Review of "The Slap" on NBC From The TV MegaSite

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The Slap

"The Slap" review by Suzanne 2/20/15
It airs Thursdays 8/7 on NBC

I've only seen one episode of the show so far, but I found it very interesting. It's very hard to know if the future episodes will get better or worse. The show is about a family (of Greek descent). The protagonist, Hector, works for the city of New York. On his 40th birthday, he finds out that he didn't get the big promotion that he'd hoped for. His busy doctor wife throws a party for him, but he doesn't really want to go to it. He's really doing the whole midlife crisis thing. He has wicked thoughts about another woman that works with his wife (who's much younger and seemingly more interested, plus she kissed him). He seems poised to do more than have wicked thoughts, but otherwise he's a good person and everyone thinks highly of him.

It's mostly family at the party, and there are tensions between everyone. His mother is a bit over-bearing, and his wife has trouble with her bringing a lot of food to the party and then giving them all a great gift - a trip to Greece. One of his cousins, Harry, is a former military guy who appears to be a rich businessman, and the other one, Rosie, is a hippie-looking woman, and her husband Gary doesn't much like Harry. Gary is left wing and doesn't think that money is that important, but it seems like he really just resents Harry. Harry is very successful and has children that seem well-behaved (as does Hector).  Rosie and Gary's child is clearly a spoiled little monster.

With all of these tensions boiling up, the kid misbehaves dangerously, and he ends up kicking Harry in the shins. Harry just reacts, smacking the boy across the face. Well, of course the boy gets upset and the parents have a fit. Personally, while I don't like right-wingers or their politics, I felt that Harry was completely justified (not that I would have necessarily done the same thing). The little brat had it coming and it's his parents that were to blame. They're the ones that he should have smacked.  I felt that the reaction to his slap was a bit over-the-top, but who knows how today's parents act.  After that, the party broke up and the couple threatened Harry with legal action.

The whole show has a 60's vibe to it. Perhaps it's the jazz music, or the fact that it takes place in the suburbs in New York. Or maybe it's the pace, which is a lot slower than most TV network shows.

Over all, I think it's very well done and well written, and certainly very well acted. It's based on a book that I haven't read. They also had an Australian series based on it. My only objection would be that it seems to be a bit heavy-handed and could use a little more subtlety in the characters and how they act. I'll need to watch more to see if the whole thing is that way or if it was just the first episode. Network TV does usually have programming that plays to stupid people, and network TV executives often underestimate their audience.

I love Zachary Quinto, who plays Harry, so it's worth watching just for him. Check it out! It's another one of those miniseries-type shows so it's only 8 episodes.

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