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

  • OG Review

    Review: 'O.G.' on HBO

    Jeffrey Wright, the most compelling reason to watch HBO’s new film “O.G.,” is among television’s best actors at switching between codes or manners of being. On “Westworld,” his timeline-toggling android swaps personae so delicately that his performance gains in resonance when recalled in retrospect. (Perhaps that’s why Wright has been so oddly underrated through the [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan Writers Room

    Nahnatchka Khan Exits 20th Century Fox TV for Overall Deal at Universal

    Nahnatchka Khan has signed a four-year overall deal at Universal Television. The deal brings an end to the decade-plus Khan and her Fierce Baby Productions banner spent at 20th Century Fox Television. The move will see Khan exit from her role as showrunner on ABC comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” which she also created. The [...]

  • David Ajala

    'Nightflyers' Star David Ajala Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Under the Bridge'

    David Ajala has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Under the Bridge,” Variety has learned. In the project, when a scandal rocks the medical practice she runs with her husband and their friends, a surgeon rises to the occasion and takes the lead in trying to mend both the practice and [...]

  • A Man Walks Into the Cnn

    CNN Puts Former Sessions Aide in Newsroom Role

    Sarah Isgur Flores, a press aide to former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has been hired to help coordinate political coverage for CNN, a move that generated some pushback on social media Tuesday. Politico previously reported the CNN hire. Flores in the past has criticized CNN coverage. She will be just the latest political operative [...]

  • Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'WKRP In

    Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'Big Guy' Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' Dies at 86

    Gerald “Jerry” Blum, the inspiration for the character of radio station general manager Art “Big Guy” Carlson on the long-running TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Saturday at 86. The Atlanta radio veteran was affectionately transformed into the fictional Carlson by veteran comic actor Gordon Jump on “WKRP,” which ran for four seasons on CBS [...]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV News Roundup: 'Arrested Development' Sets Season 5 Return Date at Netflix

    In today’s TV news roundup, the second half of “Arrested Development” season five gets a release date and Netflix announces the voice cast for “Green Eggs and Ham.” CASTING Netflix has announced the ensemble voice cast for the upcoming “Green Eggs and Ham” series executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres and based on the Dr. Seuss book. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content