Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
A Stellar (And Award Winning) Season For Australian's Hit Crime Series
on February 22, 2012
The fascinating television import "Underbelly" finally gets a U.S. distribution, and it's about time! I first became aware of "Underbelly" when I read that it was Australia's answer to "The Sopranos." Since that first comparison, I've heard the same point made countless times. To be frank, other than the fact that they are two adult series set in the criminal underworld, I don't think that generalized statement is very apt or has much bearing on whether or not you'll enjoy this show. If you are expecting a rich "Sopranos" type narrative and continuing storyline, this isn't quite going to fulfill your expectations. But that doesn't make it any less intriguing. The general tone of "Underbelly" is a bit more lurid. The show itself has much more of a docudrama feel, recreating significant true events in Australia's criminal history complete with plenty of gratuitous nudity and violence. With edgy camera work, quick cut editing, and a propulsive soundtrack--this is a show that aims at getting in your face. And for the most part, it succeeds. One of my favorite elements of the show is that each season is its own unique entity with new characters and charting a new story. Heck, it's become somewhat of a franchise with four complete 13 episode seasons and a series of TV movies.
War on the Streets (2008) 5 stars: This series picked up Australian Film Institute awards for Best Television Drama, Best Director, Best Lead Actor (Gyton Grantley), and Best Lead Actress (Kat Stewart). This story arc concerns the rise and fall of Carl Williams, an ambitious hood who rose to great heights within Melbourne's criminal underworld. Grantley is captivating as Williams who is seduced further and further to the darkside and becomes embroiled in a gangland war lasting ten years between 1995 and 2004. Stewart plays the Bonnie to his Clyde and it's a partnership your not likely to forget. It's not perfect by any means, the task force is a bit too inept for my taste, but Grantley and Stewart light up the screen. They are fantastic! KGHarris, 2/12.