Tuesday 12 December 2017

We'd take it badly if nearest neighbours didn't appreciate 'Love/Hate' gang

Robert Sheehan (Darren), left, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Nidge) and Killian Scott (Tommy) of 'Love/Hate'.
Robert Sheehan (Darren), left, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Nidge) and Killian Scott (Tommy) of 'Love/Hate'.

Helen Moorhouse

Hands up everyone in Ireland who has a photo of themselves with Nidge? 'Here's me and Nidge on me road'; 'Here's me and Nidge in Superquinn'. It's the new must-have picture, replacing JFK and the Sacred Heart in the icon charts.

Quite a lot of us Irish think that 'Love/Hate' is good. Very, very good. The most universally loved thing on Irish telly, in fact, since... well.... possibly 'Wanderly Wagon'. It's an Irish TV phenomenon – in 20 years' time, in the same way that 'Glenroe'-end-credit anxiety defines a generation, we'll have a term to describe the 'Love/Hate' effect.

And why wouldn't we? It's gripping and beautifully shot. It's gritty and violent (but somehow not in an icky, 'chips don't bounce, Paula' sort of way). Its characters are scumbags, junkies and murderers – yet crafted by slick writing and multi-dimensional performances, so we care for them. It's cool. It's got real credibility.

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