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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