Jan 7, 2021

"The Slap": Slapping Your Kid Causes Trouble. One Gay Character.


The Slap:
 "A middle-class Australian community is torn apart after a man slaps someone else's child. " 

Something so inanely trivial will tear apart a community?  And it's going to be drawn out into an entire tv series?  Not even a 15-minute web series -- the first episode is 45 minutes long.

This I've got to see.

Episode 1, "Hector."

Scene 1:  A woman smoking a cigarette while having sex with a man.  Narrator: "Hector woke to a memory of Connie.  For a moment, he luxuriated in the memory of her."

Gross!  I thought this was a comedy, not a heterosexual sex schlock.  At least we see Hector's chest while he'x luxuriating in the memory of her (aka masturbating).

Hector (Jonathan LaPaglia) does push-ups and sit-ups (nice body, ugly face), then goes downstairs, where Connie is making breakfast.  They smooch, cuddle-wuddle, and argue about who wuvs who the most.  

In between smooching, he yells at his son, who has a "fat ass" and spents too much time playing video games.

Ok, it must be Connie's  son, or else when he gets around to the slap, it won't be "someone else's kid." 

Scene 2: Wait, the lady at breakfast was not Connie!   While driving, Hector flashbacks to the real Connie , the kids' babysitter.  He dropped her off at her house, and they smooched.  Narrator: "Hector reflected on what might happen if he allowed things to go further with Connie. Public humiliation, divorce, loneliness, despair, suicide."

All that over sex with the babysitter?  Is she underage or something?

Scene 3: Back in the present, Hector goes to the veterinary clinic where Connie works (I guess the babysitting gig was years ago, before she graduated).  He claims that he just came by to pick up some Valium, but actually he wants to luxuriate in her some more.   He invites her to the party this afternoon (dumb idea, dude).  

Scene 4:
Back home, Hector is smoking by poolside.  His mate Harry (Alex Dimitriades) wants him to come in the water, but he refuses.  "You're pussy-whipped!" Harry complains.   

So Hector jumps into the pool, and the two start frolicking.  I expected them to kiss, but then Hector's teenage son jumps into the pool with them, and his wife/servant gives him a beer.  He's straight, and Hector's cousin.  No homerotic hijinks, darn. 

The barbecue is in honor of Hector's 40th birthday. 

Meanwhile, inside the house, the wives/servants are cooking.  Sexist gender role polarization!  They discuss one of their toddler sons "playing with himself," and assume it's because he hot for a girl.  Heteronormative!

Scene 5: Regardless of the house full of guests, Hector goes upstairs and masturbates (full butt shot).  

Downstairs, more people arrive.  Hector's Mum and a gray-haired lady -- could they be a lesbian couple?  No, Hector's Dad is there, too. 

They spend about 10 minutes saying hi, how are you, how's the job, the sort of small talk real families might make at a party.  Except this is a tv show.  Dialogue should be interesting, or humorous, or drive the plot. 

What is the plot, anyway?  Where's the slap heard round the world?

Scene 6:
Outside, the men are firing up the barbie.  Hector yells at his son Adam: "Get off your fat ass and help your Grandpa!"  Adam (Adrian van der Hayden) refuses and walks off into the side yard.  Hector follows...to slap him?  

No, he apologizes for yelling.

This is Adrian van den Hayden's only screen appearance.  Since 2011, he has grown up and taken up bodybuilding.

More family stuff.  "Your papa and I got a present for you," an argument over whether to take a trip to Greece, that sort of thing.

More people arrive. Anouk and her boyfriend Rhys (Oliver Ackland), a soap star.  Everybody fawns over him and asks for selfies.  

Hector seems particularly smitten, and puts an arm around his waist and leads him into the house.  For smooching, I assume?  No, just to talk to the wives, who are still cooking in blissful gender polarized harmony in the kitchen.

Scene 7: Upstairs, the kids are fighting.  One of the wives goes up to check.  Her son says "I want booby!", so she pulls out her breast for him.

Breast-feeding a ten-year old boy?  Way, way creepy!

Hector goes up to check, too, and yells at Adam again.

But no slap.  Come on, Hector, slap someone!

Another heterosexual husband-wife-kid combo arrive.  

Hector and Wifey go into the other room and argue about the trip to Greece and childrearing.  Then Hector goes into the bathroom and smokes, drinks, and snorts cocaine, while thinking about leaving  his horrible wife, kids, and relatives and running off to South America.  I guess the lovey-dovey stuff earlier was just an act.

Scene 8: 
Back at the party, high, Hector finds Cornnie in the laundry room (where apparently they keep the beer).   They almost kiss, but at the last minute Connie backs off and goes to find Richie (Blake Davis). "He's not my boyfriend, he's just a guy I brought."  This will become important later.

Everyone sits down to dinner, except for about a dozen people who are gathered around the table but not eating.  They start the family criticism:

1. Anouk and Rhys are wasting their lives in the mindless drek of a soap opera.  

2. Gary wanted to be an artist but is stuck in a dead-end job as a librarian.  Surrounded by books all day!  How awful!  Darn, I thought Harry was unattached, but some woman smooches him.  It's heterosexual couples all the way down.

3. Harry is just an idiot.  

4. Hector is great, because he's a good husband and a good father.  All the other men at the table are husbands and fathers, too.  What makes Hector so special?

Scene 9: Hector sneaks into the bathroom to smoke, drink, and do more coke.  Whoa, there are at least 20 people at this party.  There better be more than one bathroom, or there will be a line forming.

He hears the kids fighting again, and bursts into the bedroom (the ten-year old is breastfeeding again). 

He yells at Adam again, but still no slap!

Scene 10: Hector flirts with Connie while the kids play in the back yard.  Breastfeeding Boy grabs a bat and starts swinging around wildly.  Harry  tell him to stop, but he refuses, and kicks him in the shins.  So Harry slaps him.

All hell breaks loose.  "You fucking animal!" the boy's father yells, as he attacks. Saying "He deserved it" gets Breastfeeding Mom to attack: "This is child abuse!"   Another mom calls the police. Harry's wife is asked: "Does that fucking pig hit you, too?"    

Geez, one little slap.  I got slapped by the teacher in first grade for refusing to eat my salad (it was gross, chopped-up lettuce swimming in French dressing).

Scene 11: The traumatizing event has made Hector reconsider his life.  He gives up the idea of fleeing to South America, apologizes to Wife, and promises to do better.  

What did I just watch? This wasn't a comedy about a ridiculous misunderstanding spinning out of control.  These people were deadly serious.  They thought of a man slapping a crazy breastfeeding boy as a criminal offense.

I looked ahead in the plot synopses: future episodes are named after the person being affected by the horrible tragedy: Anouk, Harry, Connie, Rosie, Manolis, Aisha, and Richie. Harry is apparently arrested and put on trial, and loses everything "his Brighton Beach mansion, his beautiful wife, his son, his successful business." 

Beefcake: Lots of Hector, a bit of Harry and his teenage son.

Gay Characters:  In the 2015 American version and I assume the Australian version, the police examine Richie's camera, looking for evidence, and discover that he and his boyfriend were victims of cyberbullying.  The boyfriend committed suicide, and Richie spent time in a mental hospital.  When he got out, he changed his name.  But the discovery of the old tragedy compels him to attempt suicide.  Charming. 

1 comment:

  1. In the American remake- Zachary Quinto was the slapper- this was based on a novel too


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