Friday, April 03, 2015

"The Slap" Finale: Lucas Hedges shines as the gay teen photographer who has the evidence, and is more troubled than he looks

The NBC mini-series “The Slap” concluded Maudy Thursday night with an episode named “Richie”, after the teen photographer who actually had taken images of “The Slap” and then deleted them.
Richie is played by Lucas Hedges, son of screenwriter and director Peter Hedges.  Richie seems like one of the most solid characters around, but in the finale we learn he had moved from rural Pennsylvania to NYC and taken on a new last name after being bullied for being gay and then attempting suicide. A local tabloid insists on running Richie’s story as related to the trial, and Richie attempts suicide again, but is rescued (in a truncated series) by Hugo’s father.  The episode skipped the stomach-pumping and Bellevue emergency room.

NBC's link for Richie's testimony is here
Richie’s photography talent will get him into the New School.  Near the end of the episode, Richie willingly testifies that he saw Harry slap Hugo after Hugo had actually put the bat down.  Richie says he had deleted all of the pictures of the party for privacy reasons, that he didn’t think pictures like this should be kept.  Harry is convicted in a bench trial and sentenced to time-served.  The judge admonishes all the other adults in the room for their bad behavior, including Hugo’s parents. 

I personally feel that the screenplay did not need another suicide attempt. I think that could have been skipped.  It would be stronger if Richie were barraged by the press and he simply stayed above it. 

The idea of photography of people, at parties and in bars and discos, has become much more sensitive recently than it was even five years ago.  I’ve noticed that myself.  

(Note: NBC spell's the character's name as "Ritchie" but imdb spells it "Richie".)

Update: April 11

There is a real-life "Slap" incident in a convenience store in Bakersfield, CA, local TV video here

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