Mur­der, tor­ture, rape and drug tak­ing are okay, just don’t touch the putty tat…

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - YOUR TV WEEK - TIM FAN­NING

It’s one of the most fa­mous scenes in movie his­tory. When big-shot movie pro­ducer Jack Waltz won’t play ball and cast crooner Johnny Fon­taine in his new flick, he gets a horse’s head in his bed. Yep, it’s The God­fa­ther, one of the best gang­ster pic­tures ever made, and the scene, filmed us­ing a real horse’s head, is now iconic. Skip for­ward four decades, and a teenager has a pop at a cat with a ma­chine gun in Love/ Hate (Sun­day, RTÉ One, 9.30pm) and an­i­mal rights bod­ies go, eh… ape? My guess is we won’t be talk­ing about this next year, let alone in 2053.

While the poor horse whose head ended up in Jack Waltz’s bed was al­ready be­ing turned into Fido’s din­ner, the fe­line star of Love/ Hate who hit the head­lines this week is alive and kick­ing and en­joy­ing his brief celebrity sta­tus. That’s not the point, say the an­i­mal rights peo­ple, it’s the ex­am­ple the pro­gramme mak­ers are set­ting. I may be wrong, but if you’re the kind of per­son who is sick enough to tor­ture or kill an an­i­mal for kicks, and hap­pen to have an Uzi ly­ing about the house, then the idea has prob­a­bly al­ready oc­curred to you.

What bugs me about kitty-gate is that it is seem­ingly in­tol­er­a­ble to de­pict a poor an­i­mal be­ing mis­treated, but we can show hu­man be­ings tor­tur­ing and killing fel­low hu­man be­ings in all sorts of imag­i­na­tively cruel ways at any time of the day or night on TV. Just be­cause we watch Love/ Hate doesn’t mean we’re go­ing to go out and mur­der peo­ple we don’t like at work be­cause they an­noy us (no mat­ter how tempt­ing). Mak­ing a show like Love/ Hate means cre­at­ing a be­liev­able en­vi­ron­ment. If you’re aim­ing for a re­al­is­tic show about ut gang­sters, then it stands to rea­son that t you’re go­ing to have lots of vi­o­lence. Just t as if you’re grow­ing up in an area where e hu­man life is cheap, then you’re not go­ing g to be too both­ered about shoot­ing a cat.

On a sim­i­lar note, Caro­line Downey y was ruth­less on Celebrity Ap­pren­tice e this week. While the con­sen­sus may have e been that Ma­clean Burke was un­lucky to o go, it was Belfast boxer Michael Con­lan n who won my ad­mi­ra­tion. Did he want to o stay? Not re­ally. Why not? Be­cause he e had to go and train for the Olympics.

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