Hope and Wire divides viewers

DETERMINATION: Set in the aftermath of the quakes, Hope and Wire tells a universal story of hope and triumph against the odds.
DETERMINATION: Set in the aftermath of the quakes, Hope and Wire tells a universal story of hope and triumph against the odds.
FEAR: Terrified by the quakes, Donna, played by Miriama McDowell, decided to move to Auckland with her children.
FEAR: Terrified by the quakes, Donna, played by Miriama McDowell, decided to move to Auckland with her children.
HOPE: Construction worker Ryan, played by Jarod Rawiri, tries to fix what can't be fixed.
HOPE: Construction worker Ryan, played by Jarod Rawiri, tries to fix what can't be fixed.
PEACE: Rachel House plays Joycie, a caregiver at the heart of the series, whose motto is 'keep calm and carry on'.
PEACE: Rachel House plays Joycie, a caregiver at the heart of the series, whose motto is 'keep calm and carry on'.

Grating. Shameful. Emotional. Moving.

Public reaction to earthquake drama Hope and Wire lit up social media - and divided viewers - within minutes of its airing on TV3 last night.

The three-part series, by Wellington film-maker Gaylene Preston, began last night and continues next Thursday.

Played by actors and using some real footage, the drama follows the aftermath of the earthquakes between September 2010 and 2011.

On Twitter, using the hashtag #hopeandwire, some people said they felt it was too close to home, others said it unfairly depicted pre-quake Christchurch, while others cringed.

The opening scenes depicting Christchurch's nightlife, including booze, sex, vomit and a skinhead attack on a kebab bar, was the biggest source of consternation.  

''What about Darfield, Rolleston, etc I was there for all of it, thought this would be based on true stories,'' tweeted Dalene Le Roux.

''Not representational of the cantabrian spirit,'' tweeted Chelsea.

''It was an emotional viewing and I don't think I'll be tuning in next week,'' tweeted Candice Godfrey.

Geniesa tweeted: ''Can confirm that they possibly blew the entire $5mil on rebuilding Shag Rock with CGI.''

Christchurch actress Janice Gray, who auditioned for the role of Joycie, played by Rachel House, did not - and would not - watch the drama. 

''I was here. I lived through the earthquake from my point of view, I don't need to see an interpretation of it,'' Gray said. 

She ''didn't care'' about not getting the part.  

''I didn't realise it was about the pain of the earthquake and the loss. For me, it was just work,'' she said.

''I thought, 'Oh well, that's OK. I gave it my best shot. I got a small part of being a woman in the store. If I'm in it, I'm in it for a second. No biggy'.''

Comments on The Press' Facebook page were mixed this morning.

Rachel Butt did not mince her words, calling the series ''crap''.

''The storylines were whack and it cost $5 mil?,'' she said. 

''Watched 4, 5 minutes, watched a woman get punched in stomach, turned it off,'' Denise Kennedy said.

''Successfully managed to portray every single negative stereotype about chch - drunken spewing nightlife, drunken school girls at risk of herpes, skinheads using dogs to attack Asians,'' Liz Preston wrote. 

Jesse Evenblij said she ''actually really liked it''.

Wrote Tarsha Milne: ''I liked it and will watch the second part. I found it very emotional but very good."

Wrote Lorraine Isaacs: ''An Auckland view of Chch superimposed by someone who has never lived here."

The Press