TV: The Slap, Episode One

It’s Hector’s birthday. He’s turning 40.

Hector’s parents are from Greece. He’s married to Aisha, who is apparently from Bali.

His birthday party reflects the changing complexion of Australian society:

One of the guests is a traditionally-White Australian couple with a child who looks five (but is apparently three, as seen later), who still sucks from his mother’s teat(!).

The child is, frankly, a goddammed brat who’s been given no instruction or guidance by his parents. This leads to misbehavior that causes Hector’s cousin to slap him:

That sets into motion a spiral of repercussions that are the subject of the remaining seven episodes of this Australian TV series.

From Wikipedia:

At a barbecue in suburban Melbourne attended by a group of family and friends, an adult slaps an unrelated young child. The child is three year old Hugo who has been misbehaving throughout the barbecue with no restraint from his parents.

Not many Australian TV series turn up prominently on the tubes, so I grabbed this one to see what it was about. In fact, I didn’t know it was Australian. I thought it was British.

Anyway, it tries to be like a novel, in that there’s a narrator. On the other hand, it strives to somewhat naturalistic while also being dramatic. This tension isn’t always successful. Given the title, and some of the actions of Hector, I expected his wife to slap him. Seeing the child slapped was a surprise — but one I thought the child deserved, so perhaps I’m not the best judge of this series.

I’m intrigued enough to watch the second episode, should it also pop up.

The Slap is also available as a(n overpriced) Kindle book.

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