The Slap (American miniseries)
The Slap is an American television miniseries, which aired on NBC in February to April 2015. It is an adaptation of the Australian series The Slap, which in turn was based on Christos Tsiolkas's novel The Slap. Each of the show's eight installments told the story of the aftermath of a birthday party from the perspective of a different character. Jon Robin Baitz wrote the teleplay for the series and Lisa Cholodenko directed the pilot episode.
|Narrated by||Victor Garber|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Cinematography||Frankie G. DeMarco|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Original release||February 12 –|
April 2, 2015
The miniseries revolves around the aftermath of a birthday party for a middle-aged city employee where Harry Apostolou slaps someone else's misbehaving child, Hugo, after Hugo kicks him in the leg. Hugo's mother, Rosie, insists on criminal charges, claiming that Harry's slap has caused Hugo PTSD. Though Rosie's diagnosis is later undermined when Hugo mentions how much he misses seeing Harry, the case slowly makes its way to court. Each episode tells the story from the perspective of a different character.
- Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Apostolou, a 40-year-old assistant deputy commissioner
- Thandie Newton as Aisha Apostolou, Hector's wife and the director of a clinic
- Ashley Aufderheide as Melissa Apostolou, daughter of Hector and Aisha
- Khalid Alzouma as Adam Apostolou, older brother of Melissa
- Uma Thurman as Anouk Latham, Hector's childhood friend and executive producer of a TV series
- Dylan Schombing as Hugo Weschler, the titular slappee
- Melissa George as Rosie Weschler, mother of Hugo
- Thomas Sadoski as Gary Weschler, father of Hugo
- Zachary Quinto as Harry Apostolou, Hector's cousin, a rare-auto dealer, and the titular slapper
- Marin Ireland as Sandi Apostolou, Harry's wife
- Owen Tanzer as Rocco Apostolou, Harry's pre-teen son
- Sofia Regan as Melody, works for Harry
- Brian Cox as Manolis Apostolou, Hector's father
- Maria Tucci as Koula Apostolou, Hector's mother
- Michael Nouri as Thanasis Korkoulis, Harry's attorney
- Makenzie Leigh as Connie, a babysitter who watches Hector and Aisha's children
- Lucas Hedges as Ritchie Joanou (née Collins), Connie's best friend
- Ellen Adair as Bridget Saltire, the ADA assigned to the case
- Penn Badgley as Jamie, Anouk's much younger actor boyfriend
- Molly Price as Fiona, Ritchie's mother
- Blythe Danner as Virginia, Anouk's mother
- Victor Garber as narrator (voice)
The miniseries was filmed on location in New York City (substituting for the novel's setting of Melbourne) and features Melissa George, who also played the role of Rosie in the original 2011 Australian adaptation of The Slap novel. Direction was by Michael Morris, Lisa Cholodenko, and Ken Olin. The series was written by Jon Robin Baitz, Walter F. Parkes, and Christos Tsiolkas. Costumes were designed by Jennifer von Mayrhauser and art direction was by Alison Ford. Mary-Louise Parker was originally cast as Anouk, but she had to drop out due to pneumonia and was replaced by Uma Thurman.
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|No.||Title||Directed by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Hector"||Lisa Cholodenko||February 12, 2015||5.13|
|On his 40th birthday, Hector, an assistant deputy commissioner struggles with getting older, advancement at his job, and his attraction to his teenage babysitter, Connie, who works at his wife's medical clinic. During his birthday party with family and friends, his cousin Harry slaps Hugo, another couple's out-of-control child for misbehaving, causing an impact on everyone's lives moving forward.|
|2||"Harry"||Ken Olin||February 19, 2015||3.96|
|Harry's personal life—with his wife, Sandi and his son, Rocco—is examined. Two NYPD detectives speak to Hector about an investigation regarding the incident with Harry. Harry speaks to his attorney and speaks about looking for witnesses. Later on, Hector plans to have Harry speak with Rosie and Gary with the hopes that the matter will be resolved. Harry confronts Sandi and tries to ask if she spoke with Hector in secret, which she denies. After things get tense, Sandi leaves. Later on, Hector and Harry pay Gary and Rosie a visit in hopes that things will go well, but after Rosie goads Harry by questioning if he's also violent towards his family, the mediation goes sour and after Harry storms off, Rosie calls the police. That evening, Harry is about to enjoy a night of passion with Melody only to have it cut short after receiving a call from Sandi that Rocco engaged in a fight with a teammate from his basketball team. Rocco explains to him that he needed to stand up for himself, to which Harry replies that learning how to be assertive with control is something that the two need to learn. Just when Harry and Rocco arrive to their house, the detectives who spoke with Hector, as well as Gary and Rosie, meet up with Harry and let him know that charges were pressed, and that he would be arraigned in criminal court. Hector learns of Harry's arrest and goes to the court where he learns that Rosie accused Harry of assaulting the family by throwing a chair (when he actually kicked it). Bail is posted, and Harry confides to Hector that this matter will be fought.|
|3||"Anouk"||Michael Morris||February 26, 2015||3.67|
