December 18, 2017

The Slap: The Original Australian TV Series on Hulu and Netflix

I’d been hearing that NBC planned to do an American version of an Australian TV hit entitled The Slap, so I was pleased to see that Hulu carries the 8-episode original mini-series. Much like the Japanese film classic Rashomon, each program is told from the perspective of a different character, but the plot keeps inching forward with new information sometimes changing your opinion about who is right and wrong.

Issues of race, religion, parenting, sexual proclivity, alcohol and drug addiction, domestic abuse and marital infidelity all figure into this stew of emotions kicked off by a 40th birthday barbecue for Hector played by Jonathan LaPaglia. Sophie Okonedo is cast as his darker-skinned wife, Aisha who invites her two best friends to the party with disastrous results. Anouk, an attractive middle-aged woman brings her much younger and famous actor boy-toy and notices friend Aisha’s husband being a little too cozy with their babysitter.  The third part of the trio, Rosie comes with her alcoholic husband and her incorrigible little son who provokes Hector’s cousin Harry into delivering a slap to the little chap’s face when he brandishes a cricket bat near other children. Things spin out of control from there with a court hearing, friends and family not speaking, and everyone taking sides on who is to blame.

NBC’s take on “The Slap” looked good on paper with such well-known actors as Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton, Zachary Quinto and Peter Sarsgaard in the American cast.  The producers even retained Melissa George in her role as Rosie, the indulgent mother and friend to Aisha, but the magic is missing in this northern hemisphere remake. Based on just one NBC episode, I can only recommend the Australian version currently available for instant streaming on Hulu Plus and Netflix. Down-under is the winner in this TV show heat.

Comments

  1. I loved the NBC series. All actors turned in riveting performances. I’m confused by all the negative press it got from US critics. I will however check out the Aussie version on Netflix and see if I like it any better.

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