You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: ‘The Affair’ Creator Sarah Treem Discusses Forgiveness, Moving on in Season 4

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with Sarah Treem, creator of Showtime’s infidelity drama “The Affair,” along with the show’s lead Maura Tierney and its producer Jessica Rhoades about its fourth season.

Listen to this week’s podcast for free below and at Apple Podcasts:

The Affair” follows the complicated web of emotions and relationships two marriages spin after an extramarital affair rocks them to their core. The show focuses on how the affair affects both the adulterers and their spouses, and Treem said the fourth season looks to explore how people move on in relationships.

“Why do some people seem to move on from relationships and why do some people never seem to be able to move on from relationships?” Treem said.

According to Tierney, moving on in the show required her character to go through what she termed “radical forgiveness.” Treem explained radical forgiveness by saying it would be impossible for Helen’s character to fully be at peace with herself as long as she kept pushing her unfaithful husband away. She said it’s a way for Helen to also forgive herself in the process.

“She can’t outrun him, and she can’t outrun them,” Treem said. “She has to somehow face it and deal with it.”

Rhoades, who recently became an executive producer for the fourth season, said she was attracted to the show’s use of perspective, where the story changes based on each character’s perspective on a situation.

“Perspective is reality,” she said.

Treem said the show’s focus on perspective means there are specific rules that go along with shooting the show, often to the annoyance of the show’s directors.

“You never let up on it and we’re very diligent in the shooting. It drives the directors crazy sometimes, but a scene can’t start before the character enters, obviously it can’t continue after a character has left,” Treem said. “There’s a bit of a rigor to the way we think about writing it and shooting it.”

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday. Subscribe on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, or anywhere you download podcasts. You can find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

Let us know what you think of Variety’s podcasts! You can email us at podcasts@variety.com to offer comments, suggestions, and ideas for interview subjects you’d like to hear from. 

More TV

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • Sky

    Comcast Expected to Appoint Maximo Ibarra as New Sky Italia CEO

    Colombian-Italian executive Maximo Ibarra is expected to be appointed CEO of Comcast-owned pay-TV operation Sky Italia, which has been without a chief executive for the past seven months, a source close to Sky Italia tells Variety. An announcement is believed imminent that Ibarra will be the Italian paybox’s new chief after it was announced Tuesday [...]

  • Lil Nas X arrives at the

    Lil Nas X, Young Thug, Jamie XX Highlight Adult Swim Festival Lineup

    The second annual Adult Swim Festival is set to take place on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at Los Angeles’ Banc Of California Stadium. Music acts on the bill include Lil Nas X (pictured), Jamie xx, Vince Staples, Young Thug, Dethklok, Captain Murphy and Tierra Whack, among many others. Additional offerings include comedy [...]

  • 'Live P.D.' Host Dan Abrams Brings

    'Live P.D.' Host Dan Abrams Brings New Order to Law-Focused Media

    Each weekday at 2 p.m., Dan Abrams talks to America for an hour about the law, politics and media. He’s been working steadily to expand the conversation. Abrams hosts an afternoon show on satellite-broadcaster SiriusXM, where he holds forth on the Mueller Report (if you haven’t read it, don’t try to debate him on what [...]

  • Sky takeover. Undated file photo of

    Katie Keenan to Head Sky Cinema Acquisitions

    Katie Keenan is joining Sky as head of acquisitions at Sky Cinema, and will oversee film deals for the pay-TV giant’s channels. Keenan is a seasoned buyer. Most recently she was at Viacom’s international division and acquiring programming for its free-TV Channel 5 operation in the U.K., as well as for cable channels including Comedy [...]

  • NEW YORK, NY – JUNE, 24:

    LGBTQ Stars Honored at Variety’s Power of Pride Celebration

    New York City felt the full power of pride on Monday, as Variety celebrated its inaugural issue devoted to the annual recognition of LGBTQ people worldwide. At an intimate gathering at Mr. Purple, the rooftop bar at Hotel Indigo Lower East Side in Manhattan, Variety’s cover stars and luminaries gathered for cocktails and the unveiling [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content