Love/Hate is an Irish drama series broadcast on RTE. It centres on a criminal gang in Dublin and their various dealings.Darren Treacy returns to Dublin after a spell in Spain in hiding to meet up with his brother, Robbie, as he's released from prison. Unfortunately, Robbie catches a fatal dose of 9mm rounds and Darren is determined to find his killer. At the wake, he meets up with his ex-girlfriend, Rosie, and rekindles his relationship with her, despite her being in a relationship with Stumpy and pregnant with his baby. During this time, Nidge proposes to his girlfriend, Trish, and marries her in the series finale, though the wedding reception is nowhere near as smooth as hoped. Darren does eventually discover that John Boy's brother, Hughie did it to save face, Though he accidentallyshoots himself before Darren can confront him. Darren himself is shot by Stumpy, ending the series on a cliffhanger.Series two shows that Darren has physically recovered, but is haunted by nightmares brought on by PTSD, and is now working for a low level loan shark and bootlegger by the name of Fran until he takes pity on one of Fran's debtors and beats one of his attack dogs to death to protect him. Meanwhile, John Boy is becoming increasingly paranoid with the Criminal Assets Bureau on his case constantly, seizing his assets left, right and centre. Desperate to avoid Fran's wrath, Darren seeks help from John Boy to clear his debt, on the condition that Darren does any job he sees fit. Suspecting a rat in his gang, he sends Darren to kill Stumpy, which Darren does willingly. Tired of seeing John Boy abuse his niece (and Tommy's girlfriend) Siobhan being forced to carry packages on flights, Nidge enlists Darren's help to off John Boy and take over his criminal empire. However, Rosie suspects the truth and leaves Darren, knowing that he is nothing but a stone killer.Series three involves conflict between the gang and the IRA, with Tommy and Darren killing a high-level IRA man after he rapes Siobhan.The fallout of the events of series 3 lead to Nidge in hiding at the beginning of series 4, spending very little time at home with the IRA still on his trail. Tommy is implied to be suffering brain damage and ends up being a liability on a Tiger kidnapping. Dano and Lizzie are searching for Nidge in revenge, with Lizzie developing into a Dark Action Girl. Meanwhile, the gardai are becoming moreprominent in the series as they investigate.
Love/Hate provides examples of:
Acclaimed Flop: Most watched drama in Ireland, most successful homegrown show in god-knows-how-long, massive sales on dvd, sold to tv stations internationally, all anyone talks about on chatshows the day after it airs, a massive cultural touchstone... that costs the taxpayer a fortune. The show is not profitable. Series 3 was still in the red by the time series 4 started airing. RTE is playing a very risky game of optics in continuing to produce this show.
Actor Allusion: Gav, a Garda in season 4, is mockingly referred to as "Obama". While in university, actor Aaron Heffernan played Obama in the comedy musical "Obama Mia!", which went on to be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe; he also 'played' Obama in skits on a number of national radio and TV shows, and ran for Students' Union President in-character (a race he ended up pulling out of the race when he polled far, far ahead of the actual candidates).
Ciaran Madden is played by a real drug squad garda. This got the actor into trouble with his superiors, though it's not forbidden for gardai to have a second job.
Debbie's frequent trips across to England could be seen as a subtle nod to the fact that her actress is breaking into a career over there.
Affably Evil: Nidge. You see him interacting with his family quite a lot and he deeply cares about them. But, man oh man, does he ever have a nasty streak.
Fran was the comic relief for most of series three, but when the time came to threaten a witness he was so funny saying a line like "your hair will grow back but your face won't". Bonus points for having had sex with her a few episodes beforehand.
Ax-Crazy: Hughie. Justified in that he's a heavy cocaine user.
The Bad Guy Wins: Series one ends with Darren being left for dead by Stumpy, series two has Nidge take over the gang after having John Boy killed, series three ends with Darren's death and series four ends with Nidge getting off on the robbery charge, yet getting himself arrested intentionally by literally pissing off the gardai. Then again, since there are very few virtuous characters on this show, it's to be expected.
Batman Gambit: When Elmo refuses to cooperate with gardai after being arrested for his part in a cash in transit robbery, they release him without charge, much to his exasperation, leading to Nidge suspect that he has ratted them out. To hammer the point home, a team of plainclothes officers spraypaint "ELMO IS A RAT" across the block of flats where Elmo lives, thus creating tension within the gang.
Episode 3.1 Nidge's reaction to Darren killing Git.
A very bleak example that was more a joke made by every single person who watched the episode. Episode 3.1 ran a voiceover on the credits saying "if you've been affected by any of the issues presented in this episode, please call this number...". They were probably talking about the rape scene, but it quickly became a minor meme to say "If you've been affected by being beaten to death with a beer keg, please call this number".
Not to mention that poor cat.
Depraved Dentist: Andrew is down on his luck and essentially attempts to fleece his customers by recommending they need expensive crowns when not really necessary. He ends up working for Nidge, as he's looking to make a massive profit by smuggling in class A drugs with painkillers.
Excrement Statement: Fran pisses on the grave of Noelie Hughes' mother, in order to insult Noelie.
Nidge does this to a slab of milk cartons outside a garda stationjust to piss the gardai off when they have nothing on him on a drug smuggling operation.
