‘The Slap: Hector’ Review

By Caleb Boyer

Networks have started to premiere limited-run series, such as ABC’s Galavant and Marvel’s Agent Carter. They’ve also adapted overseas shows such as Fox’s limited run adaptation of Broadchurch retitled Gracepoint for the US version. NBC has joined these networks with its premiere of the 8-part mini-series The Slap. This show was adapted from an Australian show of the same name that was adapted from a novel.

     The show stars Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, Zachary Quinto, Thandie Newton, and Brian Cox, among others. It tackles the controversial issue of child abuse and discipline, with an incident where an adult slaps a child. This topic is an issue that the characters and audience will debate over the next few weeks. The question that arises is, whose side are you on? Did the boy deserve it or did the slap go too far?

In the first episode we are introduced to Hector, who is turning 40 years old. For his birthday his wife plans a party where family and friends come over for a meal.  A few people at the party include Hector’s sister Rosie (Melissa George), her husband Gary (Thomas Sadowski), their child, and Hector’s cousin Harry (Zachary Quinto). This is where things start to go wrong. Harry is a wealthy and arrogant car salesman, and gets in an argument with Gary, a painter with different ideals. The slap happens toward the end of the episode when Harry slaps Gary’s child.

One of the interesting things about this series is that each episode will focus on a different family member. This allows for the viewers to get a feel for the different characters’ motivations. The one thing I did find odd was the use of narration. At the beginning of the episode, and a few times throughout the episode, a narrator gave exposition, explaining the characters thoughts or actions. These felt out of place and interrupted the story.

The first episode was not the best start to this mini-series, but it introduced many characters and conflicts that might be interesting to see unfold. Even though the inciting incident was not well done or dramatic enough, it does leave a few questions. This show might not live up to the original production or the book, but it will be interesting to see where it goes.

The Slap airs on Thursday’s at 10/9c on NBC.

Verdict

Okay

The Slap is a mini-series that tries to show a controversial topic, but falls a little flat.
Picture

Positives

  • Different Intriguing Characters
  • Each Episode Follows a Different Character

Negatives

  • Narration
  • The Actual Slap Scene
  • Not a Strong Start