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'The Slap' fan react: Dirty Harry

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Harry” | Aired Feb 19, 2015

This week, The Slap takes us inside Harry’s aggressive headspace. Beware of emotional outbursts, poor cooperation skills, and “rich asshole” TV clichés.

How can you tell when a show wants you to dislike a character? If an episode opens with said character grunting his way through a workout, baring his teeth to the camera, and then submerging himself in an ice bath like some sort of arctic predator, well, you probably have your answer. The Slap is pulling no punches: Harry is a Bad Guy, and every scene he’s featured in serves only to corroborate that.

After completing his overly aggressive morning routine, Harry heads to work where, we learn, he’s the boss of a very fancy rare-car dealership. There he gets a call from Hector: The police are at Hector’s house, and they’re questioning him about that time Harry assaulted a 5-year-old. Harry gets prickly, and makes it clear that they’re family, so Hector better not sell him out.

All that threatening makes Harry hungry, so he meets up with a lawyer friend for lunch. The lawyer is confident: There’s no way Rosie and Gary have a case. At worst, Harry will do some community service. He’s the 1 percent, so quit worrying! (This is probably the most true-to-life line of dialogue yet uttered on the show.) The lawyer advises that, just to be safe, Harry needs to find a witness who’s not related to him who will testify on his behalf.

So Harry meets Anouk on the set of her TV show. (If you’re following along on your homemade, highly detailed Apostolou family tree chart, you’ll know that, in fact, Anouk and Harry are cousins, but I guess she’s all he’s got.) Anouk agrees that Hugo deserved to get some sense knocked into him—but by his own parents, not a stranger. Harry tries to buy her testimony with a new car, but Anouk laughs him off.

Apparently, running a multimillion-dollar business isn’t all that time consuming for Harry; after his unsuccessful meeting with Anouk, he heads over to his son Rocco’s basketball game. Rocco is a good team player and has not yet matured into the narcissistic psychopath his father is grooming him to be, so he passes the ball. That is, apparently, a big no-no in Harry’s book, which he expresses by scowling intensely.

Later that night, the kid asks what he did wrong. Harry gives a whole speech about how being on the winning team isn’t the same as being a winner, and how he wants Rocco himself to “to be the one who kills it, really kills it.” Watch closely now, because I think this is how serial killers are made.

The next afternoon, Harry comes home to find his wife Sandi and Hector talking at the kitchen table. Hector has come on a peacekeeping mission: He wants Harry to apologize to Rosie and Gary. Astonishingly, Harry isn’t keen on the idea. Hector just wants this all to go away, and a quick “I’m sorry” seems like the best strategy to him. But to Harry, an admission of guilt and a forced apology are undeserved punishments for being a strong, successful, wealthy man in modern society. Oh the injustice! Nevertheless, he agrees to a sit-down.

Harry keeps his cool with Hector, but once the other man leaves, he rounds on Sandi and accuses her of colluding with his cousin behind his back. She protests that it wasn’t like that, but Harry grabs her, first by the arm and then by her hair, and holds her in an uncomfortable position. Rocco stumbles across the scene, and Sandi quickly rushes away.

A day later, Hector and Harry meet up again, this time outside Rosie and Gary’s house. Hector explains that soon their troubles could be over. Harry agrees, but I think we all know where this is going.

The conversation doesn’t start well, probably because Rosie is defiantly nursing her 5-year-old across the table from Harry. As much as it pains him, Harry does manage to squeak out a few words: No one should hit another person’s child, and he deeply regrets his actions. Rosie’s not having it, however. She wants to hear the actual phrase “I’m sorry” come out of Harry’s mouth. Harry, looking like he’s chewing on his own tongue, repeats after her. Gaining steam, he adds that he’ll cover whatever costs have accrued.

He should have quit while he was ahead. Rosie immediately takes offense that it’s all about money to Harry. Harry counters that the whole meeting is a shakedown. He blows up and kicks his chair across the room.

To let off steam after that fiasco, Harry heads back to work, where the meets a salesgirl he’s sleeping with (because why settle for being an abusive husband when you can be an abusive, philandering husband, amiright?). But he can’t stay too long, because he gets a call from Sandi to meet her at Rocco’s school.

Turns out, Rocco picked a fight with one of his basketball teammates. Looks like he’s learning from dear ol’ dad. The school has a zero tolerance policy, so Rocco is off the team. Harry and his son actually do share a little family bonding moment, and Harry at least has the sense to tell him that they both need to learn to better control their actions.

Once the family gets home, there are some unwelcome visitors waiting to meet them: the police. Gary and Rosie have officially filed charges against Harry, after they claim he attacked them during their failed reconciliation. Harry is taken into custody.

At his arraignment hearing, Hugo’s parents push the judge to throw the book at Harry. Instead, he gets off with an order of protection and bail set at $2,500, which Hector pays. Walking out of the courthouse, Harry makes a vow: This fight is now on his terms, and he’s going to make Gary, Rosie, and Hugo pay.

The Slap airs Thursdays at 8/7C on NBC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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