Monday 23 April 2018

Sense shmense when there's a good arse on show

New to the cast of Love/Hate (RTÉ One), actress Susan Loughnane opened the drama's latest season by getting up from bed naked. "I didn't mind getting my arse out," she told a newspaper last Sunday. "It made sense and it looks good." I'm not sure about the sense, but any heterosexual male will testify that it looked good.

A pity, then, that the new series is already looking a bit jaded, or am I the only viewer with a limited tolerance for foul-mouthed Dublin scumbags shooting themselves up and anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity?

Those of like mind might opt instead for The Slap (BBC4), an Australian-made adaptation of the bestselling and award-winning novel by Christos Tsiolkas, which chronicles the fallout from the whacking of a child at a surburban barbecue in Melbourne.

I found the novel turgid and somewhat crass and never finished it, but it transfers brilliantly to the small screen and the opening episodes of the eight-part series -- each focusing on an individual character -- have been riveting.

The performances are superb, most notably from Essie Davis as a TV executive whose life is in freefall and from Jonathan LaPaglia (brother of the more famous Anthony) as the man in mid-life crisis at whose party the fateful slap occurred.

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