RTE’s “Love/Hate” is Not Like Real Life At All.

RTE's Love/Hate.

RTE’s Love/Hate.

There’s been an enor­mous amount writ­ten about how real­is­tic and true to life (or not(!)) the RTE dra­ma Love/Hate is, with many peo­ple com­plain­ing about the fac­tu­al errors on it.  And I have to say, on watch­ing series four I too was left sim­i­lar­ly per­plexed. To pick just three of the many, many glar­ing and inex­plic­a­ble inac­cu­ra­cies:

Oh come on, would anyone really wear a wrist watch like that?

Oh come on, would any­one real­ly wear a wrist watch that garish?

There’s a scene in episode 3 as the Gar­dai are keep­ing sur­veil­lance on a ware­house. To cel­e­brate the suc­cess­ful hid­ing of the cam­eras and mikes there, one of the guards lights up a cig­a­rette. In an enclosed place of work! Which is against the law!

So, what, we’re being asked to believe that a serv­ing mem­ber of an gar­da siochana would know­ing­ly break­ing the law?!

But that’s just the start of it. In anoth­er scene, a num­ber of crim­i­nals are hav­ing a dis­cus­sion and, as you’d expect, the light­bulb above their heads gives off an abun­dance of light, clear­ly indi­cat­ing that they’re using a con­ven­tion­al, stan­dard (prob­a­bly 100w!) incan­des­cent lightbulb.

But when we cut to the Gards at their head­quar­ters, they seem to be in a room lit in exact­ly the same way! Sug­gest­ing that, instead of using a Halo­gen, CFL or even LED bulb, as I’ve no doubt you’ll find installed in all police sta­tions through­out the coun­try, they are every bit as envi­ron­men­tal­ly irre­spon­si­ble as the peo­ple they are up against in the crim­i­nal underworld!

Totti by name...

More TV Totti.

And then again, in anoth­er scene, in a broth­el – which by the way are ille­gal in this coun­try, so where’s this scene sup­posed to be tak­ing place! – one of the bystanders is wear­ing a Roma FC soc­cer jer­sey. But if you freeze frame it just before he scratch­es his nose, you can clear­ly see the words “Asa NIsi MAsa” tat­tooed on his knuckles.

Obvi­ous­ly, this is a ref­er­ence to Felli­ni’s appro­pri­a­tion of Jung’s “ani­ma” con­cept, which he trans­lat­ed into the Rim­i­ni dialect for 8 ½, and which we hear being whis­pered in the dream-like flash­back scenes depict­ing his child­hood. But why would some­body who went to the trou­ble of hav­ing that tat­tooed on his hand, clear­ly indi­cat­ing he grew up in the East coast sea­side town of Rim­i­ni, be wear­ing a Roma FC jersey?!

Marcello Mastroianni in Fellini's 8 1/2.

Mar­cel­lo Mas­troian­ni in Fellini’s “8 1/2”.

How can you pos­si­bly get involved in the sto­ry being told when there are all these woe­ful inac­cu­ra­cies just leap­ing off of the screen at you at every turn?

Nat­u­ral­ly I’ve for­ward­ed this on to the Direc­tor Gen­er­al at RTE, togeth­er with a full list of all the fac­tu­al errors (1,036 in total) that I man­aged to find in just the first three episodes. I’ve no doubt he’ll be keen to sit down with the writ­ers and the pro­duc­tion team in an effort to stamp this out. And I con­fi­dent­ly expect to be receiv­ing a reply from him on the mat­ter in the very near future.

After all, and I real­ly didn’t want to end on this note, but; is this the kind of thing we’re being asked to pay our license fee for? Because, I regret to report, Love/Hate isn’t remote­ly true to life. It’s all made up. The whole thing’s a com­plete fiction.

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