Take THAT you little brat!

So who watched it?

 

Tonight saw the first instalment of an eight-part series based on the book The Slap by Australian author, Christos Tsalkos.

 

It looks at a group of friends and family getting together to mark Hector (Jonathan LaPaglia, above) turning 40 and how it all comes undone when Hector’s cousin, Harry, slaps the four-year-old son of Rosie and Gary.

 

I haven’t read the book. I once went to a reading by Christos from his first novel Loaded and OH MY GOD I almost slid of the chair. Think story of a young Greek man embracing the fact he is gay and there being a LOT of raw hot young sex. Phwoar. I was kinda happy to leave my Tsalkos fill there.

 

Apart from that I haven’t finished a novel in more than four years. GOD that’s even worse when it’s written down.

 

SO, in a nutshell:

Jonathan LaPaglia is hot. This episode had us seeing him wank, snort coke and have sex on the kitchen bench. Pacing himself is clearly not on the cards. This was all most EXCELLENT viewing with your 11 year old. Whoops. Chef salvaged the awkwardness by saying, ‘well at least he knows what goes on when they all go to bed now’. He wishes. Felix handled it all with a noisy eye roll.

 

Melissa George has spectacular breasts – which completely destroys her character’s credibility as a woman breastfeeding a four year old. While my girls arrived seemingly overnight and immediately assigned themselves to the category of National Geographic Indigenous Nomadic Tribeswoman, I will vehemently argue that NO boob, no matter how stunning and perky prior to breastfeeding, can look that good after putting in the hard yards for four long years.

 

– It really is just a blamange of cultural and religious stereotypes. There is nothing really redeeming about anyone, from the four year old to the forty year old and really, that is so depressing.

 

– Twitter is having a complete hissy fit over – not the slap of course – but the breastfeeding of a four year old. I must say, I am pro pro pro breastfeeding but even my pro-ness is sorely tested by breastfeeding a four year old. I’m leaving it at that because WHOOOBOY the last thing I want or need is the breastfeeding army unleashing its hind milk fury on me.

 

– It is beautifully acted and well shot and all that stuff but the characters so repulsive I’m not sure I have the staying power to watch them all roll around in their collective self-absorption, self-pity, self-righteousness and anger, so much anger, for the next eight weeks.

 

 

Did you watch it?

 

 

If you want to see what on God’s earth I am talking about, click here.

 

 

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  • Hind milk fury! PMSL.
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  • Bwhahahaha . . . one of the best lines ever . . . . “breastfeeding army unleashing its hind milk fury on me”. So well said.
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    • I’ve been to morning teas with ‘those’ breastfeeders. Not to be messed with.

  • This is exactly why I didn’t love the book. There are no redeeming or likeable features in any of the characters. While if was well written, etc, I need to feel something for someone in a book. Cheer on the hero at least.

    I’m going to stick out the series though.

  • Hated the book so there was no way I was going to waste time watching the tv version.
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  • Bec

    Won’t read the book, won’t watch the show. Your glorious details here just confirmed what my instinct screamed every time i picked it up in a bookshop or saw it yet again hogging the top seller lists: emperor’s new clothes.

    And bring on the hind milk fury and riddle me this: if breast milk is perfectly adjusted for the individual needs of your child as they grow, how do you rationalise breastfeeding a toddler and a newborn from the same boobs, at the same time? Surely one of them is getting vanilla when they need chocolate?

    (this is why I should just stay a lurker)

    • Please don’t lurk. You made my day w/ that call. And I concur.

  • Hated the book – wanted to have a shower once I read it. Extremely biased view of heterosexual relationships IMO. Adultery and drug taking seen as standard suburban behaviour by EVERYONE. ( I must be moving in the wrong circles). Unlikeable characters. Bad parents. I won’t watch the series even though the production looks of very high quality. The thing that really annoyed me is that the slapped child is a really horrible kid so that puts another layer on it too…
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    • I think that’s my main issue with it – a highly stylised view of hetero relationships. I know this is Part 1 so just setting up the story and the characters, but they’re all so black and white. And so cliched – the angry one, the frustrated one, the martyr, and so on.

      But Jonathan LaPaglia is hot, so there is that…

  • It was beautifully shot and designed but I totally agree with you on the unlikeable characters. I’m not sure I care enough about any of them to bother finding out what happens next.

