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"One moment will change a family forever.”
That's the tagline for the upcoming show The Slap, headed to NBC later this week. The show follows several family members and friends whose lives become severely complicated due to a seemingly minor incident where a man slaps another couple's misbehaving child. While I'll be the first to admit the marketing hasn't really been all that effective, at least in terms of NBC building anticipation for the upcoming series, there are still some undeniable reasons why the new series might actually be worth checking out. So, if you are on the fence about the drama, we've cultivated a list of legitimate reasons to give the show a shot. That said, here are five reasons The Slap might not suck.
The Australian Version Was Great2011's Australian version of The Slap is one of those hidden gems audiences might stumble upon on Netflix. There are dozens of these types of shows at the moment that fans can jump into, as I did with the original The Slap. I didn't know a single actor or actress prior to watching this show (as I don't tend to cross too much Australian content) but let me just say these Aussies can act! You may even find yourself schooled as I did, learning that the LaPaglia's are actually Australian. The writing, based on the novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas, is of the utmost caliber. Unlike typical shows, the first The Slap follows a different character across each individual episode, adding interest. If NBC's show is similar, it should work out great.
It's Issues-BasedIt's no stretch that the plot of the show really hinges on a single slap of the hand. It sounds dumb, but in the Aussie version, it is actually anything but silly. The kid in the original is actually a real brat, constantly acting out, so needless to say (if NBC's show is similar to the original) the audience should kind-of be waiting to see him get whacked. However, hitting kids isn't usually socially acceptable in our day and age, so the slap should naturally allow the show's characters--and the viewing audience--to choose sides immediately. It's an issues-based plot that should hopefully catch viewers right away.
The Cast Is Top NotchUsually shows of this caliber get one, maybe two high-profile cast members. The Slap, however, nabbed five+. Peter Sarsgaard (Night Moves, Blue Jasmine), Melissa George (The Good Wife, The Slap [Australian version]), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, American Horror Story), Uma Thurman (Kill Bill), Brian Cox (Zodiac) and more. The fact that many of these actors and actresses are at different stages in their respective careers, most notably Thurman (who should be a great fit), should only make the dynamic that much more interesting. After seeing the trailer, Quinto and Sarsgaard should nail their respective parts and Melissa George has already proven she's the perfect choice for Rosie (a role she played in the Australian version of the show).
It's A MiniseriesThe original 2011 version of The Slap was an 8 episode miniseries and we're happy to see the U.S. production go the same route. While it seems like anything can happen in our current entertainment environment with reboots, sequels and series extensions abound, it seems unlikely, with the way this story builds out, that it will go beyond the single 8 episode miniseries. I'm on board, because like other “one and done” shows, the writing is usually tighter, as the network doesn't have to work to fill the typical 22 episodes a traditional Network TV drama gets.
They Found The Perfect DirectorI couldn't be happier with the choice of director to lead The Slap. Lisa Cholodenko, most widely known for her film The Kids Are All Right and her work on the recent HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge (which was excellent), is the right woman for the job. With her above-mentioned work, as well as her history directing shows like Six Feet Under and Hung, she should be a perfect fit for adapting this work for U.S. Audiences. So, hopefully the whole endeavor will be a lot more engaging than the early previews belie. You can check out the full trailer, below.
The Slap debuts this Thursday, Feb. 12 at 8/7c on NBC.
Photos: Courtesy of NBC