Anger management in Love/Hate
The price comparison website WhatClinic.com has published a guide for the various mental and physical treatments that might benefit the show’s characters (including anger management for Nidge and a relaxing massage for Fran).
While the guide is of course tongue-in-cheek, it does illustrate that a lot of the issues raised in the show are relevant in many peoples’ lives- albeit hopefully in less dramatic and destructive ways.
Issues of anger management and dealing with stress are certainly central to the plot. As the tension rises Nidge and Fran, in particular, struggle to deal with their emotions, both veering from being upset to uncontrollably angry at any opportunity.
Properly processing these kinds of emotions can be a real problem for people for a variety of reasons, often because of an unwillingness or inability to openly talk about them. Approaching the show from this angle gives it another, more relatable dimension.
One of the show’s key themes is the need for its male characters to perform to a certain image of masculinity. There have been various instances during the show’s run of this need bubbling over into uncontrolled violence and damaging, impulsive decisions.
This has continued into this season, as characters compete with each other in a highly destructive and self-sabotaging way to prove who’s tougher. This is something that we all see in different forms in various kinds of environments, from school or office scenarios to family life.
Alcohol and drug use
The show has also done a good job of representing the reliance on alcohol and drugs in young Irish peoples’ socialising- particularly this season. Again, this is probably linked to difficulties in expressing emotion and dealing with stress, and a need to escape or find relief. Most people are probably guilty of this to some extent at some stage. However, it often only makes matters worse.
Everyone openly discussing their grievances would create a much more relaxed and less hostile environment for all concerned- but who wants to watch that?