    I do admit to having a laugh imagining the outraged faces at ABA HQ* because the totally repulsive four year old is such an anti-posterchild for long term breastfeeding (they have a section in their monthly magazine which tracks positive and negative depictions of breastfeeding in the media).

    [*disclaimer: I am a member of the ABA, have fed both my babies for longer than average, and think they do amazing work with their telephone helpline etc., but have no time for breastfeeding militants]

  • Loved the book and enjoyed the show. The characters are not all unlikeable, too. I don’t get why people say that. Richie the young boy who ran the cricket game is a major character and a sweetie. And Connie is sweet but misguided, although she was played a bit ‘vixeny’ for my liking in the show. Reemember teenagers brains are properly developed and they don’t always make wise decisions.

    I like Manolis, the old Greek dad too. He’s always trying to make the peace. His wife Koula is a bitch though. Sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason. My brother was engaged to a Greek girl once but ended it because if her mother, who was very much like Koula.

    Aisha actually reminds me of me, which is a worry!

  • Well you can all go and unleash your fury on me because I loved both book and TV!

    Clearly I move in the wrong circles too – the whole cast are entirely believable for me (with the exception of Melissa George’s clearly unmilked breasts), all deeply flawed in their clumsy attempts to balance their selfish impulses with their need to accommodate the demands others place on them. Love all the hot buttons – the onset of middle age, the in laws and cross cultural friction, the breastfeeding, the vain father unable to deal with his own child’s weight issues.

    And in defence it should be said to those who haven’t read the book that ep 1, by its nature is the set up and cast off – anything redeeming about the characters will emerge over time.

    BRING IT.
    sooz recently posted..anticipation

    • You live in the inner city, you both work and you have a couple of young kids. Target audience? BINGO!

      I totally get what you’re saying, totally. And I am hoping that Part 1, being exactly as you say, the setting up of the story and characters, is not indicative of the whole series/book in that the characters are such black and white clichés.

      And also – my friends are clearly way too boring – no drug taking, no religious epiphanies and generally very positive relationships. *snore*

  • I haven’t read the book but I found the show fascinating, the characters were more real & true to life than I’ve seen on TV in a long time. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the show feeling ackward & uncomfortable for the characters but that is what makes it good TV. You can bet I’ll be sitting down next week to feast my eyes on Johnathan LaPaglia & watch again!

    • Well yes, Jonathan LaPaglia is quite the drawcard. And I get the notion of the characters being ‘real’ but gee, it’s ugly isn’t it.

  • Read the book – found it miserable and tortured.

    Did like the show last night though – as Tina said it made me feel uncomfortable but somehow the story is better through the medium of television than it was as a book. Weird – usually books are better.

    • Someone said they felt the book read like a screenplay so perhaps that’s why it has translated to the screen so well? It’s a pretty bleak reflection of society though.

      • Bleak is certainly how I felt after reading the book. Perhaps the show is less bleak because the actors are quite distractingly gorgeous.
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      • I think the book is a series of internal dialogues – you are really inside the character’s heads and I think for most people that’s a way blacker version of reality than they like. I think it’s easier to see people from the outside and believe they are same inside as out (even if we know the insides of our own heads are far messier and uglier than we let others see). In the TV version we only see the outside so a good portion of the blackest part isn’t visible – the characters are much less likeable in the book than TV version I think. Also, I didn’t picture the Rosie character being at all attractive in the book so that’s weird. I did picture the brat being exactly that unbearable though.
        sooz recently posted..anticipation

  • Jo

    Agreed with both camps here – didn’t really like either but admire the way Tsilkos gets us all debating. I found the steroetypes incredibly annoying though (in the book). Glad the show absences the ridiculous amount of swearing that is in the book – no not squemish just found it distracting – do people really talk like that?? I’m with librarygirl – we must be moving in the wrong circles!!

  • AliG

    I cannot believe how many people are missing the point of the book and the series!

    Seriously, have we become so accustomed to the low grade drama that we have in this county that we can’t even recognise nuanced, complex story? Can’t cope with something that is not spelled out for us?

    Yes the characters are behaving in ways that make you think, but that is what is interesting. They are not ‘goodies’ or ‘badies’ they are human. This is the whole point. It is a character study of people who are in situations that are not great (of their own making sure but for all sorts of reasons) and they have to make choices.

