This year’s BAFTA TV Awards belonged to Michaela Coel and I May Destroy You. As we already know, it was one of if not the best series of 2020 and Michaela and the series won in the Writing, Directing, Miniseries, and Acting categories. In her speech, Michaela opened by showing respect for her fellow nominees, Letitia Wright, Billie Piper, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Hayley Squires, and Jodie Comer. And she made that tribute specific, talking about how in her performance in I May Destroy You, she wrote her own words, so she admires that in their performances, they’ve taken someone else’s words and made them her own. It’s such a thoughtful comment, such a beautiful way to honour your peers.
Michaela also took time to honour Ita O’Brien, the director of intimacy on set. She praised Ita O’Brien for ensuring a safe working environment on a show that dealt with abuse and trauma and this served as both recognition for Ita’s work but also a call to the industry, a reminder about why these recently created positions are vital to artists, not only so that they feel protected, which is paramount, but also so that there can be an environment for them to fully manifest their creativity when telling stories about power and exploitation. Start at the 0:55 mark:
Michaela has said over the last year that she’s taking her time with ideas before moving onto her next project. A few weeks ago, there were signs that she’s ready to get into a new story. The BBC’s head of drama, Piers Wenger, announced back in May that early development has started. While it is unlikely that the new series, or whatever it is that Michaela has in mind, is a sequel to I May Destroy You, he noted that there is a through-line to her stories, so it’s possible that there’s a spiritual connection if not a character connection.
Again, though, this sounds quite early in the process so there’s really not much more to say except that, well, everyone is waiting to see what Michaela comes up with next. She has multimillion dollar deal with HBO. People couldn’t stop talking about her last show. She’s the one everyone is waiting for. And she’ll answer in her own time. After what she gave us with I May Destroy You, Michaela is worth the wait.