Fanservice: There's a bit of it around, most notably Darren and Rosie's sex scene.
Females Are More Innocent: Considering that the main male characters are all thugs, drug dealers, criminals and terrorists and that the majority of female characters are their wives, girlfriends and daughters, this goes without saying. Of course, Lizzie is a subversion.
Gainax Ending: Nidge's antics in the cell at the end of series 4.
The Hero Dies: Double subverted with Darren at the end of series 3. Elmo comes after him on orders from Nidge, but only manages to wound him before his gun jams. Darren grabs his gun to go after Nidge, only to be shot in the back of the head twice by Lizzie.
Hollywood Healing: Averted. Series 2 establishes Darren to still have scarring from his gunshot wound at the end of series 1. Aido gets knee-capped at the start of series 3 and spends the rest of the series in a cast. He even notes that he has applied for a disabled parking permit for his car.
Elmo gets shot in the abdomen by Darren in series 1. He is let out of the hospital, but is told that he needs to get his wound cleaned regularly and may need a colostomy bag.
Hookers and Blow: The party favours when John Boy throws a bash tend to be this.
How We Got Here: The opening episode of series three starts with Nidge, Tommy and Darren standing over a dying Git Loughman. It then cuts back to the events leading up to this.
In the Hood: Several characters wear hoodies to hide their identities.
Katanas Are Just Better: When Nidge's home is invaded in series 4, he carries one as a defensive weapon. Downplayed in that he's hiding the whole time, as it'd be pretty useless against Lizzie's MP 5.
Kick the Dog: Despite his letting Hughie die rather than call an ambulance, you might have felt sorry for Elmo. So he broke a bottle over a barman's head when the Barman tried to get him to leave at closing time.
Lock And Load: The opening scene consists of Nidge learning how to field strip a Glock 17.
Male Gaze: Aido's price for a bit of heroin when Debbie is short on cash? A good long look at her ass.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Darren takes out Stumpy in the second series, though it's on the orders of John Boy, who suspects that Stumpy is a rat. Comes back to bite Darren in the ass, as Rosie leaves him at the end of the second series.
Peek-A-Boo Corpse: Fran planned to dig up Noelie Hughes' mother's corpse (three months dead) and put her sitting in Noelie's home, waiting for him when he came out of prison. Thankfully, the smell from the coffin puts them off and they abandon this plan.
Police Are Useless: Subverted. While it seems that the gang can get away with a lot, there are occasions when the gardai swoop in effectively and efficiently. The gang do tend to get Off on a Technicality most of the time. Inspector Moynihan is an archetypal good cop and weeds out the Dirty Cop very soon after his introduction.
Refuge in Audacity: Debbie manages to bluff her way through a customs inspection by placing a massive dildo in her luggage, ensuring that they're too embarrassed to frisk her for the drugs that she has taped to her body.
Right Through His Pants: When Nidge and Janet have sex in series 4, they both appear to be mostly fully clothed. Janet is obviously still wearing her underwear as the deed is done.
Shooting Gallery: On Nidge's stag do, the gang go to one of these and fire off pretty much every weapon on the Cool Guns page.
Shur Fine Guns: Guns have an alarming tendency to jam at inappropriate moments on this show. Of course, many of the people using them (barring, maybe Nidge) are likely unfamiliar with basic firearm maintenance. Though, it's subverted in series 3, when one guy attempts to kill Darren and his weapon jams. Darren disarms him and keeps the gun, using it to defend himself the next time he gets attacked.
Darren is concerned that the IRA are going to provide him with "some piece of shit" before doing a hit for them as a favour. Nidge assures him that the weapon provided is a tested, but never fired Beretta.
When Nidge goes after the arms dealer who supplied the pipe bomb used on Fran's house, his Glock is knocked from his hand, hitting the magazine release off a wall. When the weapon fails to fire, Nidge frantically searches for the magazine, clears the misfire, reloads and gets back firing. Of course, his quarry uses this opportunity to escape.
Terrorists Without a Cause: Presumably, the dissident Republicans in series 3, since they're based in Dublin and not the north. They come across as little more than another gang.
Throw Away Guns: Darren dumps a pistol in the canal after he makes a hit. Lizzie calls him out on it, as the weapon was belonged to the IRA and was meant to be returned. Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realise that pistols are something the IRA has always had a shortage of.
Fran has one that causes him to go Axe Crazy and stab someone with a broken bottle.
Nidge seems to be going through one in series 3 from the stress of dealing with Git's rape of Siobhan, Darren and Tommy's subsequent killing of Git and the gang's disposal of the body, his own No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Tommy, the guards and the IRA onto them for Git's disappearance, Darren's killing of an innocent witness and going bald.
Villain Protagonist: Darren develops into this after Series 2. Nidge is being built up as one also.
You Killed My Father: A rare example where the protagonists are responsible. Darren kills Git at the start of series 3, with Dano looking for revenge.
You Killed My Brother: Darren's brother is killed in the first episode of the first series, with Darren spending the first series trying to find out who did it. Darren himself ends up shooting Lizzie's brother in self defence, for which Lizzie later kills him.
Your Cheating Heart: Nidge and Tommy have a habit of leaving their wives/girfriends at home while they go out and bang hookers. Tommy, especially, as he's got Debbie on the side as a regular thing.