|After Anouk and her boyfriend Jamie leave the party following the slap, she wonders why anyone would consider getting in a relationship or even having children. She and Jamie agree that something is going on between Hector and Connie, possibly even an extramarital affair. Later, Anouk, Aisha, and Rosie discuss Harry's arrest. Rosie is happy about it, but Anouk suggests she drop the lawsuit. Rosie insinuates that Anouk is saying this because she doesn't have children, which causes Anouk to abruptly leave to visit her mother, Virginia. A venerated psychology professor from England, Virginia appears to be the source of Anouk's issues. After Anouk denies the possibility of being pregnant, she discusses recent events, including Hector and Connie's behavior. Virginia suggests not mentioning anything in either's presence. Anouk visits Hector and advises him to not destroy his marriage, as they are the only family Anouk has. After seeing Jamie perform at a nightclub, Anouk vomits in a restroom and later confirms she is pregnant. At dinner with Virginia, Anouk and Jamie learn that she is selling Anouk's home in order to move to Scotland, which upsets Anouk. The next day, Jamie learns that Anouk is pregnant, but she wants nothing to do with it and breaks up with him. She then contemplates having an abortion. Aisha tries to talk her out of it. Anouk explains that her father died during his divorce hearing with Virginia. Anouk then found the divorce documents which revealed Virginia didn't want to get custody, yet had to due to the father's death. Aisha says that no parent knows exactly what's going on with their children, mentioning Adam watching internet porn and not knowing how to clear the internet history. Inspired, Anouk checks Virginia's internet history and is shocked to learn Virginia has brain cancer. Edinburgh is where the treatment center is, hence her plans to move to Scotland. Anouk apologizes to Rosie for her awkward departure, but still suggests dropping the lawsuit. Anouk then confirms her pregnancy to Virginia and is okay with her moving to Edinburgh. Anouk then reconciles with Jamie.|
|4||"Manolis"||Michael Morris||March 5, 2015||3.92|
|Manolis is disturbed by the events going with his family and tries to resolve the situation. Rosie, Gary and Aisha meet with the District Attorney, who bluntly tells them that they don't have a case unless they can prove Harry has a longer history of being violent. Aisha looks very upset and stops talking. Hector is aghast at a sleazy but effective attorney who earns Harry's trust and business with his plan to ruin Rosie and Gary by revealing details of what they're really like. Later, when Manolis asks her for help in getting the case against Harry dismissed, Aisha tells him that several years ago, she treated Harry's wife Sandi after she came in with severe bruising to her face. Manolis confronts Harry, who denies ever hitting Sandi but hints that they did have other confrontations that could have resulted in injuries. Manolis and his wife reflect on how to let their children handle events now that they're adults, and reunites with his oldest and best friend.|
|5||"Connie"||Ken Olin||March 12, 2015||2.74|
|Connie's story unfolds as she learns from her friend Richie that he has photos from the party where the slap occurred—and also showing her kissing Hector. She asks him to delete the photos, and after tries to inspire Hector to be romantic but he bluntly says their affair, and her time as their babysitter, is over. A hurt Connie meets up with the boyfriend of her late "wild" absentee father Malcolm and learns about his irresponsible lifestyle. Meanwhile, the prosecutor and family of Hugo appear in a conference with the defendant Harry and his attorney, with the judge mediating. The defendant wants the case dismissed claiming it was self defense (that Hugo was holding the bat and was swinging it, threatening people) while the prosecutor refuses to back down, claiming the defendant is a child abuser. The judge has no choice but to assign the case for trial. Connie sees Rosie later, and finds her crying because the judge has ordered Hugo to have a psychological evaluation. Connie then tells her they still have the photos, which do not support Harry's version of what happened.|
|6||"Aisha"||Ken Olin||March 19, 2015||3.18|
|A Greek Public Relations expert wants Aisha, because she is not a relative, not Greek, and not a really close friend, to appear as a character witness for Harry. He feels that what they need is a respectable member of the community who is a physician to take the stand in his case and say that Harry is a good man whose deeds have helped kids and that he is a decent man. He points out that the criminal trial is just the beginning; if Harry is convicted, the child's family will use it as evidence to start a multi-million-dollar civil suit for damages. Aisha, who knows for a fact that Harry did cut Sandi with a punch to the temple years ago, weighs this while she nearly has a fling with a colleague, and then she and Hector sadly confess to each other the way they haven't been truly faithful.|
|7||"Rosie"||Michael Morris||March 26, 2015||3.22|
|As Harry's criminal trial approaches, Rosie's life begins to completely fall apart. First, she and Gary get an emergency call from Hugo's school where they're told about his terrible behavior. When Rosie lashes out at the school for being "barbaric" by insisting the students sit at their desks and follow rules, and states that Harry's slap has caused Hugo posttraumatic stress, the principal bluntly tells them Hugo has been expelled. Rosie's unprofessional diagnosis of posttraumatic stress is belied when Hugo mentions how much he misses "the fun guy ... Rocco's daddy" (Harry). Gary gets angry at Rosie's behavior, and when she tries to get Ritchie to turn over the photos that will show Hugo wasn't being threatening when Harry slapped him (as Harry has claimed), Ritchie and his mom both tell Rosie to leave and not come back. Harry's lawyer Thanassis asks him if they can use some damaging personal information about Rosie that his researchers found, but Harry is reluctant. However, Rosie later comes to visit Harry and asks him to accept a "no contest" plea that will result in no jail time and a small fine, and Harry turns her down saying that he needs to be exonerated in court to get his life back. After being drilled by the DA about his abusive treatment of Sandi, Harry OKs Thanassis's line of defense, which includes Gary and Rosie being too drunk to care for Hugo at the party, Rosie drinking wine then immediately breast-feeding her 7-year-old son, and a time she abandoned baby Hugo by himself for hours due to post-partum depression. Gary is horrified at Rosie's treatment and tells the DA about Ritchie's photos so that he will have to produce them; at the same time, a distraught Ritchie is at home and seems to be deleting images from a video file card.|
