|Brian Gleeson, Robbie Sheehan and Aidan Gillen|
Rating: ★★★★ C5: 10pm, starts Wednesday, 24 July
Story: Criminal Darren Treacy risks a return to Dublin for a weekend to celebrate his brother’s release from prison, having fled to Spain after a gun was found at his house. However, a tragic event forces him to stay longer than planned…
|Ruth Negga and Robbie Sheehan|
CHANNEL 5, home of bland US series such as CIS and NCIS, has slipped a couple of interesting Irish crime dramas into the schedules recently. They had The Guards with Iain Glen a little while ago, and tonight it’s the excellent Love/Hate.
There have been four series of the drama and it has been a hit in Ireland since 2010 – strange that it’s taken so long to cross the water. It’s a streetwise gangster story that bears little relation to the police procedurals that get made so often in the UK, with Robert Sheehan, of Misfits, as Darren, a thug who risks a return from Spain to attend the celebrations for his brother’s release from jail.
Shootings and illicit liaisons
The visit goes haywire when his brother, Robbie, is murdered in what appears to be a gang hit. Darren
wants revenge and is pulled into the orbit of drug boss John Boy Power, played the Aidan Gillen, who seems to be contracted to appear in every other drama made in Ireland, the US and the UK.
Darren is also playing with danger in reigniting a romance with Rosie, who now has a secret in the form of a new man.
Scripted by Irish playwright Stuart Carolan, this is a tense, punchy drama, illuminating the dark side of recession-hit modern Ireland. It is full of jeopardy for the characters in what is literally a cut-throat culture, and it made me think of The Long Good Friday in the way it rooted a mob feud in a distinctive period.
|Aidan Gillen as gang boss John Boy|
Brian Gleeson and Ruth Negga
Aidan Gillen is slickly menacing, and Brian Gleeson is scary as the out-of-control Hughie Power. But in addition to the rough stuff, the female characters are convincing and strong, from Ruth Negga’s Rosie to Ruth Bradley as Mary, Robbie’s sister, who is having a secret liaison with family friend Tommy.
It is Tommy who is bedding Mary when he should be chauffeuring Robbie. Instead, Robbie is gunned down and events turn nasty indeed.
Cast: Robert Sheehan Darren Treacy, Aidan Gillen John Boy Power, Ruth Negga Rosie, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor Nidge, Ruth Bradley Mary Treacy, Brian Gleeson Hughie Power, Lawrence Kinlan Elmo, Aoibhinn McGinnity Trish, Killian Scott Tommy, Peter Campion Stephen `Stumpy’ Doyle, Peter Gowan Pat, Charlie Murphy Siobhan, Chris Newman Robbie Treacy