I watch a lot of foreign shows, mainly English-speaking shows. Why? Because they speak English, and it offers me a greater library of entertainment that isn’t limited to the American market — pretty simple. I also enjoy watching what people of other cultures may find interesting. It can be sort of a cultural lesson. That being said, I recently finished the Irish series: Love/Hate. It’s a show about Dublin’s Gangland. I watched the whole series, but I had some issues with it.
The obvious main character is Darren, a young man of about twenty, who is lithely built and tough but also sympathetic to others. His brother is shot dead by the end of episode one. How they got into the gang is not made clear, but one can assume by watching, that they entered the gang lifestyle out of some need to support themselves, and because of the gang influence where they live.
The operations of the gang are not immediately shown. And when they are, it’s done in a short clip, montage fashion with guys rushing into vehicles and racing all over town. Finally, they get to a scene where the gang members unload packets of drugs. OK, it’s a drug gang. A drug gang with no rival gang. In the absence of a clear rival, they pick off each other; killing members of their own gang for things like sleeping with their friend’s woman. This was strange because the gang was a handful of guys to begin with. As season one went on, I started to wonder if there would be only one or two guys left. These domestic conflicts were my least favorite part about the show. Who watches a show about gangs for the domestic issues?
Season 2: More domestic conflict is sprinkled in. The gang boss, John Boy, has a brother who has mental and anger issues. He kills people if they annoy him or if he just can’t control himself. It’s later found out that he killed Darren’s brother. John Boy lets him get away with it because he loves his brother (meanwhile, Darren has no clue — for a while). OK, that’s fine, whatever. But I need a bigger enemy to stay interested. In comes, Fran, a guy who’s into dog fighting and has a temper. He makes a deal with John Boy and the deal goes bad. Now John Boy has an enemy who wants to kill him. Some stuff goes down, like Fran’s wife getting hit by a pipe bomb, and John Boy getting shot. The show started to look as if it was getting somewhere — so I kept watching.
By Season 3, John Boy is dead, killed by his underlings. His second in command, Nidge, a scrawny guy with a beautiful wife he doesn’t appreciate, takes over. The biggest conflict that follows is the unplanned killing of a man who was connected to the IRA. Finally, an enemy worth watching. Along with this is still some inner-group conflicts that ultimately lead to the demise of a main character, and his death is used as the closing to the final season.
I think this show could have gone on for another season at least, with the direction it was going after the IRA guys came into the picture. But I understand why it was canceled. There was no ultimate goal for the characters. It was one of those shows where an enemy comes along, sometimes for a while, then they are killed off, and we wait for the new enemy to come along and get killed off. Mixed in with all this, are domestic issues with wives, girlfriends, lovers, and random people thrown in who disappear an episode later. I rate this show a 2.5/5 overall, although Season 3 deserves a 3/5. This is a good series to watch when you don’t know what to watch, or when you’re alone doing house chores and you need some noise and visual to keep you company.
Show page: http://www.channel5.com/shows/lovehate