|8||"Ritchie"||Ken Olin||April 2, 2015||3.13|
|A police detective serves a warrant for Richie's laptop in order to obtain the photos that Ritchie took at Hector's birthday party. Ritchie confirms that he deleted the photos but willingly surrenders his laptop and flash drive. With Ritchie being called as a material witness, Thanassis reveals his strategy to Harry: he will get the pictures recovered from Ritchie's computer thrown out and, despite Harry's misgivings, leak new information he acquired about Ritchie's past. He has learned that Ritchie and his gay lover were the victims of cyberbullying, in which photographs on him and his lover in "very private moments," were circulated widely on the internet, resulting the suicide of his lover. Ritchie also attempted suicide, but was institutionalized for six months. Ritchie legally changed his last name from Collins to Joanau, and he and his mother moved to start life over. His past is published by a New York newspaper pursuing the foolishness of a simple slap ending up in court, an "only in New York" story. With his past in print, Ritchie again attempts suicide, but is found by Gary, who calls an ambulance. Ritchie recovers and is able to testify in court the following week. When questioned by Thanassis, he explains that he deleted the photos because they were photographs of people he cared about behaving badly and felt that no one should see them, in the way pictures of him had caused such pain in the past. He also confirms that the photos don't support Harry's defense. Harry is only found guilty of attempted assault of a minor in the third degree, but the judge merely sentences him to the time already served on the evening he was originally arrested. She then advises Gary and Rosie that they can expect a visit from Child Protective Services, as their drinking and drunk breast-feeding have endangered Hugo, and should Hugo ever be found again being harmed or harming someone else, they will be held responsible. She also bluntly tells the courtroom that the entire trial has been a waste of time. Connie is shown saying good-bye to Ritchie as she leaves for college, while he has been accepted to study art at The New School. At Anouk's home, Manolis and Koula, Hector and Aisha, Harry and Sandi, and their assorted children are celebrating the arrival of a newborn to Anouk, who has broken up with Jamie. Gary and Rosie arrive, and upon seeing Harry, abruptly start to leave. As the guests beg them to stay, an uncharacteristically well-behaved Hugo approaches Anouk, who allows him to hold her new baby.|
The Slap received mostly positive reviews from critics. It currently (as of 2019) holds a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus being that "Though the characters verge on stereotypes, they are aptly executed by The Slap's bright cast, allowing the show's topical themes to shine through in a provocative, meaningful way."
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 25, 2014). "Peter Sarsgaard & Mary-Louise Parker To Star in NBC Miniseries 'The Slap'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
- Noonan, Kevin (October 3, 2014). "Thandie Newton, Melissa George Join NBC's 'The Slap'". Variety. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- Ausiello, Michael (October 31, 2014). "NBC Recast Scoop: Uma Thurman In, Mary-Louise Parker Out in The Slap". TVLine. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
- "Thomas Sadoski Joins Mini 'The Slap'; Michael Nathanson Upped On 'The Knick'". Deadline Hollywood. October 8, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Siede, Caroline. "Zachary Quinto and Brian Cox join NBC's The Slap". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Michael Nouri Joins NBC's The Slap". TVLine. January 23, 2015.
- "Makenzie Leigh Books Three TV Roles". Deadline Hollywood. October 6, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- "Lucas Hedges & Penn Badgley Join 'The Slap' Miniseries On NBC; 'Full Circle' Sets Cast". Deadline Hollywood. October 20, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (February 13, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Backstrom' Adjusted Down, No Adjustment to 'The Blacklist', 'Scandal' or 'The Vampire Diaries'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- Bibel, Sara (February 20, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Scandal', 'Two and a Half Men' & 'How To Get Away With Murder' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (February 27, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Blacklist' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Bibel, Sara (March 6, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'American Idol' & 'The Blacklist' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Connie". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (March 13, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Scandal', 'American Idol', & 'Dateline' Adjusted Up; 'The Odd Couple', 'Mom' & 'Elementary' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Bibel, Sara (March 20, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Reign' Adjusted Down & Final Basketball Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (March 27, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Crime' Adjusted Up + Final Basketball Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "The Slap". The Futon Critic. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- Bibel, Sara (April 3, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' & 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- The Slap on Rotten Tomatoes