How to turn thicko skangers into heroes
Drama isn't less serious or gripping for having a moral compass, says Eilis O'Hanlon who finds 'Love/Hate' lacking
It was hard to escape the creeping feeling while watching the first episode of RTE's new drama series Love/ Hate last Monday evening that the most loyal viewers of this show are actually going to be the Dublin inner-city gangsters it purports to be portraying, warts and all.
The makers of Love/Hate have already acknowledged that one of the dangers of making such series is that it can present an airbrushed version of the criminal underworld. As writer Stuart Carolan admitted to one interviewer: "You do run the risk of making it look glamorous." His justification was that, well, so did Martin Scorsese in Goodfellas and he got away with it. It's a risky defence, since it does rather invite the raised eyebrow response: "So you think you're Martin Scorsese now, do you?"
But even if the people behind Love/Hate were film makers of genius, it doesn't negate the charge of glamorising crime for the sake of ratings. Scorsese has his own moral responsibilities when it comes to portraying the shadier side of Italian-American life, and we have ours. Mafioso types undoubtedly love seeing themselves portrayed on screen by Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci, and our own homegrown thugs wouldn't exactly be averse to a similar experience either. Whether you give it to them -- that's the question.