US version of ‘The Slap’ a hard sell for critics

The US version of critically-acclaimed Australian show The Slap airs in America this week, promising to be “far more psychological” than the original version.

Based on the novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas, the story centres around a family whose friendships fall to pieces after a man slaps a child that isn’t his at a party.

• The US remake of ‘The Slap’ is tipped to shine
• My first job: Christos Tsiolkas, author

Just like the 2011 Australian version, each episode of the NBC series will tell a different version of events through each character.

The beauty of Tsiolkas’ book was its ability to capture different parts of Australian society and culture, which is something that may not translate well in the American version.

Initial impressions upon watching the trailer for the US series is it may not focus so heavily on the interpersonal relationships between the characters, as well as their gradual unravelling.

Watch the NBC version:

Australian actress Melissa George has reprised her role for the NBC version, playing Rosie, the mother of the little boy who was slapped.

Speaking to US media, George said she jumped at the chance to “dig deeper” with the character in the second series.

Despite a stellar ensemble of Uma Thurman, Peter Sarsgaard, Zachary Quinto and Thandie Newton, the show has been criticised for “missing the mark”.

The Atlantic called it “a work of ostentatious faux-prestige” and a “yuppie hellstorm”, while The Hollywood Reporter said “Whatever The Slap may have been in previous iterations, it’s flat-out annoying in this one.”

That said, The New York Times called the NBC version “a remarkable feat” and a “sophisticated, suspenseful comedy of ill manners”.

Only time will tell how favourably Australian and American audiences react to a family barbecue in Melbourne being transported to Brooklyn, New York.

Watch the ABC version:

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