The Slap Post 3

This week, ratings of The Slap went down after a disappointing premiere and luke-warm reviews. Instead of writing about that (since I’m sure I’ll be doing that in the coming weeks), I want to discuss what the show has working for it. First of all, the cast is phenomenal. With names like Peter Sarsgaard, Zachary Quinto, Uma Thurman and Thandie Newton, the cast seems like they should be part of an underrated independent film, not a miniseries on NBC. Besides that, it has some great names behind the camera. Lisa Cholodenko, the Oscar nominated director/writer of The Kids Are All Right, directed 7 of the 8 episodes. The series was created by Jon Robin Baitz, who worked for the successful Brothers & Sisters for ABC, and Walter F. Parkes, a three-time Oscar nominee.

When I look at these names, people who have in the past done truly amazing work, I get excited about The Slap. They all seem like names that would be better suited for cable television, but they have found a (somewhat hostile) home on network television. Though it doesn’t seem hopeful that many more viewers will find this show in the next six weeks, The Slap is a show that works on paper.

The Slap 2/12/15

With a recent trend towards limited series and event television, NBC is premiering The Slap next week. The 8-week series follows a group of family and friends in the aftermath of one fateful party, where one man slaps another couple’s child. Based on the Australian mini-series of the same name, it has a star-studded cast, including Peter Sarsgaard, Zachary Quinto and Uma Thurman. The controversial storyline could be a risk for network television, which rarely delves into this kind of psychological show.  NBC hopes the edgy subject matter will bring viewers in, even if just out of curiosity.

As far as publicity, NBC has a trailer on its site, as well as YouTube, where it has almost 4 million views. The show has a Twitter account (@TheSlap), mostly comprised of character bios and retweets from excited viewers. As the premiere date gets closer, more and more interviews and articles about The Slap are popping up. No reviews are up yet, so there’s no telling if it will be the awards darling the Australian series was. Even if it isn’t, it’s clear that NBC is pushing the boundaries of their usual content.