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Ella Scott Lynch
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A brilliant piece of relevant, 21st-century drama.
Some time ago I wrote a critical piece about Australian TV dramas and received a fair amount of flak from my Aussie readers for so doing. Well rightly or wrongly, I stuck to my guns, but I am now delighted to report that the Aussies have totally redeemed themselves by making a programme which I can honestly say is one of the finest pieces of TV Drama I have seen.
'The Slap' is an 8 part Aussie mini-series based on the best-selling book of the same name, by Christos Tsiolkas. If you haven't seen it yet and you like your drama to be gritty, thought provoking, edgy and sometimes so realistic it is painful to watch, then go no further than 'The Slap'. It follows the lives of several characters who attend an otherwise innocuous 40th birthday party when one of the guests controversially slaps a four-year old who is misbehaving. The resulting court proceedings blows apart lifelong friendships and family relationships and the ensuing story covers virtually the whole gamut of present day social controversies; including rape, infidelity, substance abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism, breast-feeding, cultural ethnicity, interracial marriage and so on. I am sure my Aussie readers would be familiar with some, if not all, of the actors in this piece, but they were all new to me, and I have to say that the entire ensemble cast – including the kids – acted their socks off, without exception.
I will be picky and offer one criticism. I hated the intermittent comments made by a hidden, unknown, ghostly, (ghastly?) narrator. The lines narrated were undoubtedly taken from the novel, where 'omniscient narration' can be an acceptable literary device; but in a piece of TV visual drama, it is simply a lazy, old-fashioned cop-out. Everything told to us by this 'mystery' narrator, could just have easily been acted out by the players.
But I am being picky – good on yer Oz – I take my hat off to you, for a brilliant piece of relevant, 21st-century drama.
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