(Beware, spoilers below!)
The Slap is one of those shows that does better when binge watched in one go. Its unfortunate title has made it the butt of several jokes and its inconsistent pacing made it not just the butt of jokes but susceptible to people dropping out of watching it week after week. The Slap does have glowing high points which make it a series worth watching if you have the patience. The show goes further than the titular slap but instead take the opportunity to analyse what it means to be a parent and the difference between people’s private versus public lives.
These are the best moments of the every episode, such as the cracks in Rosie’s crusader veneer or an quiet moment between Hector and his son. None of these characters are perfect and sometimes all it takes a nod to acknowledge that these imperfections are ok. The Slap works best when it delves into these moments and it’s consequently and its most powerful when it investigates the motivations of the parents involved. This is why both Connie and Anouk’s episodes are the slowest and the ones that lag the most. Their stories seem to just be extra info that swirls about the slap-centered maelstrom as opposed to how moments or motivations can lead to greater consequences. It’s all well and good to see ho this feeds into Anouk’s fears over parenthood or Connie’s guilt over right and wrong, but it’s not quite as compelling as exploring the relationship between Hector (the slapper) and his wife Sandy.
If you can sit through the slow moments The Slap can be a rewarding show. I came away from Rosie’s trail in the penultimate episode feeling rightly devastated, not just for the mother in question but for the irreversible nature of the trial as well. These golden moments makes me wish The Slap had maintained more narrative focus and tightened up its script. This would have made it even better.
So should you watch The Slap? I think many people will make their decision to stick with it within the first few episodes, and in general I’d encourage you to go with your gut on this one. If you don’t like it by then I can tell you with almost certainty that this isn’t going to change. However, if you have time to kill and are willing to try seeing something potentially moving, I’d give it a shot. For all its shortcomings, I’m glad I saw The Slap.