The Slap is an Australian, comedy drama, mini series that aired on ABC1.
When the show opens, we are introduced to Hector (Jonathan LaPaglia, Underbelly), who is celebrating his fortieth birthday with his wife, Aisha (Sophie Okonedo), and family. Hector is distracted by the young seventeen year old Connie (Sophie Lowe), when a disagreement breaks out among the children. Aisha’s friend, Rosie (Melissa George, In Treatment), and her husband, Gary (Anthony Hayes), are too busy drinking alcohol to attend to their four year old son, Hugo (Julian Mineo). He is reeking havoc on everything in sight; pulling flowers up from Hector’s garden, scratching up his record album, and trying to hit the other children with a wooden bat. Hector’s cousin, Harry (Alex Dimitriades, Underbelly), has had enough of Hugo’s unruliness and slaps him. This starts a war between the family members and friends as all hell is going to break loose.
Rosie makes Gary call the police and files a report against Harry. Hector is asked to give a statement and he agrees to do so to protect Harry, even though he had not truly seen the entire event. Harry in turn gives him a used Mercedes for his help, while Aisha and the others refuse to get involved. Of course, Harry is too wealthy to be convicted of this crime, but he does hire an attorney, who drags Rosie’s reputation down to the ground.
Eruption occurs between Hector’s mother, Koula (Toula Yianni), and his father, Manolis (Lex Marinos). He begins to question why he chose to marry Koula because he was not physically attracted to her, when they were dating. She is bossy and pushy, while he is calm, cool, and collective. He deals with her by not looking at her, but looking up at the ceiling’s water stains.
Harry and his wife, Sandi (Diana Glenn), appear to have the perfect lives to others, but there is a deep, dark secret hanging over their heads. It seems that everything that Harry wants, Harry gets, without facing any type of repercussion for his reckless behavior and impulsive actions.
Connie continues to pursue Hector, but he refuses to take their affair any further than they already had because he tells himself that he is still in love with Aisha. Connie’s best friend, Richie (Blake Davis), also has a man crush on Hector. He becomes extremely upset, when Connie tells him a huge secret that involves none other than Hector. Although, Connie is willing to let it go, but he is not and decides to start harassing Hector through secret text messages, that is until Hector finds out that it is him. He gets scared and reveals Connie’s secret to Rosie and Gary. They decide to destroy Hector by confronting Aisha, with this secret, but it just not go as they had planned. Connie and Richie’s friendship goes awry and she starts hanging out with others, while he is left to try mend his relationship with his alcoholic father.
Will Aisha be able to forgive Hector for his going astray or will she leave him for good? Will Connie and Richie be able to mend their friendship, after Richie reveals her big secret to everyone?
The Slap is definitely a show worth watching, just be warned that there are some scenes that seem to drag out a bit. One little slap turns this family upside down, but it is definitely amazing how they seemed to pull it all back together. I guess the old saying, “blood is thicker than water” is surely true in this case. The ideology of this mini series is truly clever because it shows how families can come together to hide some of the most heinous secrets, lie for each other, and back the ones up that have committed a terrible act even though they know that their actions were wrong. Outsiders do not matter in this show, but family members surely do.
The acting is great especially Melissa George, whom I truly enjoyed in the In Treatment television series. Jonathan LaPaglia and Alex Dimitriades did outstanding in their roles, as well, but I have been a fan of these two since I watched them in Underbelly.
Producers have decided to try their hand at making an American version of The Slap, hopefully it will turn out as well, but they are known for ruining Australian and British shows. I guess we will just have to wait and see how that turns out. All in all this is a great family mini series and I feel it deserves an 8 out of 10.