Remember when we were talking about what show we could watch next now that Breaking Bad is over? Well, I hope you've got a Netflix account and no plans this weekend, because once I tell you about this show you're going to need plenty of free time.
It's called "Love/Hate" and originally aired on Ireland's RTE. Here's a trailer:
As one can tell, it's basically the story of, as the trailer puts it, a "drugs gang." But that's like saying Mad Men is the story of an advertising agency. It's also about the complicated personal lives of the various people involved. It's completely compelling and addictive.
I do have one word of advice for My Fellow Americans: use the Netflix feature to TURN ON CLOSED CAPTIONING. As you may or may not know, The Wife is from Ireland originally and unsurprisingly has no problem following what's going on but until we turned on the captions I had to pause it every few minutes and ask for a recap. For whatever reason, I think Irish accents - and particularly the kind of accent the people in this show have - are far more difficult for Americans than your off-the-shelf Downton Abbey British.
[DIGRESSION ONE: The last time we were in Ireland, I noticed that I could understand the accent of one guy in particular better than anyone else we were hanging around with. Turns out this guy was from Northern Ireland, and all the other Irish had a hard time understanding him. Language!]
Like any good drugs gang show, L/H is spectacularly violent, just as a heads-up. People are constantly getting shot and beaten up and any other band thing you can think of that people can do to each other.
[DIGRESSION TWO: We haven't gotten to Season 4 yet, but a cat gets shot in one of the episodes. This cat shooting was apparently so upsetting to the Irish populace that the cat had to go on the Late Late Show so everybody could see that the cat - Cleo, as it turns out - was OK. Here's a clip:]
I'm trying to figure out what makes it so addictive. Probably a lot of the same things that made Breaking Bad the kind of show you just wanted to binge on. The characters are really well-drawn and fleshed out. They seem like real people and not just "types." And it's expertly plotted. That's really the key, isn't it? You just want to know what happens next.
The first three seasons are on Netflix. If they don't get season 4 up soon I guess we'll be ordering DVDs from Ireland or something. Anyway, do check it out. We need someone else to talk to about it.