    Really we are talking about an actresses breasts? Really? Is that all you got from it?

    This show is already being sold all around the world. I think we should be excited that Australia can make world standard tv. What a pity if it is only appreciated internationally, but then again that would not be the first time that Australians have had to go overseas for the recognition they deserve.

    • Hey AliG – Oh there’s certainly no question here or in the discussions I’ve seen/heard about this not being world standard tv – yes I think the acting is fantastic and equally are all the production standards, I don’t see that as being the issue or contention here at all.

      And come on, the boob stuff and how hot Jonathan LaPaglia is are just a bit of mucking around. There is certainly no admonishing or ‘dissing’ it in terms of quality production or indeed drama this is, indeed, a discussion of the people being portrayed (not whether they are being portrayed well or not – in terms of the acting etc).

      Of course it’s interesting but that doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable or pleasant viewing? I’m not sure. But I’m certainly not saying ‘oh this is crap TV’.

      My main ‘issue’ or criticism (and yes, I am totally aware it is only Part 1 and therefore everything is quite stark due to setting the scene and laying out the characters) is that I don’t think it really is a study of people – I think it’s some pretty broad sweeping platitudes about individuals and in particular hetero couples.

      And I’d have to disagree with you on there being no goodies or baddies – of course there are – but who you think falls into which camp is part of the whole point isn’t it? Who do we empathise with the most? Who do we see as fundamentally flawed or at fault. There are definitely goodies and baddies, it’s just not telling us who is who.

  • I loved the book, even though I didn’t really like it. I did feel that the hetero couples rang a bit false. As fab as Sophie Okonedo is, she’s not Indian, so that feels a bit off.

    The Greek grandfather was my favourite character in the book. His story develops beautifully.

    I feel sorry for the child, growing up without boundaries. I had to cease breastfeeding earlier than I’d planned but I never would have fed that long. I don’t think the breastfeeding is an issue, but the lax parenting (from a lot of the parents, not just the hapless Rosie) certainly is.

    I will keep watching. Definitely about more than the characters. I’m enjoying the characters in Crowned, but the storyline has almost ceased and become boring.

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  • Chelsea

    Hey, i’ve breastfed 3 kids for 2 years a piece and my boobs look the same. We don’t all look like Flo from “Bad Boy Bubby”! 🙂

    • Dude, I breastfed four kids for what felt like the better part of a decade and mine still look the same – so now you’ve thrown a whole new angle on this – not only does she have great boobs she’s FLAUNTING it. Smug. The new black.

  • WOW I just clicked on the link and watched. I must live in a cave because I have never heard of the book.

    I really enjoyed the first ep and will definitely be watching further.

    Must say the whole BF thing didn’t really make a blip on my radar but the slap sure as heck did. I was watching on my laptop( with earphones) and my gasp had my husband running from another room to see if I was ok.

    I look forward to the characters unfurling around such a complex issue (not the breast feeding..LOL).
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  • Susan, Mum to Molly

    Hey Kim, you still watching The Slap?

    What did you think of eps 2 & 3?

    Having seen Melissa George’s breasts ‘in action’ again tonight I can’t help but wonder/ worry about the young actor who plays Hugo and the fact that he was allowed/required to get that up close & personal to those breasts…

    Hmmmn.

  • eureka

    People should be showing more sympathy towards children behaving badly because they need help. Children don’t know what’s right or wrong unless told.
    The Slap was a big mistake for that slightly drunk bastard and he need to be punished. Put him in jail. Teach Australia how to treat kids.
    BESIDES, I THINK “THE SLAP” IS PROMOTING VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN, WOMEN, DISRESPECTING GOD, TEACHING PEOPLE TO KILL AND ATTACK OTHER PEOPLE, ENCOURAGING ADULTERY etc.
    Is there a lack of violence in Australia that we need TV series like this?
    This TV series is EVIL !!!
    It should be BROUGHT DOWN from ABC channel.
    Or make the outcome Un-EVIL!
    WHATEVER THE REASON, NO ONE SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED OR ALLOWED TO SLAP OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN. CHILDREN CAN BE BAD BUT THEY CAN’T KILL ADULT. SO THERE’S NO DANGER TO ADULT FROM CHILDREN.