Well, everybody else seems to be talking about this series so I thought I should share my 5c worth (it's gonna be a bit more than 2c haha).
1. The characters are all extremely unlikable and from various conversations and blog posts, I can tell I'm not the only one to think this. Rosie was the one who probably annoyed me the most with her 'I let my child run wild' style of parenting. I was furious when Connie made up the lie that Hector raped her and didn't even apologise to Richie when he went in to bat for her and got in trouble over it....grrr. I couldn't stand Koula, especially when she complains about Australia (well, go back to Greece then) and calls Aisha 'the black one' behind her back. Harry is a bastard. His wife, Sandi...well...why on earth does she stay with him?!? I love character studies. It's a sign of a good series where you get so engrossed you feel something towards the characters.
2. But while the characters are generally horrible people, I think they reflect ourselves more than we'd like to admit. People have been commenting on how lewd and crude the characters are, but that's what happens when you see people up close and personal, and unfortunately that's how people talk these days (come and live in a country town where, with some people, every second word is a swear word). At first, it just looks like a normal bunch of people getting together for a barbecue, but The Slap takes you below the surface. I have to confess that I saw bits of myself in some of the characters. I've felt the tension between the choice of marriage/family or career. I can remember what it feels like to be a teenage girl liking an older guy. While some people were horrified at The Slap, I think it's a confronting but fairly accurate portrayal of the world we live in.
3. The acting was brilliant. William McInnes' narration was really unneccessary. At times it felt like I was a fly on the wall eavesdropping on conversations, the dialogue was that natural. The little boy who plays Hugo is outstanding for his age. They picked some absolutely brilliant child actors.
4. I think this series shows the impact that different stages of life can have on friendships - those who have kids and those who don't, and also parents who have different 'parenting strategies'. I fully expect kids to be little turds at times, but it annoys me when parents make no effort to correct their behaviour in other people's houses (read: my house). I was talking to a friend who is a mum to two young boys today and she was recalling an incident a few days ago when she invited lots of mums and kids over to her house. Two of the kids (who were siblings) started trashing her house (and I mean trashing it) - climbing up bookcases and getting bubble blowing stuff out and then throwing it on the floor so there was a slippery mess everywhere; picking up ornaments, throwing them and breaking them etc. My friend tried to gently ask the mum to get her kids to stop (since there is a rule you can't discipline someone else's child), but the mum just sat there as if nothing was happening. My friend said she was fine with it if it was just toys everywhere or something, but it took her and her mother-in-law hours to clean up the mess. In regards to The Slap, I don't blame Hugo for his behaviour since he had clearly had very few boundaries set for him in his life! The scene where Hugo spits on the old man and then Rosie blames everyone else for his behaviour disgusted me. Ok, I get that you're not supposed to have a go at parents, but seriously....even my friends who have kids themselves expect visitors to show some respect for their property and other people.
5. I think this series will be really good for Australian TV. It shows that you don't need a big budget to tell a compelling story. Yay that it has already been sold overseas.
Image is from http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2011/10/06/1226160/581292-abc1-the-slap.jpg