Tuesday 25 June 2019

'Gangster drama that's more addictive than the World Cup' - Love/Hate garners rave reviews in UK

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

RTE crime drama series Love/Hate is garnering rave reviews from critics in the UK.

The Guardian website leads the praise, describing the show as 'a gangster drama that's more addictive than the World Cup.'

Whilst four seasons have been broadcast in Ireland, the first series only debuted on Channel 5 in the UK last summer, with the second due to air in the autumn.

And the exploits of Dublin gangster Darren Treacy (Robert Sheehan) and his criminal cohorts have slowly drawn a loyal following in Britain.

"This story of life, love and death among Dublin's criminal underclass is vividly told with strong central performances and an addictive plot." continues the Guardian website.

"It's an old story, often told, but what makes Love/Hate more than simply an Irish attempt at The Wire, are two things: the dialogue and the setting. The former, as scripted by playwright Stuart Carolan, is a winning mixture of baroque insults ("Are you a lady bird or a dirt bird?") and Dublin slang delivered in thick Northside accents ("Get out of my car, you nosy geebag") coming together to form something that feels like an updated Irish version of Trainspotting."

Irish actors Robert Sheehan and Ruth Negga are singled out for their respective 'excellent' and 'luminous' performances.

Elsewhere, Independent.co.uk recommend readers who have missed the first series buy it on DVD and catch up prior to the second series.

"It’s Ireland’s answer to The Wire, and more," writes Sarah Hughes. "Drenched in death and concerned with sin, guilt and the price of violence, it’s a foul-mouthed and frequently very funny look at lives lived by the gun.

"Featuring strong turns from Aidan Gillen, Ruth Negga and Thomas Vaughan-Lawlor alongside Sheehan, it succeeds because behind the humour, the pain rings true."

Season five of the hit show will broadcast on RTE in the autumn and reportedly will run over 12 episodes as opposed to six.

Love/Hate writer Stuart Carolan is said to be setting the series in the courts and prison, to show his characters facing the full rigours of the law.

Earlier this year he spoke of how prison life was something he wanted to explore in season five Love/Hate.

"We've done a good bit in Wheatfield already but I have zero knowledge of the prison system and want to learn more," he told the Herald.

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