, on the other hand, took home two nominations. Yes, the latter was ridiculously binge-able and a brought a much-needed bit of escapism, but when it comes to being award-worthy, they’re not even in the same stratosphere, let alone the same league. Thankfully, the SAG Awards have recognised Coel’s brilliance, announcing she is up for outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries.
ICYMI, I May Destroy You – created, written, co-directed, executive produced and starring Coel – is a comedy-drama that tells the story of Arabella, a writer and social media star feted as “the voice of her generation”. In an attempt to distract herself from the looming deadline of her second novel, she abandons writing for a big night out fuelled with drugs and booze. When she wakes the next day, frightening flashbacks bring the realisation that she was drugged and sexually assaulted. The show explores themes of consent, as well as the far-reaching effect of sexual assault. Resisting the ‘victim’ label, Arabella embarks on a journey of self-discovery, questioning and rebuilding every element of her life. It’s funny, uncomfortable, heartbreaking and has a bloody amazing soundtrack to boot.
So, in celebration of her talent, we’ve rounded up the must-watch Coel shows to binge this weekend. Because if there’s one good thing to come out of Coel’s Golden Globes rebuff, it’s that even more people will become aware of her incredible work.
Coel has starred in two episodes of Charlie Brooker’s cult Black Mirror series. The first is Nosedive (series three, episode one) the second, USS Callister (series four, episode one), which is often considered one of the best episodes of the entire show. Find both on Netflix.
Black Earth Rising
In this 2018 thriller, Coel plays Kate Ashby, a legal investigator. Adopted by a human rights attorney after the Rwandan genocide, the series sees Coel’s character confront her past as she takes on war crime cases. Netflix.
Based on her 2012 play Chewing Gum Dreams, Coel’s semi-autobiographical, Bafta-winning sitcom follows Tracey, a 24-year-old virgin raised in a strict religious household, on her journey to sexual awakening. All 4.
In this gritty drug dealer drama, Coel appears in two episodes as Carla, a women who witnesses a murder but is unsure whether to cooperate with the police. Netflix.
Been So Long
Showing there is no end to her talents, Coel she stars as Simone, a single mother living in Camden Town who falls for a reformed criminal in this heartwarming musical. Netflix.
Star Wars: the Last Jedi
It may only be a three-word cameo, but it’s a three-word cameo in STAR WARS. Disney+.
A sci-fi comedy that taps into themes of immigration and race, The Aliens is Set 40 years after aliens land on land in the Irish Sea and are forced to live in the fictional city of Troy. Coel plays extraterrestrial Lilyhot. All 4.