Hidden Gem of Netflix: 'Love/Hate'

Welcome back to Hidden Gem!  This week we get serious with a “true crime” series based out of the criminal ridden underbelly of Dublin: “Love/Hate.”

Premise

“Love/Hate’s” storyline contains a copious amount street crime within the criminal underworld, and is accompanied by the perfect blend of masterminds, triggermen, and muscle.  Set in late 2000s amidst the grim but scenic atmosphere of Ireland, the show never struggles to present the harsh realities of gangland activity.

The show kicks off with a bang as exiled gang member, Darren, promptly returns to Dublin the day his brother gets released from a stint in prison.  Each additional character is introduced as Darren makes his rounds, calling to inform his cronies he’s back in town.  There’s Nigel, the veteran loan collector with a family and kids – the right hand man of kingpin, John-Boy Powers.  Tommy, the brooding muscle of the gang, and Mary (Darren’s sister), perhaps the only beacon hope for anything good in a seemingly black cesspool of violence the characters inhibit.

A tragic incident thrusts this rag-tag collective back into each other’s lives, and soon, they’re at it again running various jobs together, all while trying to stay in the good graces of the cocaine-fueled-madman boss, John Boy.

Why you’ll love it.

The series contains a handful of familiar faces such as “Game of Thrones’” Aiden Gillen – who is every bit as cunning a facetious as Lord Petyr Baelish – and Robert Sheehan (“Misfits”). Each character knows their part, and they play it superbly.

Another fascinating aspect about “Love/Hate,” is each individual character’s storylines.  It never hones on a single central character or specifically makes one the show’s lead.  While the series is primarily a crime drama, it does exhibit some laughable moments at times.

Above all “Love/Hate” – much like the characters in its story – knows exactly what it is.  It’s true crime, but with no added bells or whistles, and somehow, it still resonates with you and keeps you coming back for more.  You’ll find your standard twists, and gut wrenching acts of betrayal found in almost any crime series, but “Love/Hate” seems to do it better.

With only 16 episodes on Netflix (spanning 3 mini-series seasons), you’ll want to savor each one, and in the end, you’ll feel like each season ends on the right note.  Again, another testament on how the UK limited-episode module is highly superior to the way we stretch out shows here in the US.

Recommended if you like:

This series is great for anyone who is fan of popular crime sagas such as: “The Wire,” and “The Sopranos,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “Breaking Bad.” I also recommend it for fans of “Shameless” (UK).

What did you think of “Love/Hate?”  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Past Hidden Gems

 

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